Aviva’s chief operating officer, Grant Salmon, and national key account manager, Stephen Trist, will join the Professional Investment Holdings (PIH) board later this month as Aviva finalises its acquisition of a 25 per cent stake in the holding company of Australia’s second largest dealer group Professional Investment Services (PIS).

The appointment of two Aviva representatives to the PIH board was flagged in April under the conditions of the sale. According to Simon Morgan, Aviva’s head of communications, the UK insurance giant will hold “slightly” over 25 per cent of PIH once the deal has been “formalised”. The new directors, who are expected to be officially appointed next week, reflects “the increased ownership that Aviva has in the PIH group”, Morgan said. Aviva previously owned a 6.5 per cent stake in PIH. Robbie Bennetts, PIS chief, said having institutional representation on the PIH board was a positive move for the dealer group. “We’re looking forward to them joining because it adds an extra dimension. One would assume given their experience within a big institution, that they can bring something to the board we don’t currently have,” Bennetts said. PIH is currently finalising yet another financial services acquisition overseas. In the last four months, the group’s Malaysian business has grown to 200 advisers from 105, and PIH’s Singapore dealer is also on target to hit 200 advisers by year-end, according to Bennetts.

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