Aviva plc appointed former Zurich Insurance executive Amanda Blanc as its new chief executive officer. She succeeds Maurice Tulloch, who has stepped down from the role for family health reasons.

Blanc is currently an independent non-executive director at Aviva plc, having been appointed to the Aviva board in January 2020. She chairs the Customer, Conduct and Reputation Board Committee.

Amanda Blanc/Aviva

“I want Aviva to be the leader in our industry again and the first choice for our customers and partners. My focus will be on achieving that for the benefit of all of our stakeholders,” Blanc in prepared remarks. “We will look at all our strategic opportunities and at pace.

Previously, Blanc was CEO, EMEA & Global Banking Partnerships at Zurich Insurance Group. Before that she was group CEO of AXA’s UK and Ireland business and has served as chair of the Association of British Insurers and president of the Chartered Insurance Institute.

Additionally, Blanc has also held senior positions at Towergate Insurance Brokers and Groupama Insurance Co. She started her career with Commercial Union, which subsequently became part of Aviva.

Blanc will step down from all of her current non-executive commitments. She will continue in her voluntary role as chair of the Welsh Professional Rugby Board.

Tulloch joined Aviva in 1992 and held a number of senior positions in the business during his time with the company. He joined the Aviva plc Board in 2017 and was appointed chief executive in March 2019.

Since that time, Tulloch has been in the process of reorganizing the company, which has had a sluggish share price and has not delivered the returns that shareholders expected. Tulloch’s predecessor, Mark Wilson, was pushed from the job after his work on transforming the company did not yield the expected results.

George Culmer, chairman of Aviva, said in prepared remarks that Tulloch made a “valuable contribution” to Aviva during his multiyear stint with the company.

“The board and I were saddened to hear of the personal reasons behind his desire to step down and we wish him and his family the very best for the future,” Culmer said.

In terms of its new CEO, Culmer said that the board was unanimous in its vote to make Blanc the company’s new leader.

“I know she will bring real dynamism to Aviva and re-establish our credentials as a high-performing, innovative and customer-centric business,” Culmer said.

Photograph: Aviva’s headquarters in London. Photo credit: Aviva

*A version of this story ran previously in our sister publication Insurance Journal.