M&G's McLintock touted as potential Bloomer successor

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The Independent Online

Leading Prudential shareholders will this week attempt to garner support for a campaign to replace the insurer's chief executive, Jonathan Bloomer, and Michael McLintock, who runs the group's fund management arm, has emerged as one of the names in the frame as a potential successor.

With attitudes hardening among the company's biggest investors, Rob Rowley, the group's senior non-executive director, has begun a series of meetings in the City where he is continuing to insist that the board backs Mr Bloomer. However, a trio of large shareholders - Legal & General, Fidelity Investments and Schroders, which control 10 per cent of Prudential - were said to have begun calling for Mr Bloomer's head following last month's shock decision to launch a £1bn rights issue.

Many shareholders are against a fundraising intended to support the group's UK expansion plans, which they view as an ill-advised U-turn on previous plans to focus on expanding in Asia. And many more are angry that the rights issue was announced after repeated suggestions from management that a fundraising was necessary. Some shareholders are pressing the group to appoint headhunters to draw up a shortlist of possible candidates to succeed Mr Bloomer. Mr McLintock, 43, has been head of M&G since 1997.

Industry observers are split over whether Mr Bloomer could be forced to stand down immediately, with some predicting that he will remain in his post for at least the next few months to try to ensure some stability.

Standard Life, Axa and Aviva's Morley Fund Management have all declined to comment on whether they will also press for Mr Bloomer's dismissal.