Investors slam Pru chair

SHAREHOLDERS of the Prudential delivered a stinging rebuke to chairman Harvey McGrath as more than 28 per cent failed to support his re-election at its annual meeting yesterday.

McGrath became the focus of investors’ wrath for his stewardship of the Pru through its botched $35.5bn (£21.9bn) bid to acquire Asian insurer AIA last year.

About 22 per cent opposed his re-election and 6.2 per cent abstained in one of the largest shows of displeasure seen at any company vote this year. The result was higher than the 10 to 20 per cent opposition expected.

In contrast, chief executive Tidjane Thiam, who was widely criticised for his handling of the AIA deal, received 99 per cent support for his re-election.

McGrath said 78 per cent support was “a pretty good mandate” to continue. But one industry source told City A.M.: “It takes a lot for investors to reject a director in this way.”