Aviva could pay CEO up to $8.7 million for first year of turnaround

Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:38pm EDT
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By Chris Vellacott

LONDON (Reuters) - British insurer Aviva (AV.L: Quote) could pay its chief executive Mark Wilson up to 5.3 million pounds ($8.7 million) for his first year in the job he took on after a shareholder rebellion led to the departure of his predecessor.

According to Aviva's annual report for 2013, published late on Monday, Wilson's pay comprises a basic salary of 980,000 pounds plus a bonus of 1.1 million pounds, one third of which will be paid in cash with the rest paid in shares deferred for three years.

The company will also pay 293,000 pounds towards his pension while under a long term incentive plan he could in theory be entitled to a further 2.9 million pounds if targets are met.

However, long term incentives are rarely paid in their entirety and Aviva executives received just 35 percent of the maximum during the last pay round.

Wilson has steered a restructuring of the company since it recruited him from Asian rival AIA in late 2012, cutting costs, selling off non-core assets and reshaping top management.

When the company published forecast-beating earnings earlier in March, Wilson said top performing staff could expect bonuses to be reinstated a year after they were cut and senior employees saw pay frozen.

Aviva shares rose by more than a fifth during 2013.

The company had reined in executive pay to appease shareholders after half of them, angered at poor share price performance, voted against remuneration proposals in 2012, ultimately forcing out former chief executive Andrew Moss.   Continued...

People enter and exit the AVIVA headquarters building in Dublin October 19, 2011. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton