Culmer succeeds Sir Adrian Montague who will retire from the board on 31 May 2020.
The firm said he brings “extensive experience” in insurance and broader financial services to the role as he is currently Aviva’s senior independent non-executive director, a role he assumed in January 2020.
He joined Aviva as a non-executive director in September 2019 and is also a non-executive director of Rolls Royce Holdings.
The appointment of Culmer follows a “thorough” external and internal selection process led by the nomination and governance committee of the board. The appointment has been approved by the PRA and FCA.
Culmer said: “I am honoured to be appointed Aviva’s chairman. I would like to thank Adrian for his service to Aviva over the last seven years and his leadership during a period of considerable change.”
Montague added: “After five years as chairman, and with a refreshed board in place, it is the right time for me to step down. George has deep experience of insurance and financial services and is an outstanding choice to succeed me.
“Aviva has a strong franchise, a purpose that has never been more relevant and great opportunities for the future. It has been a privilege to serve as chairman.”