Aviva Appoints 3i Group’s Adrian Montague as Chairman

Aviva Plc, the U.K.’s second-largest insurer by market value, named Adrian Montague as non-executive chairman, replacing John McFarlane, who is taking up the same job at Barclays Plc.

Montague, 66, who joined the board of Aviva in 2013, will take up the post after McFarlane steps down at the company’s annual general meeting in April, according to a statement today. McFarlane succeeds David Walker as chairman of the British bank.

“It will be a privilege to chair Aviva,” Montague said in the statement. “McFarlane has been an extraordinary chairman and has made an immense contribution to Aviva’s recovery. We are disappointed that he is leaving, but understand his excellent credentials to chair Barclays.”

Montague is also non-executive chairman of private-equity firm 3i Group Plc, Manchester Airports Group Plc and is due to retire as chairman of Anglian Water Group Ltd. in March. He takes over from McFarlane, who was hired to help turnaround the insurer beset by Europe’s financial crisis and a shareholder rebellion that sparked the resignation of former CEO Andrew Moss.

Montague was chairman of U.K. insurer Friends Provident Group Plc between 2005 and 2009 which was bought by Clive Cowdery’s Resolution Ltd. for 1.9 billion pounds in August of 2009. The company today forms part of Friend’s Life Group Ltd.

Since starting in July 2012, McFarlane has overseen a strategic review of Aviva, the appointment of Mark Wilson as CEO and an 86 percent recovery in Aviva’s share price. The announcement of his appointment reversed a decline in Barclays’ shares, which rose as much as 2 percent.

Aviva fell 0.1 percent to 530.5 pence at 11:30 a.m. in London.

Montague’s appointment was approved by the Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority, according to the statement.

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