Mark Wilson (businessman)

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Mark Wilson
Aviva Group CEO Mark Wilson.jpg
Mark Wilson
Mark Andrew Wilson

(1966-08-22) 22 August 1966 (age 52)
NationalityNew Zealander
EducationUniversity of Waikato
SalaryGBP £4.4 million (total compensation)[1]
TitleChief Executive, Aviva
PredecessorAndrew Moss
SuccessorMaurice Tulloch
Board member ofBlackRock

Mark Andrew Wilson (born 22 August 1966)[2] is a New Zealand businessman, who was appointed the chief executive officer (CEO) of Aviva on 1 January 2013. He stood down from his position on 9 October 2018.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Wilson grew up in Rotorua, New Zealand[4] and was educated at the University of Waikato.[5]


Wilson joined National Mutual, an insurance business based in New Zealand in 1987, and progressed through the management structure.[6] He became chief executive of AXA South East Asia in 2001, chief executive of AXA Hong Kong in 2003 and chief executive of AIA in March 2009.[6] He went on to become chief executive officer (CEO) of Aviva on 1 January 2013.[7] In March 2018, Wilson was appointed as a non-executive director of BlackRock.[8]

Wilson was named in the 2016 Debrett's list of Britain's 500 most influential people, a group of individuals who have influenced or made a difference to British society.[9] He was included in that year's list for his role in returning the British insurer to profit and finalising the £5.6bn acquisition of Friends Life, the largest takeover in the insurance sector in nearly 15 years.[10] The merger turned Aviva into one of the UK's largest investors, managing £300bn-plus in assets.[11]

In 2016 Wilson was ranked 12th in Bloomberg's evaluation of the world's best value CEOs. Bloomberg looked at the pay-for-performance ratio of 100 CEOs at some of the largest companies around the world to see which companies are getting the best value from their CEO.[12]

Wilson was listed in the 2016 Debrett's 500 List as one Britain's most influential people in finance for returning the insurance multinational to profit and overseeing the Friends Life acquisition.[13]

Business experience[edit]

Wilson was credited with steering AIA through the financial crisis – a period that saw parent company AIG bailed out by the US government. He prepared AIA for its flotation on the stock market in Hong Kong in 2010, increasing the company's value to $36bn at the time of listing.[14]

He has continued his turnaround work at Aviva, which had run into difficulty at the point of his arrival. Wilson refocused its life and general insurance businesses[15] and bolstered its balance sheet.[16] Under Wilson's leadership, Moody's upgraded Aviva Plc's senior unsecured debt rating to A2 from A3 and Aviva Plc's commercial paper rating to P-1 from P-2.[17]

Having turned around Aviva's performance, he is now looking to transform Aviva into a fintech firm.[18] Opening 'Digital Garages',[19] setting up a new insurance digital business in Hong Kong with Tencent and Hillhouse Capital,[20] the MyAviva digital hub and Aviva's investment in its own digital transformation are all indicators of Wilson's effectiveness in achieving this aim.[21]

Social purpose[edit]

On 25 September 2015 Wilson joined 193 world leaders to commit to the Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations in New York.[22][23] In a rare opportunity for a private sector CEO,[24] Wilson addressed a UN General Assembly plenary session on behalf of the global business community, calling for business and governments to work together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.[25] He was also a leader in setting up the World Benchmarking Alliance, a set of league tables scoring companies against their sector peers on their responses to major sustainability issues.[26] Wilson stated his aim as being to “turn the SDGs into a corporate competitive sport”.[27]

He is also a member of the EAT Foundation advisory board, which he joined in June 2017. The Foundation’s ambition is to reform the global food system so that it is sustainable and supports a growing global population with healthy food from a healthy planet.[28]

Wilson has written about various social issues including putting the brakes on fraudulent insurance claims,[29] tackling Britain's retirement savings inertia[30] and ensuring everyone plays their part to keep the flood threat at bay.[31]

Wilson is a chairman of the Geneva Association, the international think-tank of the insurance industry.[32]

He is a member of the development board of the Royal Foundation for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.[33]

He stepped down from his position as CEO of Aviva on 9 October 2018.[3]


Wilson received a distinguished alumni award from Waikato University in 2017.[34]


  1. ^ "Annual Report 2016" (PDF). Aviva. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Mark Andrew Wilson". 11 December 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Aviva Chief Executive Mark Wilson steps down". Business Insider. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Mark Wilson – Aviva plc". 17 November 2017. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Insurer credits NZ experience for global success". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  6. ^ a b Stocks. "Stocks". Bloomberg. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  7. ^ Julia Kollewe. "Aviva appoints Mark Wilson chief executive – but no 'golden hello' | Business". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  8. ^ "BlackRock adds Microsoft, Aviva executives to board". Reuters. 15 March 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Mark Wilson". Archived from the original on 11 March 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  10. ^ "Aviva Agrees £5bn Deal To Buy Friends Life". Sky News. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  11. ^ Julia Kollewe. "Aviva and Friends Life report forecast-beating annual profits ahead of takeover". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  12. ^ "Best value CEOs". Bloomberg. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  13. ^ "Finance – Debrett's". 20 June 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  14. ^ Julia Kollewe. "Aviva appoints Mark Wilson chief executive – but no 'golden hello' | Business". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Aviva: an insurance stock that could come to life". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Mark Wilson has put Aviva back in the game – Bottom Line | City A.M". City A.M. 8 August 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Research: Rating Action: Moody's upgrades Aviva Plc's senior debt rating to A2, stable outlook – Moody's". Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  18. ^ PA  28 May 2017, 9:25 (28 May 2017). "Aviva embracing artificial intelligence in quest to become fintech firm – AOL UK News". Retrieved 15 March 2018.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  19. ^ "Aviva eyeing AI and big data in bid to become fintech firm". The Daily Telegraph. 28 May 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  20. ^ "Chinese internet giant strikes deal with a secretive investor and a UK insurer". Wall Street Journal Accessdate=15 March 2018.
  21. ^ Oscar Williams-Grut May. 25, 2017, 2:01 am 4,976 (25 May 2017). "Aviva CEO Mark Wilson: Acquisition, turning insurer into fintech – Business Insider". Retrieved 15 March 2018.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  22. ^ "Unanimously Adopting Historic Sustainable Development Goals, General Assembly Shapes Global Outlook for Prosperity, Peace | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases". 25 September 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  23. ^ "Aviva Group CEO Mark Wilson speaks at the United Nations". YouTube. 1 October 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  24. ^ "Kiwi gives rare address to UN assembly". New Zealand Herald. 6 October 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  25. ^ "Aviva calls on United Nations to agree sustainable finance plan". Reuters. 28 September 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  26. ^ "WBA". World Benchmarking Alliance. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  27. ^ "RI Interview: Mark Wilson, CEO of Aviva Plc, launches the World Benchmarking Alliance for sustainability". Responsible Investor. 18 September 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  28. ^ "Advisory Board | EAT". Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  29. ^ Wilson, Mark (27 September 2014). "'We need to put the brakes on compensation culture'". Telegraph. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  30. ^ Wilson, Mark. "MARK WILSON: Why we must tackle Britain's retirement savings inertia | Daily Mail Online". Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  31. ^ Wilson, Mark (15 February 2014). "Everyone must play their part to keep the flood threat at bay". Telegraph. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  32. ^ "Board of Directors". Geneva Association. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  33. ^ "Mark Wilson: Chief Executive Officer, Aviva PLC". Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  34. ^ (30 March 2017). "Celebrating our distinguished alumni – News Stories : University of Waikato". Retrieved 3 April 2017.