Aviva's new CEO to split company and cut 1,800 jobs

Aviva is seeking to cut costs by £300 million (S$519.3 million) per year by 2022.
Aviva is seeking to cut costs by £300 million (S$519.3 million) per year by 2022.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) - Aviva Plc chief executive officer Maurice Tulloch kicked off his overhaul of the company by splitting management of its UK businesses and targeting cost cuts of £300 million (S$519.3 million) per year by 2022.

Reducing expenses will involve shedding about 1,800 jobs from the 30,000-strong company, according to a statement on Thursday (June 6). Aviva will integrate its digital direct business into the UK general insurance unit led by Colm Holmes. Angela Darlington takes over as interim CEO of the life insurance division.

Tulloch, who became CEO in March, is seeking to restore Aviva's fortunes after years of stagnation. The company's shares have fallen 26 per cent since Tulloch's predecessor Mark Wilson bought Friends Life Group Ltd in 2015. Rival UK insurers Prudential Plc and Legal & General Group Plc, Britain's biggest asset manager, have both done better by concentrating on life and pensions rather than on general insurance.

"Reducing Aviva's costs is essential to remain competitive, and this means tough decisions and job losses which I do not take lightly," Tulloch said in the statement. "I am also determined to crack Aviva's complexity, an issue which has held back our performance for too long."