With an announcement on the Aviva CEO close, here are the hot tips for the job 

Briefing: By Content Director Saxon East 

Aviva is close to announcing its new chief executive to replace Mark Wilson. In what is a critical moment for Aviva, here are the hotly-tipped candidates for the job. 

Andy Briggs, UK CEO


The UK chief executive is the natural choice to lead the business. Briggs has vast experience of Aviva, is well-liked by senior management and is widely-regarded as a good frontman for the analysts, institutions and press.

However, he is an Aviva insider, and with some shareholders unhappy at the performance of Aviva, it is likely to be more of the same. The talk in the City is that an outsider would be better suited to make the tough decisions to sell-off chunks of Aviva and free-up latent capital for shareholders. 

Verdict: Odds-on favourite, but faces a significant challenge 

Clare Bousfield, finance chief M&G Prudential 


Her vast experience in financial services means she has the pedigree for the Aviva job. Prior to her current role since July last year, she led Prudential UK for nearly two years. She would be well-positioned to lead a shake up in the life business, such as selling off the back book.

An added advantage is that she is female, meaning Aviva can lead the way on diversity in a UK insurance boardroom still dominated by men. 

Verdict: An outside chance to Briggs, but has the credentials to do the job

Alison Brittain, Whitbread CEO


For Aviva, this would be a surprise appointment and a potential signal a shake up is on the way. She is noted for the sale of Costa Coffee to Coca Cola for £3.9bn, earning herself a cool £3.3m on the way.

Although she had financial services experience as retail head at Lloyd’s Bank, the appointment of a relative outsider to insurance may well suggest this is someone capable of taking tough decisions on, selling off capital-intensive parts of Aviva to free up gains for shareholders. 

Verdict: A possiblity for the top job, but chairman Sir Adrian Montague will be aware that Briggs will be off if she gets the job ahead of him. 

Maurice Tulloch, CEO Aviva International 

Maurice Tulloch carousel

All the talk is that Tulloch is unlikely to land the role, having once been touted as the top man for the job. Did a very solid job in UK general insurance, producing healthy underwriting profits. 

Verdict: The odds have gone long, meaning he only has a remote chance of landing the role 

 Bruce Hemphill, led Old Mutual break up


Hemphill’s appointment would send shockwaves across Aviva staff, but likely welcomed by the City. He led the break up of £9bn Old Mutual. Several analysts have told Insurance Times he would be an excellent appointment - the ideal man to shake up Aviva. The exact problems Old Mutual had are similar to Aviva’s issues: a large business made up of acquisitions; a narrative of cross-selling that never happened and a significant contingent of unhappy shareholders yearning for more value. He would take no prisoners, and his appointment would be an absolutely clear signal that change is on the way. For Aviva chairman Montague, it is the classic case of stick or twist. And this is twist in a big way. 

Verdict: Would be the man to shake up Aviva, but such an appointment would be a volte-face for a firm with a history of conservative appointments.