Jun 8, 2021

Cevian calls on Aviva to step up returns after building stake

Cevian, Europe's largest activist investor, has called on Aviva to return £5bn in excess capital to shareholders next year after building an almost 5 per cent stake in the FTSE 100 insurer. Cevian, which manages more than $16bn on behalf of about 350 pension funds, endowments and other global investors, started building its Aviva stake early this year, according to a person familiar with the matter. Aviva has promised substantial returns and cost reductions as central planks of its strategy shift under Blanc, who has told investors that her mantra is to move quickly. Aviva's share price of just above £4 should climb to more than £8 within three years, based on a more than doubling in the full-year dividend to 45p, Cevian estimates. Aviva is not the first UK insurer targeted by Cevian.

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