Brokers unsure on Aviva Canada CEO change

Published: January 30, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



Canadian insurance brokers are on board with the recent changes made at Intact Insurance, but are more cautious of Aviva Canada’s new president and CEO. A poll conducted by Canadian Underwriter shows that brokers are willing to “wait and see” what Aviva’s executive change brings to the market.

Aviva Canada is the country’s second largest property and casualty insurance provider. Earlier this month, the company announced current CEO Greg Somerville is leaving his role to become a non-executive director. Somerville will step down on Mar. 1, 2018. Colm Holmes has been named as the incoming successor president and CEO.

Brokers are being cautious about how the change will affect their partnerships with Aviva Canada and are waiting for signs the new CEO is eager to promote a direct channel. Insurance companies are increasingly seeking to cut out the broker, and while Aviva Canada has not discussed its direction, a new CEO could take the company in a direct channel direction.

“This is an unknown. As a broker, I would be concerned about Aviva’s direct strategies vs their broker strategies — particularly as the new leader comes from England, where there seems to be more of a focus on direct.” Said one broker participating in the poll.

Canadian Underwriter asked brokers what they feel about CEO changes at Intact and Aviva Canada. 401 brokers participated, with 68% saying they conduct business with Aviva. Canadian Underwriter explains the poll results:

“Slightly more than half of brokers polled said they disagreed strongly (21.23%) or disagreed somewhat (33.96%) with the statement. “I understand how this leadership change will affect my business relationship with Aviva.”

Of those who said they understood the impact, 55% said they either disagreed somewhat or disagreed strongly with statement: “The leadership change at Aviva will positively affect my business relationship with Aviva.” Forty-one agreed somewhat with the statement, while another 4% agreed strongly.”