Alongside its 2018 results, Aviva announced a new dividend policy to allow new boss Maurice Tulloch “financial flexibility” to implement his own strategy

New Aviva boss Maurice Tulloch has said that change will come quickly following his appointment four days ago.

Speaking on a results call this morning, while Tulloch said he planned to spend his first few weeks speaking with investors, colleagues and employees, he also said he had a strong view about the company’s strategic direction”.

He said there is “an awful lot of low-lying fruit” in areas to take action in outside of a single major strategic decision, including some parts he had been looking at already since his appointment on Monday.

He picked out complexities within Aviva and instances of duplication as two areas he would look at improving.

“I’m going to bring a different pace to Aviva,” he said. “This is how I’ve always operated. I’ve been appointed by the board to drive long-term growth and re-energise this company.

“We are far too complex and this is holding us back. This will change and quickly.”


In the UK, Tulloch picked out having a global head office and a UK head office as an example of where there was duplication in the company. He gave another example of where Aviva has 50 different versions of a property product.

“Simplifying the business is not only a good thing for our customers in getting clarity about the products and how we service our customers, it also gives us opportunities to create efficiencies,” he said.

“For a well-run insurance company, that’s got to be one of the things that you focus on.”

The company announced it is moving towards a progressive dividend policy to give itself “financial flexibility to make new strategic decisions and invest in growth opportunities”.

Aviva chief financial officer Tom Stoddard said: “What the board has done is provided a little more flexibility for Maurice to set his own strategy and then to establish financial targets that match up with that.”

The results showed a stable underwriting performance in the UK. The combined operating ratio was steady at 93.8% (2017: 93.9%), while net written premium improved by 3% to £4.2bn. The UK general insurance operating profit came in at £415m.

Overall, UK operating profit grew 7% to £2.3bn.