Prudential chairman says no heads will roll over AIA

4th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Prudential chairman Harvey McGrath said in an interview Friday that no heads would roll at the British insurer after it abandoned its hugely ambitious takeover of AIG's Asian unit AIA.

"The board is completely behind the management team. No one has offered to resign and no one has been asked to resign," Harvey told the Financial Times.

The aborted takeover was masterminded by Prudential chief executive Tidjane Thiam and commentators said his career had been badly tarnished by the deal.

"There are a couple of shareholders calling for change, but they are outliers. The vast majority of our biggest investors are saying they don't want to see change at the top," Harvey said.

"They are supportive of management and of Tidjane, who they have seen as [chief financial officer] help to drive the performance of the group."

Prudential's decision Wednesday to abandon the takeover came after AIG refused to cut the price tag from 35.5 billion dollars (29 billion euros) to nearer 30 billion dollars.

Harvey said the top team at Prudential was "quite devastated" when it heard AIG had rejected the renegotiated price. "But we were not worried at all about our positions," he said.

Thiam also told the Financial Times: "It is a clever thing to try and connect my inability to seal a 35-billion-dollar deal with my broad ability to run a company, but it is a fallacy.

"To say I'm inexperienced in running a 35-billion-dollar transaction, that's true. Not many have experience of running a 35-billion-dollar transaction."

© 2010 AFP

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