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Nigel Rudd, the Chairman of U.K. airports operator BAA and engineering group Invensys PLC (ISYS.LN), is favorite to succeed Harvey McGrath as chairman of the U.K.'s biggest insurer, Prudential PLC, (PRU.LN) the Sunday Times newspaper reports without citing sources.
Rudd, who has previously also been Chairman of U.K. chemist Boots, has been short-listed for the position, alongside Glen Moreno, Chairman of Pearson PLC (PSON.LN), the newspaper reports.
A spokesman for Prudential declined to comment on the report. Rudd, via BAA, couldn't be contacted.
Prudential said last year that McGrath would retire at some point during 2012 after a replacement Chairman was found. His retirement follows shareholder anger at Prudential's high profile failure, in 2010, to acquire Asian insurer AIA Group, for $35.5 billion. The abortive deal, which cost Prudential GBP377 million in fees associated with the transaction, was effectively abandoned amid shareholder anger.
Institutional shareholders expressed concern at the price of the deal, its perceived risk and in particular a GBP14.5 billion rights issue that would have been used to fund it, prompting Prudential to cancel the transaction after a failed attempt to persuade owner AIG and its shareholders to accept a lower price.
In the aftermath of the failed transaction, some investors called for the resignation of both McGrath and Prudential's CEO, Tidjane Thiam, for their roles in the deal. As Prudential has since reported improving earnings and sales figures, however, the focus has largely moved away from Thiam.
Newspaper Web site: http://www.timesonline.co.uk
-London Bureau, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 (0)20 7842 9320