Insurance firm Aviva has appointed Amanda Blanc as its chief executive, replacing Maurice Tulloch, who has stepped down to support his family cope with a serious health crisis.
Blanc, who has held several senior positions in the insurance industry, indicated she would slim down Aviva’s portfolio of businesses to rebuild the company into “the leader in our industry again”.
Her appointment means there are six female chief executives heading FTSE 100 companies. The others are: Emma Walmsley at the pharmaceutical company GlakoSmithKline; Liv Garfield at the water company Severn Trent; Carolyn McCall at the broadcaster ITV; Alison Brittain at the hospitality company Whitbread; and Alison Rose at Royal Bank of Scotland.
Blanc, who previously ran Axa’s UK business and Zurich’s European operations, said: “I’m honoured to be given the opportunity to help shape its future. I want Aviva to be the leader in our industry again and the first choice for our customers and partners. My focus will be on achieving that for the benefit of all of our stakeholders.
“We will look at all our strategic opportunities, and at pace,” she said. “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.”
Blanc will be paid a basic salary of £1m a year, and a bonus of up to 200% of that. No bonus will be paid until the company restarts dividend payments, which have been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. Blanc will also be eligible for awards under Aviva’s long-term incentive plan, which is “typically 300% of basic salary”.
George Culmer, who became chairman in June, said: “I know she will bring real dynamism to Aviva and re-establish our credentials as a high-performing, innovative and customer-centric business.”
Tulloch, who started as chief executive in March 2019, has stepped down owing to “family health reasons”. He will continue to be paid for the next six months.