Currencies

China capital curbs reflect buyer’s remorse over market reforms

Last year the reformist head of China’s central bank convinced his Communist party bosses to give market forces a bigger say in setting the renminbi’s daily “reference rate” against the US dollar. In return, Zhou Xiaochuan assured his more conservative party colleagues that the redback would finally secure coveted recognition as an official reserve currency […]

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Capital Markets

Mnuchin expected to be Trump’s Treasury secretary

Donald Trump has chosen Steven Mnuchin as his Treasury secretary, US media outlets reported on Tuesday, positioning the former Goldman Sachs banker to be the latest Wall Street veteran to receive a top administration post. Mr Mnuchin chairs both Dune Capital Management and Dune Entertainment Partners and has been a longtime business associate of Mr […]

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Banks

Financial system more vulnerable after Trump victory, says BoE

The US election outcome has “reinforced existing vulnerabilities” in the financial system, the Bank of England has warned, adding that the outlook for financial stability in the UK remains challenging. The BoE said on Wednesday that vulnerabilities that were already considered “elevated” have worsened since its last report on financial stability in July, in the […]

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Currencies

China stock market unfazed by falling renminbi

China’s renminbi slump has companies and individuals alike scrambling to move capital overseas, but it has not damped the enthusiasm of China’s equity investors. The Shanghai Composite, which tracks stocks on the mainland’s biggest exchange, has been gradually rising since May. That is the opposite of what happened in August 2015 after China’s surprise renminbi […]

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Financial

Hard-hit online lender CAN Capital makes executive changes

The biggest online lender to small businesses in the US has pulled down the shutters and put its top managers on a leave of absence, in the latest blow to an industry grappling with mounting fears over credit quality. Atlanta-based CAN Capital said on Tuesday that it had replaced a trio of senior executives, after […]

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Categorized | Insurance

Aviva appoints finance director


Posted on February 28, 2014

Mark Wilson, chief executive of Aviva, has poached another associate from his time working in Asia, appointing a leading banker as the FTSE 100 insurer’s new finance director.

Tom Stoddard, the Blackstone banker who formerly advised AIA, the pan-Asia insurer that Mr Wilson used to run will join Aviva in May. He has been advising the insurer since Mr Wilson took the helm of the UK-based insurer last year.

    His appointment comes just one month after Pat Regan, the incumbent who missed out on the chief executive job, quit the insurer to join Australian rival QBE.

    The speedy hire comes at a time when several big financial services companies are searching for a finance director. In the insurance sector alone, both Old Mutual and Standard Life are also looking to fill the vacancies. Standard Life has been trying to find a replacement for Jackie Hunt for almost 10 months.

    Executives complain the Prudential Regulation Authority is taking a tougher line on appointments, especially of candidates outside the industry. But Aviva said regulators had already approved Mr Stoddard’s appointment.

    As head of global financial institutions advisory at Blackstone, Mr Stoddard has been advising Mr Wilson over the past year on how to rebuild Aviva’s balance sheet.

    The duo began working together when AIG was eyeing a listing of its Asia arm AIA. The plans were put on hold and Prudential of the UK made a bid, which was fought by Mr Wilson. The contentious Pru deal fell through and the listing ultimately went ahead.

    Blackstone also worked with Mr Wilson on various prospective private equity deals he looked at in Asia between his jobs at AIA and Aviva.

    As part of a wider management overhaul at Aviva, Mr Wilson has also brought in two former colleagues from AIA since he joined: Nick Amin and Khor Hock Seng. He has also promoted some existing Aviva managers and executives including David McMillan, Maurice Tulloch and Jason Windsor.

    Aviva unveiled the finance director appointment ahead of its annual results next week, which will detail its financial performance during Mr Wilson’s first year in charge.

    Profits are expected to be dented by flood-related losses in Canada and the UK. Investors will want to see evidence of underlying progress on cash generation, cost savings and plans to revitalise underperforming businesses.