Rebel shareholders press for McLintock to take over the Pru

Michael McLintock, the head of Prudential's fund management arm M&G, is being touted by rebel shareholders as a favoured replacement for the insurer's under-fire chief executive, Jonathan Bloomer.

Shareholders, angry at the Pru's surprise £1bn cash call, launched earlier this month, have a series of meetings scheduled this week with the group's senior non-executive director, Rob Rowley.

They will vent their anger at Mr Bloomer's apparent changes of strategic direction. The meetings are taking place while Mr Bloomer and the Pru's chairman, Sir David Clementi, are in the Far East. Sir David left for China last week on business, while Mr Bloomer is travelling to Vietnam and Malaysia with insurance analysts.

One major investor said: "We are concerned that there will be a permanent discount applied to Prudential while Bloomer is running it, because he is associated with a series of negative decisions. There comes a stage when the board must take a decision on this."

Another one of the Pru's largest investors agreed. "A number of institutions are unhappy at Mr Bloomer's continued tenure. Our attitude has hardened after the apparent charm offensive, after the rights issue."

Fidelity, the Pru's largest shareholder, with 4 per cent, raised the spectre of a coup against Mr Bloomer by saying: "We have not reached a decision about whether we will seek change." Fidelity led last year's rebellion against Michael Green at Carlton Communications.

In the days following the launch of the cash call on 19 October, Mr Bloomer met more than 50 different institutional investors to explain the reasons behind the fundraising. He said the group needed to put up to £200m into its regulatory reserves and would spend most of the rest on growing its UK business.

However, shareholders pointed to Mr Bloomer's assurances earlier this year that the group

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