Commentaries

Now raising intellectual capital

Aviva ceo gets vote of confidence from chairman. Oh dear.

-

It’s an iron law of business that whenever a chairman talks publicly of his complete confidence in his chief executive, he hasn’t got it. Andrew Moss must be hoping that Aviva, the UK’s biggest insurance group, is the exception that tests the rule.

His chairman, Colin Sharman, told The Times about his “full confidence” following the disclosure that Moss has left his wife for a relationship with a director from the company’s HR department.

As Alphaville was quick to point out, Aviva’s interim report for 2008 dribbled on about a rather different sort of triangle. This one “has been developed to explain the purpose, vision, targets and strategic priorities of the group”. I make that four sides, but never mind.

Insurance companies are not the only ones that seem to have been taken over by people to whom English is a foreign language, but perhaps it’s the nature of what they do that encourages elision and obfuscation. Here’s the “group strategy” from that same interim statement:

  •