HBOS coup after Pru chief Tucker joins as finance director

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The Independent Online

HBOS, the merged Halifax and Bank of Scotland group, pulled off one of the biggest recruitment coups in the financial services sector yesterday, when it revealed it had snapped up the highly regarded Mark Tucker as its finance director.

HBOS, the merged Halifax and Bank of Scotland group, pulled off one of the biggest recruitment coups in the financial services sector yesterday, when it revealed it had snapped up the highly regarded Mark Tucker as its finance director.

Mr Tucker, 46, quit Prudential last summer after 18 years with the insurer and since then the City has been rife with rumours as to where he will resurface.

He headed up Pru's Asian division, which was started from scratch and is now one of the top five insurers in the region and responsible for the bulk of Pru's growth.

It was thought that he left after it was made clear there was little chance of Jonathan Bloomer, the chief executive of Prudential, stepping down in the near future. He had been tipped as a potential successor to David Prosser at Legal & General.

Mr Tucker yesterday said he had no plans as yet to overthrow the current management at HBOS and was looking forward to helping HBOS achieve its ambitions of taking 15 to 20 per cent market share in the UK. "The quality of James Crosby was one of the main reasons why I joined the business. There is plenty of potential in this company and the growth strategy has attracted me," he said.

The vacancy at HBOS came as its long-standing finance director, Mike Ellis, stepped down. After 17 years at HBOS, he is taking early retirement aged 52.

"I don't have any specific plans," Mr Ellis said yesterday, adding that he might take on some non-executive directorships. "I have worked in a variety of roles in the group from its Treasury division to retail banking, and I fancied a change from the seven-day-a-week banking executive job."

He earned £759,000 in 2002 and his pension is worth about £4.3m, or £285,000 a year. But his early retirement will mean his final annual payout will be reduced.

Mr Ellis helped oversee the creation of HBOS through the merger between Halifax and Bank of Scotland in 2001.

Mr Tucker's pay packet has yet to be revealed.

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