Pressure mounts on Pru boss appointed just eight months ago

Prudential has declined to comment on whether its chief executive, Tidjane Thiam, would receive a bonus this year after the failed bid he fronted for AIA cost shareholders an estimated £300m.

Mr Thiam is paid a basic salary of £900,000 but can, for his work during the company's current financial year, take home a further £1.6m through the life insurer's annual bonus scheme with a further £2.7m available through its share-based long-term incentive plan. A Prudential spokesman said that bonus payments would not be decided on until the end of the year.

The company's results will be hit by a £153m break fee if, as now expected, its takeover of Asian insurer AIA fails. However, advisory and underwriting fees to a phalanx of banks, lawyers and public relations advisors are set to at least double that; even though the deal looks all but dead and success fees will not be payable as a result.

Mr Thiam will take the lion's share of the blame among many investors, who have been infuriated at what has been seen as poor communication from the company and its advisors since the AIA transaction was announced. Several analysts suggested that Mr Thiam's position would be open to question if the deal failed to go through before the attempted renegotiation with AIA's owner AIG failed.

Mr Thiam, a former finance minister of the Ivory Coast and senior executive at Aviva, had been finance director of Prudential while the company was run by Mark Tucker; who is widely credited with turning Prudential's Asian business into the engine of the company's growth while in charge of the operation. When Mr Tucker was hired as chief executive, after a brief stint as chief executive of HBOS, he did much to restore Pru's reputation among investors after a series of mishaps.

Having worked closely with Mr Tucker, it was hoped Mr Thiam would continue the Prudential revival and help it build on the momentum it had established when he took over as chief executive last October.

Robin Geffen, chief executive of fund manager Neptune, who acted as a focus for the efforts of dissidents to vote down the deal, stopped short of calling for Mr Thiam's immediate resignation after the AIA debacle. However, he did say: "I think it is going to be very difficult for him after this. The fees that have been spent on this are massive."

David Buik, partner at BGC Partners, said it would not be impossible for Mr Thiam to survive. But he added: "He will be told severely to get back in his box and get on with his work at Prudential."

Mr Buik said he could see "both sides" of the deal's collapse and Mr Thiam's enthusiasm for the Asian region. But he said that a $35.5bn takeover was a step too far, particularly at a time of highly volatile markets when stock markets around the world have been falling.

Mr Thiam will embark on a second day of institutional meetings with big British investors today, after spending yesterday locked in discussions with fund managers who have been deeply unhappy with the company's handling of the deal. Sources close to the company sought to play down resignation talk, however, saying it would not be in shareholders' interests to endure significant change at the top.

The last time Prudential tried tried a "transformative" acquisition, was its attempt to merge with American General, the US life insurer. That led to the company facing a chorus of criticism, although the deal ultimately failed in 2001, ironically, when Pru was outbid by AIG, the owner of AIA. As a result, it pocketed a break fee of its own.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
The guide, since withdrawn, used illustrations and text to help people understand the court process (Getty)
newsMinistry of Justice gets law 'terribly wrong' in its guide to courts
News
Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
people
News
Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
scienceFeed someone a big omelette, and they may give twice as much, thanks to a compound in the eggs
News
Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
News
newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
News
Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
Life and Style
Torsten Sherwood's Noook is a simple construction toy for creating mini-architecture
tech
Sport
David Silva celebrates with Sergio Aguero after equalising against Chelsea
footballChelsea 1 Manchester City 1
News
i100
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links