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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Aviva boss to tackle Malawi challenge

14 June 2007

The boss of Norwich Union's parent company this week revealed he will swap the boardroom for the villages of Kenya and Malawi when he quits his job next month.

Richard Harvey had already indicated he planned to do voluntary work when he stepped down as chief executive of Aviva, but has now outlined how he will spend his year in Africa, working for the charity Concern Universal.

He and his wife, Kay, will work with the charity to raise awareness of Aids and HIV among rural communities in Kenya and Malawi, as well as working on water sanitation schemes.

The Harveys have paid for their trip with a “generous” donation to Concern Universal, a spokesman for the Hereford-based charity said.

Mr Harvey, who became chief executive of Norwich Union in 1998, said: “In the financial services industry we worry about people living longer and outliving their savings. In Malawi, life expectancy is estimated to be about 37 years and decreasing.”

Mrs Harvey also has experience as a volunteer for community organisations in the UK and New Zealand and has just qualified to teach English as a foreign language.

Dr Ian Williams, executive director of Concern Universal, which has around 500 staff, said: “We're delighted that Richard and Kay have chosen us in a field where there are other more high-profile charities that they could have chosen.”

Aviva finance director Andrew Moss will succeed 56-year-old Mr Harvey as chief executive on July 11.

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