Prudential shareholders to discuss fate of chairman

Shareholders in Prudential, the embattled insurer, are expected to convene this week to assess sentiment toward the group's senior management after meetings with the company's chairman, Harvey McGrath, and senior independent director, James Ross, last week.

The pair have now met with most of the largest shareholders, with many institutions furious at the "intransigent stance" being taken by the firm.

One shareholder who met with Prudential last week said: "It was a pretty feisty exchange but the overriding sense was of utter denial from the company's senior management. Pru's attempt to buy AIA for $35.5bn (£23.6bn) cost the company £450m. That's more than the bloody dividend."

It's believed that leading shareholders could make a co-ordinated representation to Pru calling for the head of Mr McGrath, in the coming weeks.

"Perhaps they think they got away with it," said another fund manager. "Enough people have told them they haven't in the last couple of weeks. When will the message get through?"

Possible replacements for Mr McGrath include Jim Schiro, the former boss of Zurich Financial Services. Lord Myners, the former City minister, has also been mentioned.