Barclays corporate relations chief Stephen Doherty to join Aviva in new role

Barclays group head of corporate relations Stephen Doherty is stepping down after a decade at the bank to take the new role of chief brand and corporate affairs officer at FTSE 100 insurer Aviva.

Barclays corporate relations chief Stephen Doherty to join Aviva in new role

Doherty (pictured, above) will not be replaced directly at Barclays. Tom Hoskin, head of group media relations, will move to the role of head of group corporate communications on his departure, PRWeek has learned.

Doherty will join Aviva in March 2021 and lead on brand, public policy, corporate responsibility, communications and customer strategy. He will join the Group Executive Committee, reporting to chief executive Amanda Blanc, who was promoted to the role this year.

Former Aviva group comms director Nigel Prideaux left the business earlier this year to join Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Doherty, who has held several senior roles at Barclays, was named the second most powerful UK comms figure in banking and corporate services in PRWeek's Power Book coverage in March.

Prior to Barclays, he was director of communications at Diageo, and has also held senior agency roles at Cohn & Wolfe, Edelman and Weber Shandwick.

Aviva said Doherty's appointment is subject to regulatory approval.

Blanc said: "Aviva has a strong brand and reputation, which play a critical role in our success. We are committed to strengthening and developing this key area of differentiation for our business. I am delighted we have appointed someone of Stephen’s calibre and experience in this significant, new role at Aviva."

The listed multinational insurance company has about 33 million customers.

Avivia is the second FTSE 100 firm to announce an appointment to a new corporate affairs chief position in recent days. This morning PRWeek reported that Halma has hired Clayton Hirst, formerly of John Lewis Partnership, to the new role of director of corporate affairs.

Changes at Barclays

After Doherty's departure from Barclays, Hoskin will take responsibility for corporate comms. The other areas that currently report to him – government relations, group brand and events – will report directly to group head of public policy and corporate responsibility, Sasha Wiggins, who is Doherty's line manager. 

Hoskin joined Barclays in 2015 following six years at Tesco and 11 years in the Diplomatic Service, including acting as deputy spokesman in the Prime Minister’s Office under Gordon Brown in 2008 and 2009.

This article was updated on Monday afternoon with information about what will happen at Barclays after Doherty's departure.

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