Pru shareholder attacks anti-Bloomer campaign

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One of Prudential's largest shareholders waded into the dispute yesterday, accusing its fellow investors of potentially destabilising the insurer by their efforts to eject the chief executive, Jonathan Bloomer, just days before the closure of a £1bn rights issue.

After a weekend of speculation over Mr Bloomer's future, during which Legal & General and Schroders were identified as the two parties at the helm of a movement to eject the Prudential boss, other shareholders vocalised their short-term support for the existing board.

The shareholder, who said it did not want to be named because "fund managers aren't pop stars", said: "We were asked to participate in the group of people who are trying to unseat Jonathan Bloomer in short order. But we have some real concerns with that. The campaign they've got going has a lot of potential to destabilise. In the face of a rights issue, we really don't see how it comes in the interests of shareholders.

"I'm not saying we're totally satisfied with the management, and it may be that we need a change, but now is not the time to be thinking about changes of management. That can come later if it's necessary."

The shareholder said it had been disappointed with Prudential's communication over the issue, but agreed that raising capital was necessary.