Insurer red faced after accidentally 'firing' 1300 staff by email Another email blunder
Posted 21 April 2012 - 08:07 PM
Auditor General investigation into ACC
Insurer red faced after accidentally 'firing' 1300 staff by email
Read more: http://www.news.com....6#ixzz1sfE3kfc3
UK insurance company Aviva accidentally fired all 1300 staff of its asset management division before quickly realising the gaffe and reassuring them the bluntly-worded email was intended only for one worker.
The email from London-based Aviva Investors' human resources department told staff to surrender any company property as they left the building and reminded them that they were prevented from sharing any company secrets, The (London) Daily Telegraph reported.
The email read, "I am required to remind you of your contractual obligations to the company you are leaving. You have an obligation to retain any confidential information pertaining to Aviva Investors operations, systems and clients."
After detailing what was required of the outgoing staff, the email closed by saying, "I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and wish you all the best for the future".
Shocked staff received a contrite email minutes later from the company's human resources department apologising for the misunderstanding.
The incident came just two days after an Aviva board overhaul was announced, with Aviva Investors boss Alain Dromer among those departing.
Read more at the UK's Daily Telegraph.
Read more: http://www.news.com....6#ixzz1sfEFDg44
Aviva sacks more than 1,300 workers by mistake
The latest board shake-up at Aviva is radical, but not as radical as sacking its entire workforce by email.
Posted 30 June 2012 - 11:55 PM
Dying asbestos victim tells of fight for compensation as insurance companies use new loophole to avoid paying out
Jun 29 2012 By John Ferguson
Ian Hamilton with his wife Janette
A DYING asbestos victim broke down in tears yesterday as he demanded justice.
Retired shipbuilder Ian Hamilton, 70, is among hundreds of former heavy industry workers fighting for compensation after developing mesothelioma cancer.
Insurers are trying to use a loophole in the law to avoid paying out.
They say sufferers who, like Ian, failed to start court action within three years of being diagnosed with pleural plaques, a less serious lung condition, are barred from making a claim.
Yesterday, grandad-of-five Ian, who has been given a year to live, wept as he slammed insurers Aviva and called on Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to change the law.
He said: “All I want to do is spend the rest of my life without having to worry about court and lawyers and compensation.
“I want this settled so I can spend the time I have left with my family and my grandchildren.
“The insurance companies don’t care about people, they will use any trick in the book to avoid paying out.
“I want Kenny MacAskill to use his power to close this loophole so people in my position can get the compensation they deserve.”
Ian, a former shipyard electrician from Paisley, spoke out at a conference of asbestos victims in Glasgow yesterday. He told how Aviva are trying to avoid paying compensation for his mesothelioma because he was diagnosed with pleural plaques in 1996.
A previous court battle gave sufferers of the condition, which can develop into mesothelioma, the right to claim up to £7000 compensation.
But insurers are now trying to use that judgment to avoid paying up to £100,000 to people who did not start action over pleural plaques but want to make a claim after contracting mesothelioma.
Ian demanded action from MacAskill, who previously pledged his support for asbestos victims.
He said: “If insurers are allowed to use the law to avoid paying fair compensation, they will further victimise hundreds of families. How the Scottish Government can sit on their hands and watch this take place without intervening is beyond me.”
Phyllis Craig, of support group Clydeside Action on Asbestos, said: “This callous attack on weak and dying asbestos victims is just the latest in a long list of underhand tactics employed by the insurers.
“We’ve asked to meet with Mr MacAskill a number of times to continue our urgent talks on how best to resolve this matter. But nothing has been confirmed as yet.”
Alan Kirk, consultant thoracic surgeon at Glasgow’s Golden Jubilee Hospital, said: “By seeking to introduce new legal obstacles to compensation, insurance companies are prolonging the suffering of asbestos victims.”
Press Release from Clydeside Action on Asbestos
28 June 2012
“HEARTLESS” INSURERS LAUNCH FURTHER ATTACK ON ASBESTOS VICTIMS
Asbestos Mesothelioma Supreme Court Judgement thread
Posted 06 July 2012 - 05:33 PM
Aviva looks to extend holdings in NZ property
By Anne Gibson
5:30 AM Wednesday Jul 4, 2012
The Shore City mall in Takapuna. Photo / Steven McNicholl
Aviva Investors Asia Pacific Property Fund, which has undertaken the largest real estate deal in New Zealand this year, is considering buying more.
Jeremy Chai, Singapore-based deputy fund manager, indicated the $83.5 million purchase of Takapuna mall Shore City from Westfield (New Zealand) might not be the last, and Canterbury earthquakes and foreign investment rules did not deter the business.
"We're looking around at various opportunities, not just Westfield," Chai said. "We can't give any amount but we're looking at more retail and industrial property in New Zealand.
"Our portfolio is concentrated mostly on office assets so we're trying to diversify away from office."
Aviva is the world's fifth-largest life insurer and has £263 billion ($411 billion) in funds under management internationally.
Changes are being planned at Shore City, but Chai said these were more conceptual than concrete.
"We're looking at rebranding it and enhancing and adding value so it's more relevant to the needs of the residents of Takapuna.
"Also, conceptually we'd like to inject some fresh new concepts for the whole of Auckland," he said, referring to bringing in tenants not already trading in New Zealand.
Aviva noted that Takapuna was a destination boutique fashion area in an entertainment hub.
The $83.5 million came out of Aviva's Singapore property from the sale there of Commerce Pt and 1 Philip St.
Chai said Colliers International in Auckland acted as agents on the sale deal and had been appointed to manage the centre while Jones Lang LaSalle was appointed as valuers.
New Zealand had a welcoming approach to foreign investors, "a low barrier to entry" and earthquakes did not deter Aviva.
"We invest in Japan, so as a regional investor we are comfortable with that risk," Chai said.
Extensive due diligence was done before the purchase, he said.
Chris Dibble, Jones Lang LaSalle's associate research director, said foreign investors had poured about $600 million into New Zealand real estate in less than two years.
Aviva's deal topped the $55 million sale of Beca House in Auckland's Vincent St and Wellington's Bowen House near Parliament at $50.4 million, Dibble said.
"This is not only the largest sale so far this year but the largest of a retail shopping centre since Kiwi [Income Property Trust] bought LynnMall for $174 million in December 2010," Dibble said, noting that it was also Aviva's entree in New Zealand property and a sign of confidence by international investors.
"They have obviously identified retail as a high-yielding investment sector with upside potential," Dibble said.
"It is also pleasing to see the confidence in New Zealand's real estate sector from an overseas perspective," he added.
"We are increasingly seeing foreign investors looking to diversify their portfolio with good quality assets in a stable environment.
"In the last 18 months there has been around $600 million foreign investment into commercial property."
Investors were returning to a formula which had worked and real estate had outperformed bonds and shares in the past 15 years.
"Out of the three largest transactions so far this year, two have been by listed property vehicles," Dibble said.
"We expect this to be a rising occurrence as the listed sector shifts their focus back to accretive investment after shoring up their balance sheets."
* Two-level mall with gym on third floor.
* Seven-level parking building connects to mall.
* 830 carparks.
* 14,120sq m net lettable floor area.
* 99 per cent leased, 74 tenants.
Source: Aviva Investors Asia Pacific Property Fund
By Anne Gibson | Email Anne