New IR director at Aviva

Apr 29, 2013
<p>Insurance firm brings in former Goldman Sachs vice president</p>

Aviva names Colin Simpson as its new director of investor relations, reporting direct to Pat Regan, the insurance giant’s chief financial officer.

Prior to joining Aviva – one of Europe’s largest insurers, proving 34 million customers with insurance, savings and investment products – Simpson served as vice president at Goldman Sachs equity research, and lead analyst on pan-European large cap life insurers, says Aviva.

The Actuarial Science graduate worked at Bear Sterns for two years, holding a number of positions including vice president, equity research and pricing manager, before moving to Goldman Sachs in 2008.

‘Colin will be instrumental in the delivery and communication of our new investment thesis and is an excellent addition to the team,’ says Regan in the press release. ‘He brings with him extensive experience of the insurance sector, its investors and analysts. We look forward to him joining us over the coming weeks.’

Simpson’s appointment comes as Charles Barrows prepares to move back to Aviva’s Life business, after eight years in IR, says the company in a statement, with Regan thanking Barrows for his ‘significant contribution’ as IR director.

With slashed dividends and a 2012 loss of more than £3 bn, ‘driven principally by writedowns we have previously announced due to the agreed sale of our US business,’ according to CEO Mark Wilson, Simpson could face a challenging year ahead as Aviva continues its turnaround plans.

Although Wilson explained in the company’s year-end results in March that ‘operating profit levels were healthy across our major businesses, especially in the UK, France and Canada,’ he also talked about the changes being made, including a disposal program. ‘To move forward, Aviva has had to make some difficult choices,’ said Wilson, who joined the firm in December last year and took up the position of CEO on January 1, 2013. ‘The decisions we have made are realistic, provide clarity and address the uncertainty that has surrounded our stock. It is now up to Aviva to deliver the performance.’

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