CEO Mark Hodges sets out new structure and executive team

New Aviva UK chief executive Mark Hodges has appointed his senior management team following an internal shake-up.

If follows last month's announcement that the insurer was bringing together its UK life and general insurance businesses.

David McMillan has landed the role of chief executive of UK general insurance. McMillan is currently chief operating officer, UK general insurance.

Toby Strauss who will be the new chief executive of UK life. Strauss is currently chief operating officer, UK life.

Cathryn Riley will be the new UK commercial director - a new role with responsibility for developing opportunities for the two UK businesses to work more effectively together. Riley is currently chief operating and information officer for Aviva’s European business

Craig Thornton who will be the new UK chief risk officer responsible for leading the risk management and governance agenda of the UK business. Thornton joins Aviva from Swiss Re where he is currently the managing director of the UK life and health reinsurance business.

Mark Hodges, who replaces Igal Mayer as chief executive in the New Year, said: “This new structure will underpin Aviva’s future growth in the UK, releasing the full potential of our brand and scale as the UK’s leading insurer. By bringing our UK businesses closer together under a single and highly experienced leadership team we can serve our customers, partners and our people more effectively and deliver profitable growth.”

Executive reshuffle

Aviva's executive team for the general insurance business, reporting to David McMillan, will include:

  • Clifford Abrahams who becomes finance director of UK general insurance on 1 March 2010 and replaces David Watson who is leaving Aviva in March 2010. Abrahams is currently Aviva’s chief M&A officer;
  • Axel Schmidt who becomes chief underwriting officer, UK General Insurance. Schmidt joins Aviva from Zurich Group where he was technical underwriting director in their global corporate division;
  • Seán Egan who becomes chief operating officer, UK General Insurance. Egan is currently chief information officer for UK General Insurance;
  • Janice Deakin who becomes intermediary & partnerships director, UK General Insurance, retaining her current responsibilities in this area;
  • Malcolm Simpkin who becomes chief information officer, UK General Insurance on 1 April 2010. Simpkin is currently CIO for Aviva’s European operations;
  • Diane Cougill becomes chief risk officer for UK General Insurance. Cougill is currently portfolio management director in UK General Insurance sales and marketing;
  • Valerie Markham who remains in her current role as HR director, UK General Insurance;
  • Two further appointments, managing director of corporate risks and retail director, will be announced in due course.

UK Commercial

Cathryn Riley will lead a new UK commercial team responsible for identifying opportunities for shared approaches in the UK Life and General Insurance operations. Greg Willmott will become UK strategy and development director, reporting to Riley, and will be responsible for developing best practice across the UK businesses. Willmott is currently strategy director in UK Life.

The UK commercial team will also comprise directors of shared services, marketing, IT architecture and strategic partnerships and appointments to these roles are set to be announced soon.