How the UK’s insurance giant Aviva PLC (LON:AV) keeps delivering profit growth — by getting the basics right, says CEO Mark Wilson. Aviva’s fourth consecutive year of operating profit growth comes with a big bonus for investors as the multi-line insurance giant raised dividends by 13%.
“We are growing and investing in the UK… We have grown top line sales and bottom line profit in UK general insurance, pensions, annuities and protection… Our digital business continues to make progress, making insurance simpler and more convenient for customers”, added Mr Wilson, who has been instrumental in the transformation of Aviva from a bloated global enterprise operating in more than 30 countries to a growth-focused entity currently operating in 16 countries.
51-year-old Wilson took all the hard, mass layoffs, and strategic—largest deal (£6 billion acquisition of rival Friends Life Group) in the UK’s insurance industry—decisions to drive value for shareholders. And his success couldn’t have a better measure than the company’s market capitalization, which doubled since he took the reins as the CEO.
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Although Wilson’s leadership has been impressive, it’s always good to fend-off competition in a tough industry like insurance, where online marketplaces and direct sales are the top growth channels, reports Financial Times. Banks form another important source of bulk-revenues as they package insurance policies in the deals offered to clients. How about a ten-year distribution deal with the largest bank in Europe? Aviva beat its competitors to sign that deal with HSBC.
“I am tremendously pleased to be announcing this new partnership with HSBC to provide customers with a wide range of general insurance products, delivered in ways which are simple and convenient for customers… “This agreement – one of the largest ever in UK insurance – underlines Aviva’s offering and growth potential in the UK”, commented Wilson in a statement Thursday.