James Moore: An impeccable addition to Pru's impeccable board. Pimm's all round
Outlook Prudential has been busily collecting boardroom baubles since the spectacular mishandling of its attempted takeover of Asian insurer AIA.
Today the life insurer added another member of the City's aristocracy in the form of Philip Remnant, who has been hired as the senior independent director.
When City folk look down Pru's list of directors they tend to nod with approval and mutter about its high-powered board.
There's Lord Turnbull, the former Cabinet Secretary; Sir Howard Davies, former head of the Financial Services Authority, the CBI and now the London School of Economics; and various other business luminaries from around the world.
Based on his long City experience, with the likes of BZW (head of M&A), Credit Suisse (head of UK investment banking) and the Takeover Panel (director-general), Mr Remnant fits the bill. He's a fully paid-up member of the City establishment.
Given Prudential's mis-steps down the years, its grand group of grandees has presumably been put together with the aim of reassuring investors – not to mention skittish regulators – that the company is in safe hands.
But is a former M&A guru really the sort of person to say "no" when the next daft deal finds its way on to Prudential's doorstep? And are any of the people on Pru's board going to raise objections the next time a pay consultant recommends an excessive and ill-thought-out package when an executive threatens to flounce out? It would be most interesting to know if any of them holds more than a token interest in the sort of policies Prudential sells, and has in the past frequently mis-sold.
Mr Remnant, as the senior independent director, or Sid, is supposed to be a conduit through which shareholders can raise objections to, or concerns about, things like bad deals, bad pay or just bad practice.
One of those shareholders is probably M&G, Prudential's own fund management operation. It isn't likely to be knocking on his door, though. Not because M&G is owned by Prudential. Very few Sids appear to hear anything from it. M&G's voting record shows just 24 votes against management or abstentions between April and June. During the so called "shareholder spring" it was sat by the river drinking Pimm's and lemonade.
Given the establishment mindset and board of its parent company, that should come as no great surprise.
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 Are you turning into your dad? The top ten signs you've embraced dad-ism revealed as survey says 38 is age men turn into their father
- 2 Overheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
iJobs Money & Business
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£221.25 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a well established Inter...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Client Relationship Manager - SQL...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Take your chance to join the...