New Aviva boss pay doubles after insurer turns around to record bumper profits
The chief executive of Aviva has more than doubled his pay packet to £5.7 million after guiding the firm to bumper profits and snapping up rival insurer Friends Life.
Mark Wilson pocketed an annual bonus of £1.8 million on top of a £980,000 salary, as the insurer’s full-year operating profits beat expectations, climbing by a fifth to £2.7 billion.
However, his pay rise was largely driven by a £2.6 million award from the firm’s long-term incentive plan, which paid out for the first time since Mr Wilson joined the company three years ago.
It means his total pay for 2015 – including pension contributions of £280,000 – rose to £5.7 million, up from £2.6 million the year before.
The details of Mr Wilson’s payout comes as the insurer’s chief financial officer Tom Stoddard also saw his total pay packet boosted, rising to £2.9 million from £1.2 million in 2014.
Aviva announced earlier this month that its full-year performance was bolstered by a 24% surge in the value of new business – its twelfth consecutive quarter of growth – while life insurance operating profits stepped up 20% to £2.4 billion.
The company said it was also on course to deliver £225 million-worth of cost savings following its tie-up with Friends Life by the end of 2016 – a year ahead of schedule.
In its annual report, it said the group saw a “strong year” under Mark Wilson’s leadership as he came close to beating all of the company’s financial targets.
It also said the takeover of Friends Life was “another major achievement” which made the group stronger.
Aviva bought Friends Life for £5.6 billion in April last year, sealing the industry’s biggest merger since 2000 and creating a group comprising 31,500 employees.
The insurer previously announced that the deal would trigger the loss of about 1,500 jobs, almost 5% of its workforce.
The company said at the beginning of the month that it had a Solvency II coverage ratio of 180% and a surplus of £9.7 billion under the new Solvency II rules, which require insurance companies to prove they can withstand a shock of the scale seen during the last financial crisis.
It added that, despite the impact of the recent floods, it had stepped up the combined ratio of its general insurance business to 94.6% – its best for nine years.