Aviva Singlife appoints DBS senior exec as group CEO following recent merger

The board has also appointed Ms Pearlyn Phau as executive director.
The board has also appointed Ms Pearlyn Phau as executive director.PHOTO: AVIVA SINGLIFE

SINGAPORE - Insurer Aviva Singlife has appointed a new group chief executive officer, following the $3.2 billion merger of Aviva Singapore and home-grown insurance company Singapore Life (Singlife) last year.

The board has also appointed Ms Pearlyn Phau as executive director, said Aviva Singlife in a statement on Monday (May 24).

Ms Phau's appointment as group CEO will take effect from Aug 18, subject to regulatory approval.

The Singaporean is a financial services veteran who has held various senior leadership roles within DBS Group in Singapore and Hong Kong. Aviva Singlife declined to disclose her age.

Ms Phau is currently DBS' group head of consumer products, marketing and ecosystem partnerships. She was previously its deputy group head of consumer banking and wealth management, as well as head of that division in DBS Bank Hong Kong.

Besides leading Aviva Singlife, Ms Phau will take on additional roles as executive director and CEO of both Singlife and Aviva Singapore. These appointments are also subject to regulatory approval.

The scheme of transfer that will combine the two entities has been approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. It is now subject to the approval of Singapore courts and is expected to be completed later this year.

Ms Phau takes over at Aviva Singapore from Mr Nishit Majmudar, who will step down from his executive and board roles and become a senior adviser to the board.

Aviva Singlife's interim group CEO Walter de Oude will remain on the board as the company's deputy chairman.

Aviva Singlife chairman Ray Ferguson said Ms Phau brings to the company deep knowledge across a wide spectrum of financial products and services.

"She is a strong leader with a digital mindset and a demonstrable track record in transformation strategies and operational execution," he said.

Ms Phau said the Aviva Singlife merger presents a "compelling opportunity" as it combines Singlife's technology capabilities, Aviva Singapore's "quality advice", and the board's vision to "see a new breed of financial services emerge in this unique and challenging time".

"I am delighted to have been entrusted with this exciting role and look forward to delivering on that vision for the benefit of Singaporeans and the region," she added.

The merger, announced in September last year, was the largest deal in the insurance sector in Singapore and one of the biggest in South-east Asia. 

Mr de Oude previously told The Straits Times that customers will have easier access to products such as health insurance and long-term investment and savings plans under the merged company.

Existing policyholder terms and conditions will not be affected, he added.