Aug 12, 2021

Aviva chief moves quickly and buys more critical time

It is clear that Aviva boss Amanda Blanc has a good sense of timing. In the process, Blanc has acquired a significant new shareholder, activist Cevian Capital, which in June revealed a 5 per cent stake and set testing targets for capital returns, cost cutting and the share price. Will the fact that Blanc's Big Number was not as hefty as Cevian's target for £5bn in returns be the prompt for a more aggressive stance? Ultimately that will require a stronger, more efficient, more consistent underlying business to support a much higher dividend; Cevian wants to see it more than double. For now Blanc has bought herself time to do just that.

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