Aviva’s top bosses go head-to-head in the fight for the insurer’s next chief executive job with winner to be announced in the next few weeks

William Turvill, Financial Mail On Sunday

Two of Aviva’s top bosses are slugging it out to become the insurer’s chief executive – and the winner will be announced within weeks.

Andy Briggs, chief executive of the firm’s UK insurance division, and Maurice Tulloch, CEO of international insurance, are frontrunners to replace ousted Mark Wilson.

The Mail on Sunday understands headhunting firm Spencer Stuart has been searching worldwide for a new chief. 

But industry sources say an internal promotion is expected. 

Change: Andy Briggs, chief executive of the firm¿s UK insurance division, and Maurice Tulloch, CEO of international insurance, are frontrunners to replace ousted Mark Wilson (pictured)

Change: Andy Briggs, chief executive of the firm¿s UK insurance division, and Maurice Tulloch, CEO of international insurance, are frontrunners to replace ousted Mark Wilson (pictured)

Change: Andy Briggs, chief executive of the firm’s UK insurance division, and Maurice Tulloch, CEO of international insurance, are frontrunners to replace ousted Mark Wilson (pictured)

A market source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘It’s more likely to be one of Briggs or Tulloch. Probably Andy will be the favourite. He’s got PLC experience – he was CEO of the listed Friends Life company so he’s done the top job before. 

‘He comes across well. He knows the business, both life and non-life. So he seems the safe, logical pair of hands.’

But the source said an outsider cannot be ruled out, adding: ‘Given the performance under Wilson, with shares flatlining over the last five years, some people want a bit more than just a little tweak – they want something a bit more radical.’

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Briggs took home a total package – including salary, pension, bonuses and benefits – of £2.5 million in 2017. His maximum pay opportunity for 2018 was £3.8 million, according to the firm’s last annual report. He also owns 240,000 Aviva shares worth around £1 million, while his wife, Suzanne, bought 11,438 shares in 2017.

Briggs joined the company’s board in April 2015 after Aviva bought Friends Life, where he was chief executive. He formerly led Scottish Widows, the life business of Lloyds Banking Group and Prudential’s retirement income business.

The 52-year-old is also chairman of the Association of British Insurers and the Government’s business champion for older workers.

Outgoing: Aviva, which has 15 million insurance customers and a large asset management business, announced the departure of Wilson, 52, in October

Outgoing: Aviva, which has 15 million insurance customers and a large asset management business, announced the departure of Wilson, 52, in October

Outgoing: Aviva, which has 15 million insurance customers and a large asset management business, announced the departure of Wilson, 52, in October

Tulloch, 49, a ski and golf enthusiast, joined Aviva in 1992. A Canadian, he owns more than 300,000 shares in the firm valued at nearly £1.3 million. 

He took home £1 million for half a year’s work as director in 2017. His maximum remuneration for 2018 is £3.7 million.

Aviva, which has 15 million insurance customers and a large asset management business, announced the departure of Wilson, 52, in October after six years in the job, citing the need for ‘new leadership’.

Aviva’s share price rose from £3.66 to £4.93 over Wilson’s reign. It fell back to £3.64 late last year, but has now recovered to £4.10.

Chairman Sir Adrian Montague said at the time of Wilson’s exit: ‘There is much further to go in accelerating our strategic development and enhancing shareholder value.’

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Since October, Montague has been leading the company as part of an executive team which includes chief financial officer Thomas Stoddard, Briggs and Tulloch.

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