June 19, 2021
Markets

Activist Cevian takes Aviva stake, seeks 5 bln stg capital return

The Aviva logo sits outside the company head office in the city of London, Britain March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

Activist investor Cevian Capital said Aviva should return 5 billion pounds ($7.08 billion) of excess capital in 2022 after revealing it has built up a near 5% stake in the British insurer, putting new CEO Amanda Blanc under pressure to accelerate changes.

Aviva, which has sold eight businesses since the appointment of Blanc as CEO in July 2020, said last month it had raised 7.5 billion pounds from disposals and planned to return money to shareholders, without putting a figure on it.

“Aviva has been poorly managed for many years, and its high-quality core businesses have been held back by high costs and a series of bad strategic decisions,” Christer Gardell, managing partner and co-founder of Cevian said in a statement.

Analysts have said the insurer would have between…

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