Aviva’s most senior boss quits

Sir Adrian Montague has announced he is leaving Aviva. Pic: Aviva

Sir Adrian Montague has announced he is leaving Aviva. Pic: Aviva

The insurance giant chairman is to walk away from the role after the firm launched a new strategy for going forward with a new management team.

Aviva in Norwich. Pic: Archant

Aviva in Norwich. Pic: Archant

Sir Adrian Montague, Aviva's chairman, has announced he will be retiring once a successor has been appointed.

It comes after the MD of general insurance, Rob Townend, announced in September he would be stepping down after more than 23 years in the position.

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The restructuring followed news in June that Aviva, which employs 16,400 people across the UK and 30,000 globally, was looking to reduce expenses by £300m per year by 2022, from £4bn to £3.7bn - resulting in 1,800 job losses. The firm said these would be mostly through natural wastage, although did not rule out redundancies at the time.

Sir Adrian was appointed chairman of Aviva in April 2015, having joined as a non-executive director in January 2013. The board has initiated a process for the appointment of a successor.

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Sir Adrian said: "When I became chairman in 2015 the board asked me to commit to serve for at least five years. Now that Maurice (Maurice Tulloch, CEO) 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.

"In the meantime I remain committed to this great organisation which I am confident will deliver for all its customers, employees and shareholders".

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".

Last year, Aviva, with a main office in Surrey Street, Norwich, paid circa £33bn in claims and benefits on behalf of 33m customers.

In November the firm announced it was resurrecting the 'Norwich Union' brand for a new specialist product after it was dropped more than a decade ago. The brand will be back in business for the first time since 2009, when it became fully absorbed into Aviva following its takeover in 2002.