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Aviva chairman steps down amid major overhaul

By August Graham, PA City Reporter

The chairman of Aviva will make room for new blood at the top as the business embarks on a major plan to cut costs.

Sir Adrian Montague said he would step down this year, as soon as the company can find someone to succeed him.

Depending on how long the recruitment takes, Sir Adrian could get a chance to mark his five-year anniversary at the head of the board, having taken the role in April 2015. He had joined the insurer’s board two years before.

“When I became chairman in 2015 the board asked me to commit to serve for at least five years,” Sir Adrian said.

Aviva’s new chief executive Maurice Tulloch has outlined a plan which would bring major change to the insurer, pledging to run the business better. It includes a cost-cutting initiative which would see bills slashed by around £300 million a year.

In June the group announced plans to axe 1,800 jobs, just months into Mr Tulloch’s tenure at the top.

The company also agreed to sell its joint venture in Hong Kong, called Blue, last year, and was in talks to find a buyer for its Vietnamese and Indonesian businesses.

Sir Adrian said: “Now that Maurice has launched Aviva’s strategy, a new senior management team is in place and the board has been refreshed, it is also time for a new chairman.”

Before joining the insurer Sir Adrian had been deputy chairman of Network Rail, and the Green Investment Bank. He is also chairman of the Manchester Airports Group and Cadent Gas.

He served as executive chairman for five months before Mr Tulloch was chosen to take charge.

George Culmer, senior independent director, said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to express our deep thanks to Adrian for his service, leadership and guidance over the past seven years.

“Adrian has chaired Aviva through a period of considerable change and departs with our very best wishes for the strong legacy he leaves.”