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Aviva announces plans to dump Norwich Union brand

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by Kay Mitchell

Aviva has stunned the insurance sector by announcing it is to scrap the Norwich Union brand name.

Norwich Union is the biggest life-insurer in the UK with a strong position in car insurance and has been one of the country’s best-known financial services brands for over 200 years.

Aviva’s chief executive since last July, Andrew Moss, unveiled the plans and said it is part of plans to unify the group under a single brand throughout the world.

Mr Moss, who has already re-branded Morley, the insurer’s fund manager as Aviva Investors, is also dumping the Hibernian brand for Ireland and the Commercial Union name in Poland.

Speaking of his actions, he said it is a move we have been considering for some time. It is clear we need one name our customers will recognise wherever they are in the world.

Mr Moss said he did not expect the name change to affect sales and dismissed suggestions that customers would abandon a brand they no longer related to, or that the insurer would find it harder to attract UK policyholders to the Aviva brand.

Moss declined to comment on the cost of the measure, but said the group was ready to make a considerable investment.

Aviva said it remains committed to the City of Norwich, where the insurer is the largest local private sector employee. Some 6,700 staff are on the payroll in Norwich which houses call centre operations and acts as the headquarters for the UK general insurance operations.

Aviva was formed by a merger of Norwich Union and CGU plc in 2000. The group was renamed Aviva in 2002.

Norwich Union is currently the biggest sponsor of UK athletics.

Aviva also announced it has gained a 3-year shirt sponsorship deal with Norwich City Football club.

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News posted: April 30, 2008

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