Strategy will continue to drive rates up

New general insurance boss at Aviva, David McMillan says he will “look to play a part” in driving up rates during 2010.

McMillan, who takes the helm as general insurance chief executive in the new year, said Aviva’s business strategy would remain the same.

He commented: “I think most of the insurance market is of the view that rates need to go up, so we will look to play a part in that.”

McMillan said it was still early days, and would not get drawn into talking about commissions with consolidators, which is likely to remain a key battleground for the UK’s largest insurer, having scaled back at the expense of commercial premium during this year.

McMillan, formerly chief operating officer at the insurer, said Aviva would continue to invest in its rebrand. “I think it would be naive for us to think you build a brand over six to nine months of advertising.”

McMillan and Aviva’s UK chief excutive Mark Hodges, who was appointed in October, will meet brokers in the next few weeks leading up to Christmas. McMillan said he had a “strong respect and regard” for sales and marketing director John Kitson, who is to leave in the new year.

McMillan’s appointment follows a shake-up involving a number of new faces taking on roles. Craig Thornton becomes chief risk officer, Cathryn Riley takes on a new post as commercial director, and Clifford Abrahams is appointed finance director for general insurance. Janice Deakin becomes intermediary and partnerships director, retaining her current responsibilities in the area. The team will work under Hodges.