Aviva appoints chief underwriting officer for Commercial and Corporate & Speciality Lines

Article date: 8 January 2013

Aviva, the UK’s largest insurer, has today appointed Susan Penwarden as chief underwriting officer (CUO) for Commercial, Corporate & Speciality Lines.

Susan joins Aviva from RSA where she worked for 13 years, most recently as Group Specialty Portfolio Director.

In her new role at Aviva, Susan will report directly into Axel Schmidt, Aviva’s UK and Ireland General Insurance CUO, and will have overall accountability for underwriting results and product development in all Commercial and CSR lines of business.

Commenting on her appointment, Axel said, “We are pleased to appoint someone of Susan’s calibre into this fundamentally important role.

“Susan joins Aviva at a very exciting time. In conjunction with the businesses, she will further drive our cycle management strategy across Commercial and Corporate and Speciality businesses. The market continues to be highly competitive in terms of rates and reflecting the uncertain economic conditions our customers are operating in; that said, it is more important than ever that we continue to focus on disciplined and profitable underwriting.

“One of the challenges we face is to work together with our brokers and customers to ensure we deploy our capacity at the appropriate rates. Our aim is to bring long-term pricing stability that ultimately benefits our customers while ensuring we are able to continue to deploy our capital in a wide range of propositions.”

Susan’s appointment further strengthens Aviva’s CUO community, which also includes Ian Ferguson, Intermediary and Partnerships CUO; Hayley Robinson, Personal Lines CUO; and John Tiernan, Corporate and Speciality Risk CUO.

Axel concluded, “This structure reflects the vital importance of underwriting, pricing and product development both in the individual businesses and organisationally across our businesses in the UK and Ireland, and is critical for the continued success on our world class underwriting journey.”

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If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:
Erik Nelson, Aviva Press Office: 01603 682264/07989 427086; erik.nelson@aviva.co.uk
Notes to editors:

About Susan Penwarden:
Susan joined RSA’s Canadian business in 1999. She has subsequently worked for the Group in the UK and Scandinavia. The latter involved establishing a Technical Underwriting and Risk Management team for RSA’s Scandinavian business, a mix of Commercial and Personal Lines. Susan spent 2.5 years in this role before becoming Group Specialty Portfolio Director in London, where she joins Aviva from.

About Aviva:
Aviva provides insurance, savings and investment products to 43 million customers worldwide.
We are the UK’s largest insurer with over 14 million customers and one of Europe’s leading providers of life and general insurance. We combine strong life insurance, general insurance and asset management businesses under one powerful brand. We are committed to serving our customers well in order to build a stronger, sustainable business, which makes a positive contribution to society, and for which our people are proud to work.
We are ranked as one of the UK’s top ten most valuable brands and Aviva Plc is in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.  In 2011 we invested £5.3m into our UK communities. One in three of our employees were involved in community investment activities which included giving nearly 33,000 hours.
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