UK insurance giant Aviva plc said on Monday that its Falkirk-born chief executive office Maurice Tulloch has stepped down “for family health reasons” will be succeeded as CEO by independent director Amanda Blanc.
The change reignited speculation of a break-up of the life and general insurer.
Indeed, the new CEO’s first statement included the vow: “We will look at all our strategic opportunities, and at pace.”
Blanc was previously CEO, EMEA & Global Banking Partnerships at Zurich Insurance Group.
She has served as Chair of the Association of British Insurers and President of the Chartered Insurance Institute.
Following her appointment, Blanc will step down from all of her current non-executive commitments — but she will continue in her voluntary role as Chair of the Welsh Professional Rugby Board.
Aviva chairman George Culmer 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.”
Blanc said: “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.”
Aviva said Blanc will receive a basic annual salary of £1 million and 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.”
Aviva added: “Amanda 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.
“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 Amanda 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.
“Amanda 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.
“Amanda 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, Amanda will receive the standard Aviva executive benefits package, including an initial period of accommodation assistance.”