Aviva mulls sell-offs as new boss Blanc vows Bri­tish fo­cus

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Michael O’Dwyer

AVIVA could launch a wave of cor­po­rate sell-offs in a back-to-ba­sics drive as its new boss fo­cuses her at­ten­tion on the UK in­sur­ance sec­tor.

Amanda Blanc, the chief ex­ec­u­tive, vowed to con­cen­trate on grow­ing the FTSE 100 firm’s strong­est busi­nesses in Bri­tain, Ire­land and Canada – even if that meant cut­ting back oper­a­tions else­where in the world.

Speak­ing a month into the top job af­ter pre­de­ces­sor Mau­rice Tul­loch was ousted amid de­mands for a faster turn­around, she also warned the div­i­dend could be cut fol­low­ing a re­view later this year. The shake-up will raise ques­tions over the fu­ture of Aviva’s oper­a­tions in Europe and Asia, which serve mil­lions of cus­tomers.

Ms Blanc said there may be “bet­ter own­ers for th­ese busi­nesses than Aviva in the longer term”, but would not be drawn on spe­cific sale plans.

It will pay a sec­ond in­terim div­i­dend of 6p per share af­ter can­celling its ful­lyear pay­out for 2019 ear­lier in the pan­demic due to reg­u­la­tory pres­sure.

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