Boss of financial giant Aviva heads for the exit after taking up position on board of rival BlackRock

Adrian Lowery for Thisismoney.co.uk

Aviva chief executive Mark Wilson is standing down.

Aviva chief executive Mark Wilson is standing down.

Aviva chief executive Mark Wilson is standing down.

The boss of City heavyweight Aviva has stepped down after his decision to take up a position on the board of rival asset manager BlackRock angered some shareholders.

Mark Wilson has been chief executive at the insurance and investment giant for five years, and has overseen what Aviva called ‘a successful turnaround’.

Mr Wilson will leave his executive role immediately, the FTSE 100 insurer said today, but remain with the group until April 2019 while a successor is appointed.

Investors were unfazed by the news, with shares in Aviva nudging 1 per cent higher in morning trading.

Chairman Sir Adrian Montague will assume executive responsibilities while Aviva launches the hunt for a new CEO.

He will chair a committee of three executive directors: UK insurance chief executive Andy Briggs, chief financial officer Thomas Stoddard, and international insurance chief executive Maurice Tulloch.

Aviva said it was time for ‘new leadership’ after five years under Mr Wilson in which he led a turnaround which the company said was now complete.

‘He leaves the group in a far stronger state than when he joined,’ said Sir Adrian. ‘Aviva is now financially strong and delivering solid earnings growth.

‘There is much further to go in accelerating our strategic development and enhancing shareholder value. We have agreed with Mark this is the right time for a new leader to ensure Aviva delivers to its full potential.’

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Aviva will commence the search for a successor immediately. The process is expected to take four months.

Mr Wilson said: ‘When I joined Aviva, the company was in poor health. Aviva is very different today. I have achieved what I wanted to achieve and now it’s time for me to move on to new things.

‘It has been an honour to lead Aviva through this period of immense change. I am happy I leave the company in a strong position from which it can thrive.’

 

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