Pru loses trio of top execs

Marion Dakers
A TRIO of senior executives at Prudential have resigned, it emerged yesterday, potentially unsettling the company as it tries to rebuild investor confidence.

Thibaut Le Maire, chief risk officer at the financial services group, is thought to have resigned to take a senior role at HSBC after less than two years at the firm. HSBC declined to comment.

The Pru’s communication director Stephen Whitehead announced his resignation yesterday, after just over three years at the group. A source close to the company said Whitehead informed chief executive Tidjane Thiam of his plan to quit several months ago, and will work until the end of the year.

Whitehead said yesterday: “I have enjoyed my time at Prudential enormously. It has been a privilege to have been part of the leadership team that guided Prudential through the global financial crisis and ensured that we emerged as one of the few winners and a clear leader.

“I felt that it is time for a change and I look forward to the next challenge.”

Prudential recently announced internally that Priscilla Vacassin, group human resources director, has also resigned. She will continue to work until a replacement can be found.

Vacassin has worked at Prudential since 2005, and has previously worked in HR roles at Abbey National and BAA. It is not clear where she will work next.

Prudential has not yet found replacements for the three executives, who are not part of Prudential’s board of directors.

The senior staff are not thought to have co-ordinated their departures, but the news comes less than a month after Prudential’s US chief and board member Clark Manning quit.

A Pru spokesperson said the firm never comments on non-board members’ movements.
Prudential provoked ire from shareholders in June after it abandoned its $35.5bn (£22.6bn) bid for AIA, the Asian life insurance arm of bailout-out US firm AIG, racking up a £400m bill for advisory and break fees.