Great Eastern’s CEO heads to Aviva

UPDATE: Competing insurance firm Aviva has hired Chris Wei as CEO global life insurance and chairman Asia.

In this new role, Wei will lead Aviva's life insurance businesses across the group.  Wei will be tasked to provide strategic direction to Aviva's life insurance businesses. Other key strategic duties include ensuring the success of Aviva's UK life insurance business and also driving the future growth of Aviva’s Asian operations.

Wei will take up his new role at Aviva in October 2014.

Mark Wilson, group chief executive officer, said: “I am delighted that Wei is joining Aviva. He brings an outstanding track record and has the strategic and financial acumen to make a difference to our life insurance businesses.  Chris’s appointment demonstrates the extent of our ambition for our life insurance operations.

Wei added: “With Aviva’s exceptional history and strong life insurance franchises around the world, we have the building blocks to take the business to the next level.  Aviva will succeed by a passionate focus on our customers, putting them at the heart of all we do. ”


Great Eastern’s group chief executive officer, Christopher Wei, has resigned. Wei will be moving on to a new role with another multi-national corporation and his last day of service with the Company will be 30 September 2014. Wei, who previously had experience leading marketing, took an active role in overseeing marketing in the organisation. (Read also: Great Eastern’s Group CEO on what the C-suite expects of marketing)

Great Eastern is currently on the search for a new Group CEO. In a statement released on Thursday, the company stated that Norman Ip, currently chairman, will assume an executive role during this leadership transition. Meanwhile Great Eastern’s country CEOs in the respective countries will ensure the smooth day-to-day running of the business.

Wei said: "It has truly been an honour to lead Great Eastern these past three plus years and to serve the millions of customers who have entrusted us with their insurance and financial planning needs. I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished, and I am convinced that GE will continue to be an increasingly strong force in the financial services industry.”

He added that his decision to leave has been strongly influenced by personal factors and geography and the desire to spend more time with family in Hong Kong.

“It was a difficult decision for me but I leave knowing that the business is in excellent shape and in capable hands."

Ip added: "Under Wei's stewardship, we have strengthened the Great Eastern brand, enhanced our customer value proposition and deepened our market-leading positions in Singapore and Malaysia.”

Great Eastern has SG$61.8 billion in assets and around 4.7 million policyholders. The group operates in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Brunei and has a joint venture in China as well as a representative office in Myanmar.