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.
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
Nepal earthquake in pictures: Photos show devastation caused by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
Nepal earthquake: The race is on to help thousands trapped under rubble around Kathmandu, while remote villages face a long wait for help
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
iJobs Money & Business
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...