Prudential and AIG bosses on charm offensive

PRUDENTIAL boss Tidjane Thiam is leading a series of “town hall” meetings across Asia to promote his firm’s $35.5bn (£24bn) acquisition of American International Group’s Far Eastern arm.

Along with AIG chief Robert Benmosche, Thiam yesterday reassured American International Assurance employees in Malaysia and Singapore there were no planned job cuts for customer-facing staff.

Benmosche told workers a merger with Prudential was a safer option than a flotation on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. He emphasised the importance of raising cash through the sale so AIG could begin repaying the $182.3bn rescue package lent by the US government during the crisis.

The pair will visit Thailand today before Thiam flies back to London for crucial meetings with Prudential’s shareholders over its upcoming $20bn rights issue.

The company confirmed underwriting for the cash call had been syndicated to 30 banks, including Qatar Holding and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation who will take a “significant” role.

A source warned hedge funds shorting Prudential would be disappointed as the deal would succeed.