Belfast Telegraph

Aviva overhauls business and reveals sale of Hong Kong arm

New chief executive Maurice Tulloch is looking to cut costs by £300m a year.

Insurance giant Aviva has revealed a structural shake-up and plans to sell of its Hong Kong business (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)
Insurance giant Aviva has revealed a structural shake-up and plans to sell of its Hong Kong business (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

By Holly Williams, PA Deputy City Editor

Insurance giant Aviva has revealed a structural shake-up and plans to sell off its Hong Kong business.

As part of an overhaul being led by new chief executive Maurice Tulloch, Aviva has been divided across five operating divisions – investments, savings and retirement; UK life; general insurance; Europe life; and Asia life.

The group outlined its three-year targets, including the previously announced aim to slash annual costs by £300 million.

Aviva has also agreed the sale of its Hong Kong joint venture, called Blue, to partner Hillhouse Capital, and is in talks to strike similar deals for its businesses in Vietnam and Indonesia.

We will be more commercially-focused, manage costs rigorously and be more disciplined in how we invest Maurice Tulloch, Aviva chief executive

It comes after Aviva earlier this week announced a smaller-than-expected overhaul of its Asian operations, confirming it would keep businesses in Singapore and China.

But the plans received a lukewarm response on the stock market, with shares sinking more than 3%, despite Aviva’s pledge for “progressive” shareholder dividend payouts.

Mr Tulloch said: “I am committed to running Aviva better.

“We will be more commercially-focused, manage costs rigorously and be more disciplined in how we invest.”

The group – which is holding an event for investors on Wednesday – had already announced in June that it would axe 1,800 jobs to cut costs, just a few months into Mr Tulloch’s tenure following his appointment in March.

Aviva – which employs around 30,000 staff in total – said at the time that savings will also be made across central costs, contractor and consultant spend, reduction in project spend and in other areas.

Insurance expert Paul De’Ath, at Shore Capital, said: “The plans are much as we expected, with the focus on doing same things but just being better at doing them.

“While we agree that the business must try harder to get the most out of the assets that it has, we can’t help but feel that investors may be a little underwhelmed by the strategic review.”

PA

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