Aviva brings UK businesses under single UK CEO and announces new executive appointments

Article date: 6 October 2009

  • Aviva to bring UK life and general insurance businesses together under single UK CEO 
  • Mark Hodges appointed to new role of CEO, UK
  • Igal Mayer appointed CEO, North America, following retirement of Tom Godlasky
  • Robin Spencer appointed chief risk officer and member of Aviva’s executive committee

Aviva plc (“Aviva”) today announces a number of senior management appointments and the creation of a new organisation structure for its UK business with effect from 1 January 2010.

Over the past two years Aviva’s UK life and general insurance businesses have been reshaped under the leadership of Mark Hodges and Igal Mayer respectively. This phase of the transformation is almost complete. Significant improvements in customer service have been delivered, profitability has increased and the businesses are on track to deliver cost savings of £450m by 2010.

Aviva now plans to bring the two UK businesses closer together under a single UK CEO to serve customers more effectively across its life and general insurance businesses, bring further scale benefits and underpin future growth. 

The UK business will be led by Mark Hodges who will take up the new and enlarged role of CEO, UK. Mark is currently CEO, UK Life, and a main board director of Aviva plc. Prior to this, Mark was managing director of Aviva’s UK general insurance business and also spent seven years as its CFO.

This change builds on the successful migration to the Aviva brand in the UK and will bring further benefits of scale, thus positioning the company for profitable growth as the UK economy recovers. The underlying strategy of the two businesses remains unchanged. 

In UK Life Aviva has built a leading position across a broad product range gaining market share through the economic downturn. It has gained competitive advantage through its financial strength and actions to simplify the business and improve profitability.

In UK General Insurance Aviva has significantly improved the quality of earnings and created a platform for future growth by simplifying the business, reducing costs, achieving scale benefits, and taking a disciplined approach to underwriting and distribution.

Andrew Moss, Aviva group chief executive, said: “Igal and Mark have done a great job in getting the best from our UK businesses and making them fit for the future. The time is now right to bring them closer together to maximise their full potential in our home market.

“I’m delighted that Mark Hodges will lead Aviva’s UK business in the next stage of its development. Mark brings a rare mix of operational and strategic expertise and an unparalleled knowledge of the UK market. He has a strong customer focus and a great track record in delivering strong financial and operational results.”

North America
Igal Mayer, currently CEO, UK General Insurance, is to become CEO, North America, and will lead Aviva’s businesses in the USA and Canada to the next stage of their development. The US is the largest life and savings market in the world and Aviva is the leading provider of indexed life and annuity products in this market. In Canada Aviva is the second largest general insurer. Before taking up his current role Igal was CEO of Aviva’s Canadian business.

Igal will succeed Tom Godlasky who is to retire from Aviva having successfully doubled the scale of the US business a year ahead of schedule, following the acquisition of AmerUs in 2006. Tom joined the group in 2006 from AmerUs where he was chairman, president and CEO.

Andrew Moss continued: “I’m delighted that Igal Mayer will lead our life and general insurance business across North America. Igal has a deep knowledge of the global general insurance market and good experience of managing country-wide distribution relationships. The North America region represents a significant growth opportunity for Aviva over the long-term and Igal’s vision and strong leadership will be a great asset as we take the business to the next stage of its development. Tom is retiring having made a significant contribution to Aviva and will leave with our good wishes for his retirement. He achieved our goal of doubling the scale of our US business a year ahead of plan and has created value for Aviva by bringing our US and Canadian businesses together in North America. This is a great position from which we can build in the future.”

Chief Risk Officer 
Robin Spencer will take up a new role on Aviva’s executive committee of chief risk officer reporting to Andrew Moss. Robin is currently CEO of Aviva’s Canadian business and was previously CFO in Canada. Prior to that, he was global finance transformation director.


Hayley Stimpson, external affairs director +44 (0)20 7662 7544
Sue Winston, head of group media relations +44 (0)20 7662 8221
Vanessa Rhodes, senior group media relations manager +44 (0)20 7662 2482
James Murgatroyd/Ed Simpkins, Finsbury +44 (0)20 7251 3801

Charles Barrows, investor relations director +44 (0)20 7662 8115
Susie Yeoh, investor relations manager +44 (0)20 7662 2117

Notes to editors:

  • Mark Hodges, 44, will become CEO, UK. Mark is currently CEO, UK Life.  Mark joined Aviva in 1991 and became a member of the Aviva plc board in 2008. 
  • Igal Mayer, 48, will become CEO, North America. Igal is currently CEO, UK General Insurance.  Igal joined Aviva in 1989.  In his new role Igal will continue to report to Andrew Moss and will remain a member of the group’s executive committee. Before taking up his current role Igal was CEO of Aviva in Canada.
  • Tom Godlasky, 53, will retire from Aviva. Tom is currently CEO, North America, a role he has held since July 2007.  He was previously CEO of Aviva’s US business having joined the group from AmerUs when Aviva acquired the company in 2006.  Tom is a member of the group’s executive committee.
  • Robin Spencer, 39, will become chief risk officer and a member of the group’s executive committee. This appointment is subject to regulatory approval. Robin is currently CEO, Canada. His previous roles include CFO for Aviva in Canada and global finance transformation director. He joined Aviva in 1995.
  • Photos of Mark, Igal, Tom and Robin are available from our online image library at www.aviva.com/media
  • Aviva is the world’s fifth largest* insurance group, serving 50 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.
  • Aviva's main business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £51.4 billion and funds under management of £381 billion at 31 December 2008. 
  • We are the largest insurance services provider in the UK and one of the leading providers of life and pension products in Europe. 
  • The Aviva media centre at www.aviva.com/media includes images, company and product information and a news release archive.
  • For broadcast-standard video, please visit www.thenewsmarket.com/aviva

*based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2008

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