Pru boss to charm investors

PRUDENTIAL chief executive Tidjane Thiam will today embark on a week-long charm offensive in the City, to persuade key UK investors to back a record rights issue crucial to the firm’s planned $35.5bn (£23.4bn) acquisition of AIG’s Asian arm.

Thiam and AIG boss Robert Benmosche spent last week in meetings with employees and regulators across Asia, which the Pru chief said had been largely successful.

But Thiam faces a tougher ride this week in front of fund managers, many of whom were spooked last week by the sheer scale of the deal and the £13bn rights issue required to fund it.

He is likely to elaborate in meetings on the firm’s bullish forecasts for an explosion of growth over the coming years in Asia, where the Pru itself has doubled the size of its business three times in the past decade.

The Pru swung back into the black last week after it reported a £1.7bn pre-tax profit.