Aviva Group Ireland plc is the Irish arm of British insurance firm Aviva plc. Its headquarters are in Dublin. The company also provides investment management and pension services. Hoover's reports that Aviva is the largest general insurer in Ireland, with a market share of more than 20%.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Hoover's - Hibernian Group plc Information )〕 The company also has a majority shareholding in Aviva Health Insurance.
The company was established in 1908 as Hibernian. In 1925, the Guardian Assurance Company Ltd purchased a majority shareholding in the company and, by 1931, it was offering fire, accident, motor, fidelity guarantee and plate glass insurance. In 1935, Guardian Assurance sold the company to a consortium of Irish firms, including the Bank of Ireland. In 1940, the company started to transact engineering business and, in 1946, added marine insurance in partnership with the Irish National Insurance Company Ltd. In 1964, the Commercial Union Assurance Company Ltd acquired the majority shareholding from the Bank of Ireland and, in May 1966, changed the company's name to the Hibernian Insurance Company Ltd. By 1969, Commercial Union owned 99.9% of shares in the company.
Following acquisition by Commercial Union, the company ceased operating in Northern Ireland and took over Commercial Union's business and subsidiaries in the Republic of Ireland. By 1973, as well as offering fire, accident and marine insurance, the company was managing an investment portfolio consisting of cash, stocks, shares and property. In 1979, a consortium of Irish investors acquired the majority shareholding in the company while Commercial Union retained a 30% share. In 1982, the company was authorised to commence business in the UK and, in 1984, changed its name to Hibernian Insurance plc.
In May 1986, the company was purchased by the Hibernian Group plc. On 4 November 1999, it was acquired by CGU plc, which had been formed following the merger of Commercial Union and the General Accident Fire and Life Assurance Corporation Ltd. On 31 March 2000 shareholders in CGU plc and Norwich Union plc approved a GBP£7.5 billion merger, endorsing a combination that would create Britain's biggest insurance group. The new company, based in London and called CGNU plc, would be the largest provider of general insurance and the second-largest provider of life insurance in Britain. It would be Europe's fifth-biggest insurer. CGU shareholders would control a majority stake at 58.5 percent of the new group, while Norwich Union shareholders would control a minority stake at 41.5 percent. The former Norwich Union (Ireland) was then subsequently absorbed into Hibernian.
The company found itself at the centre of controversy in June 2008 when it announced that it was to transfer much of its operations to Bangalore, India, with the loss of 580 jobs. In 2008 Hibernian announced that they would be rebranding as "Aviva" as part of a global rebranding campaign to have all their 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.
In November 2008, the Central Bank of Ireland fined the company for various breaches of the Consumer Protection Code.〔()〕 In April 2011, it dismantled its Dublin-based European holding company and carried on the same operations from London. The Central Bank of Ireland fined Aviva in July 2011 for failing to have proper controls and procedures surrounding the safeguarding of client assets.
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