Canadian Underwriter

CGNU to adopt new name; cuts dividend

February 27, 2002   by Canadian Underwriter

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U.K.-based CGNU says it is changing a few things, beginning with its name. The company, including its Canadian operations will be called Aviva, a name chosen to reflect the company’s international focus. Currently the company operates with 50 different names worldwide.
“We are looking forward to adopting the worldwide brand in Canada” says Igal Mayer, president and CEO of CGU Group Canada Ltd. “We are now working on a detailed plan to re-brand our operations in Canada and expect that we will implement this change early in 2003.”
At the same time, the parent company announces it will cut its annual dividend to shareholders by 40% starting in 2002. The 2001 dividend is 38 pence, but will drop to 23 pence next year, a savings of almost US$500 million per year. That money will go to new business growth, says CGNU head Richard Harvey.
The company has seen declining capital, partly due to dividend payments and acquisitions, in the past several years. However, in 2001, CGNU saw its combined ratio improve to 102% and its operating profits rise 133%, largely owing to life and pension sales.

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