Credit Suisse buys some insurance with Pru CEO

March 10, 2015

Hiring Tidjane Thiam to replace Brady Dougan should bring a fresh perspective to capital and cost conundrums. The former consultant may encounter skeptical dealmakers and regulators. Even so, his decision to leave the fast-growing UK insurer is a vote of confidence in banking.

Pru’s lesson for investors: trust animal spirits

By Chris Hughes
November 21, 2014

The UK insurer’s stock hit a record this week, leaving rival Aviva trailing in its wake. It is a painful reminder of how Aviva lost out by failing in its attempt to buy Pru in 2006. The main reason there was no deal? The bidder lacked investor support to pay a fair premium.

Prudential’s threat to quit UK isn’t just hot air

March 13, 2012

The insurer is reviewing its domicile, citing the burden of European regulation. Upping sticks to Hong Kong wouldn’t protect Pru from all the reforms, and would yield few tax savings. But if the new rules turn out bad, decamping to its main growth market would make sense.

EU eases insurers’ worst capital fears – for now

March 22, 2012

The European Parliament has accepted that British insurers need protection from the EU’s sprawling new regulatory framework. That’s a relief. But the Solvency II rules could yet have unpleasant consequences. The likes of Pru could still move their headquarters away from Europe.

AIA’s new chief could unlock two deals

July 19, 2010

In giving its Asia chief executive the chop, American International Group may have unlocked two deals. First, the flotation of its AIA division in Hong Kong, which should now go ahead after a false start. Second, an eventual merger between AIA and the Asian portion of its big rival -- and recent failed suitor -- the UK's Prudential.

AIG CEO Benmosche’s credibility rests on AIA deal

June 11, 2010

Prudential's bosses have taken the heat for the UK insurer's failed bid for American International Group's Asian unit, AIA. But Bob Benmosche, AIG's strong-willed chief executive, tried to steamroll the deal through a lukewarm board. He is respected as an insurance executive. But his future credibility -- and AIG's ability to repay U.S. taxpayers in full -- depends on how he goes about fixing the AIA mess.

UK governance code fails at BP and Prudential

June 3, 2010

BP and Prudential are two of Britain's biggest and most respected companies. Their lavish annual reports contain dozens of pages on how these great corporations are run. Both boast of their compliance with the code of corporate governance, which encourages proper boardroom debate to avoid bad decisions, boosts the chairman, and insists that he cannot also be the chief executive, lest one person become too powerful.

Lesson to Pru: AIG isn’t a normal corporation

June 1, 2010

The wrangling over AIG's Asian insurance unit AIA clarifies what Prudential's board should have known all along: AIG is beholden to the U.S. taxpayer. While accepting a lower price might have been a rational business decision, it also would have further opened AIG to charges of shortchanging its owners -- this time to help Pru.