Prudential gets first woman boss


The 'Man from the Pru' has been replaced by a woman after the insurance giant appointed the first female boss of its UK and Europe arm.

The Prudential moved to address the lack of senior female directors on its board by luring rival Standard Life's finance director Jackie Hunt with a potential £6.5 million pay and bonus package to become UK and Europe chief executive.
She will lead a 3,000-strong workforce which serves about seven million customers in the UK and earned £736 million in profits last year.

Ms Hunt becomes one of the most high-profile women in the UK insurance industry, and the second female board member at the Pru.

An insurance industry veteran, she replaces Rob Devey on the Asia-focused insurer's board. He is leaving by the end of October to pursue "new opportunities".

Tidjane Thiam, Prudential chief executive, said: "Jackie joins Prudential with a proven track record of delivery in the highly competitive UK insurance market. I am delighted that a person of her talent and experience is joining the group."

A chartered accountant, Ms Hunt, 44, joined Standard Life in 2009 and has held senior roles at Royal & Sun Alliance and Aviva. The role is her first chief executive job and she becomes the first woman to head the Pru's 165-year-old UK business.

The Pru has prioritised increasing the number of women in senior and board roles, but does not use quotas.

Ms Hunt joins on a pay packet worth up to £3 million a year, heading a business which earns about a quarter of the group's profits. It includes a £625,000 basic salary, a bonus worth up to 160% of salary and long-term shares worth 225% of salary. The Pru will also recompense her for Standard Life share awards which could be worth between £2 million and £3.5 million.

She said: "I greatly look forward to joining Prudential. The UK and Europe business has a clearly defined and valuable role to play within the group."

© 2013 Press Association
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