Amanda Blanc’s plans for Aviva to become a UK champion receive a mixed market reception 

Avvia’s share price have fallen back again as the market reacted to new chief executive Amanda Blanc’s Aviva strategy.

Aviva’s share price initially rose 5% when Blanc revealed her UK champion strategy and a restoration of the dividend.

Blanc revealed her plans to analysts yesterday. 

But today the share fell back down to 288p - the same level as before Blanc’s announcements - with doubts emerging about her strategy.

Hargreaves Lansdown equity analyst Nicholas Hyett said: “The words may be different, but it’s pretty much the same playbook Aviva’s been working from for years. Blanc will have some work to do at the full year to show why her plan will succeed where others have struggled.

“The good news for shareholders is that dividends are back, something analysts hadn’t expected, but with a policy review coming up at the end of the year, and an ambition to cut debt, future payments are likely to be lower.”

Shareholder activist Philip Meadowcroft feared Blanc’s plans were too similar to previous chief executives, and Aviva was slipping into the Vauxhall Conference League.

He said: “Wake me up when something is going to happen. We are making all sorts of Churchillian type noises. 

”Although, perhaps we may have to give her a bit more time. 

”If the November analysts’ meeting takes place she’ll have to demonstrate what has been achieved.”

Blanc gains support 

Despite the share fall back and doubts creeping in, Blanc’s strategy did get some support from influential analysts.

Gordon Aitken, RBC Capital Markets Analysts said Blanc’s opening gambit was a ‘punchy statement of intent’.

Berenberg analysts said Blanc’s start was ‘solid’ there were ’signs of a new dawn after Groundhog Day.’

Berenberg said they ’would look for more sustained signs of a turnaround before becoming buyers’.

 Not subscribed? Click here to join 

Breaking up Aviva: The greatest puzzle in UK insurance 

Aviva office

Aviva office