Aviva has appointed Simon Phipps, an employee of 18 years standing including a stint as head of IFA sales in the UK, as general manager and principal officer in Hong Kong. He is joined by Benny Law, former strategic planning and marketing manager for Ing China, who becomes head of marketing for Aviva in Hong Kong.

Phipps is charged with extending AvivaÆs product distribution while Law will be responsible for product development and branding activities for the companyÆs life business.

Since entering the Hong Kong market in 2002 Aviva has become the 12th biggest insurance provider in terms of annual premium equivalent and, according to Law, aims to become a top 10 provider over the course of this year.

ôOur business is focussed on two main distribution channels,ö he adds. ôWe sell through the bancassurance model through our link-up with DBS and through the independent financial adviser market, which together make up 40% of Hong KongÆs insurance market.ö

Aviva offers a full suite of insurance products including investment-linked, single premium, life and medical plans. The range includes fund link-ups with major Hong Kong investment providers including Fidelity and, Law says, Aviva has a key advantage over its market rivals in the form of its Singapore administration hub which he says is able to process claims and applications in real time for Hong Kong customers.

Aviva was formed in 2000 after the merger of British insurers CGU and Norwich Union.