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Blanc handed reins at Aviva as Tulloch steps down

Amanda Blanc: opportunity

Aviva has appointed Amanda Blanc as chief executive with immediate effect following the sudden resignation of Maurice Tulloch for family health reasons.

Ms Blanc is currently an independent non-executive director at the insurer. She was appointed to the Aviva board in January 2020 and chairs the Customer, Conduct and Reputation Board Committee.

She was previously CEO, EMEA & Global Banking Partnerships at Zurich Insurance Group. Prior to that she was Group CEO, AXA UK, PPP and Ireland and has served as chairman of the Association of British Insurers and President of the Chartered Insurance Institute.

Mr Tulloch has today stepped down from the role and retired from his position on the Aviva board. He joined Aviva in 1992 and held a number of senior positions in the business during his time with the company. He joined the Aviva board in 2017 and was appointed chief executive in March 2019.

Maurice Tulloch, Aviva (Aviva pic)

Maurice Tulloch: stepping down

George Culmer, Chairman of Aviva, said: “I would like to thank Maurice for his valuable contribution over many years with Aviva.  The board and I were saddened to hear of the personal reasons behind his desire to step down and we wish him and his family the very best for the future.

“We are delighted that Amanda will be our new CEO. The Board was unanimous in endorsing her appointment. I know she will bring real dynamism to Aviva and re-establish our credentials as a high-performing, innovative and customer-centric business.”

Ms Blanc said: “Aviva is a great company, full of great people, and I’m honoured to be given the opportunity to help shape its future.  I want Aviva to be the leader in our industry again and the first choice for our customers and partners. My focus will be on achieving that for the benefit of all of our stakeholders.

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“We will look at all our strategic opportunities, and at pace. I have been on the Aviva board since the start of this year and have a good understanding of where the business has its strengths and what actions we should take across our portfolio.”

In addition to her previous roles at AXA and Zurich, Ms Blanc has held senior positions at Towergate Insurance Brokers and Groupama Insurance Company. She started her career with Commercial Union, which subsequently became part of Aviva.

Following her appointment, Ms Blanc will step down from all of her current non-executive commitments. She will continue in her voluntary role as chairman of the Welsh Professional Rugby board.

She will receive a basic annual salary of £1 million. She will be eligible to participate in Aviva’s annual bonus scheme for 2020 and her maximum bonus opportunity will be 200% of salary, which will be pro rated to reflect her time in role as CEO during 2020.

She will be required to defer two-thirds of any award made into Aviva shares which will vest in three equal tranches over three years. However, in accordance with the statement released by the company on 16 April 2020, bonus will not be considered for Ms Blanc for 2020 until dividend payments are restarted for ordinary shareholders.

She will also be eligible to receive the grant of an award for 2020 under Aviva’s LTIP under which awards are made annually at the discretion of the Remuneration Committee.

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LTIP awards for the Group Chief Executive are typically 300% of basic salary, with awards vesting after three years and only if specific financial and shareholder return targets are met.

Reflecting that Ms Blanc is taking up the role part-way through the year, her 2020 LTIP award will be 147% of basic salary (equivalent to a full-year award of 300% of basic salary). There is a further two-year holding period that applies after vesting.

She will be required to build a shareholding in Aviva to the value of 300% of her basic salary. She will be required to retain 50% of the net share releases from her deferred bonus and LTIP awards until this requirement is met.

She will receive a pension allowance of 14% of salary (which will be paid as a cash allowance) in line with the pension allowance received by her predecessor and with the maximum employer contribution level available to all UK based employees.

This follows the latest guidance from the Investment Association.  In addition, Ms Blanc will receive the standard Aviva executive benefits package, including an initial period of accommodation assistance. 

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