Move effectively makes Ireland a division of UK
Published 19/10/2011 | 05:00
The name Aviva first appeared in the Irish market as part of a controversial rebranding strategy after it purchased Ireland's oldest insurer, Hibernian.
In 2008, Hibernian announced it would be renamed as part of a global rebranding campaign to have all of London-based Aviva's subsidiaries operate under the same name.
In January 2009 the company was renamed as 'Hibernian Aviva' and in December 2009 the company was rebranded as simply 'Aviva' to coincide with its €40m deal to buy the naming rights for the redeveloped Lansdowne Road stadium.
The move was part of the group's ambitious investment plans for the Irish arm of Europe's biggest insurance group.
Aviva also purchased Vivas, a health insurance company established by former VHI boss Oliver Tattan, which put it into direct competition with the VHI and Bupa, which later became Quinn Insurance. Part of that business is still owned by AIB.
Aviva also set up its European headquarters in Dublin as part of its plan to dominate the Irish market. But the company, like everyone else, thought the Celtic Tiger would continue to roar and that its business would rapidly expand.
Instead, as the country's finances collapsed, the demand for its products also fell with its life and general insurance operations being worst affected.
Now the company is retrenching and will effectively run its business in Ireland as another division of its UK business.
It is an embarrassing and spectacularly disastrous outcome for the firm that has cost more than 1,000 of its Irish staff their jobs.