City investors round on Pru

AT LEAST two of Prudential’s top 10 shareholders will meet with the company’s directors to demand a change of management after its failed bid for AIA, according to a report last night.

Legal & General Investment Management and Fidelity, who between them control nearly eight per cent of the insurer, are understood to want a replacement for chief executive Tidjane Thiam, who has been marked by Prudential’s embarrassing withdrawal from its $35.5bn (£25bn) pursuit of AIG’s Asian arm.

Along with Schroders, which owns a smaller slice of Prudential, the pair will meet with the company’s non-executives next week to make their anger known, according to Sky News.

Other shareholders with smaller stakes, including F&C, are known to be unimpressed with Thiam’s handling of the aborted transaction. But many believe there are no alternative candidates suitable for the top job at the FTSE 100 giant.

The news came as Maurice Greenberg, AIG’s former chief executive, described Prudential’s attempt to take over AIA as “a bridge too far”.

Referring to difficulties the British outfit encountered with Chinese regulators, Greenberg said: “It was a badly thought-out scheme from the point of view of Prudential.”