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Prudential investor fights back as FSA talks drag on

RENEGADE Prudential shareholder Robin Geffen has launched an action group to fight against the insurer’s planned $35.5bn (£24bn) takeover of AIA in Asia.

Geffen, whose firm Neptune Investment Management owns about £50m of Prudential stock, urged worried shareholders to club together so they could get the 10 per cent needed for a vote of no confidence in chief executive Tidjane Thiam.

Geffen believes the AIA deal “represents a significant risk to shareholders” because it would eat up cash generated by Prudential’s UK operations, which could then be sold.

Neptune’s rallying cry came as Prudential’s senior management remained locked in talks with the Financial Services Authority to get the all-clear for a $21bn rights issue. Prudential needs to find £1bn in extra capital, on top of a $5bn loan rearrangement, to satisfy the watchdog’s stress tests.