Aviva boss handed £4.3m pay package after bumper bonuses

Aviva CEO Mark Wison
Aviva CEO Mark Wison

The boss of insurance giant Aviva landed a £4.3 million pay package for 2017 after enjoying a salary hike and picking up nearly £3m in bonuses and shares.

Chief executive Mark Wilson saw his annual salary rise by £26,000 - or 2.5% - to £1.03m last year, while he was awarded a £1.9m annual bonus and £966,000 in long-term incentive scheme shares, plus another £395,000 for pensions and benefits.

His overall pay was slightly lower than the £4.5m in 2016 due to a smaller long-term incentive scheme shares windfall, down from £1.3m.

Aviva’s annual report revealed he is in line for another 3% salary rise this year as part of a total package that could see him potentially earn £6.8m.

The group’s remuneration committee chairwoman Patricia Cross said the 3% pay rise for executive directors was “consistent with other Aviva employees in the UK”.

She added that under the long-term incentive plan (LTIP), “maximum payouts require performance that significantly exceeds expected performance under both the annual bonus and LTIP”.

The pay details follow just over a week after Aviva’s climbdown over its controversial proposal to cancel £450m of preference shares.

Aviva had said it would cancel the shares at par value as part of a plan to return £500m to shareholders.

But heavy criticism from investors and the Financial Conduct Authority saw it scrap the move and pledge to maintain the shares, which pay high fixed dividends.

Mr Wilson’s bumper 2017 pay deal follows a robust performance last year, with recent results showing operating profits up 2% to £3bn, driven by a strong performance in the UK.

Aviva’s British insurance arm saw profits increase 13% to £2.2 billion.