Aviva boss handed £4.3m pay package after bumper bonuses
Mark Wilson enjoyed a £2.9m cash-and-shares bonus windfall for 2017 and saw his annual salary rise 2.5% to £1.03m.
The boss of insurance giant Aviva landed a £4.3 million pay package for 2017 after enjoying a salary hike and picking up nearly £3 million in bonuses and shares.
Chief executive Mark Wilson saw his annual salary rise by £26,000 – or 2.5% – to £1.03 million last year, while he was awarded a £1.9 million annual bonus and £966,000 in long-term incentive scheme shares, plus another £395,000 for pensions and benefits.
His overall pay was slightly lower than the £4.5 million in 2016 due to a smaller long-term incentive scheme shares windfall, down from £1.3 million.
Aviva’s annual report revealed he is in line for another 3% salary rise this year as part of a total package that could see him potentially earn £6.8 million.
The group’s remuneration committee chairwoman Patricia Cross said the 3% pay rise for executive directors was “consistent with other Aviva employees in the UK”.
She added that under the long-term incentive plan (LTIP), “maximum payouts require performance that significantly exceeds expected performance under both the annual bonus and LTIP”.
The pay details follow just over a week after Aviva’s climbdown over its controversial proposal to cancel £450 million of preference shares.
Aviva had said it would cancel the shares at par value as part of a plan to return £500 million to shareholders.
But heavy criticism from investors and the Financial Conduct Authority saw it scrap the move and pledge to maintain the shares, which pay high fixed dividends.
Mr Wilson’s bumper 2017 pay deal follows a robust performance last year, with recent results showing operating profits up 2% to £3 billion, driven by a strong performance in the UK.
Aviva’s British insurance arm saw profits increase 13% to £2.2 billion.
The group vowed to splash out more than £1 billion on acquisitions and shareholder returns this year as it announced the figures.
It will deploy £2 billion of excess cash this year, including £900 million in debt reduction, more than £500 million of capital returns to shareholders and about £600 million for bolt-on acquisitions.