Pru granted inquiry delay

The appeal by Prudential, Britain's biggest insurer, against stock exchange censure over the Mick Newmarch share-dealing affair was adjourned yesterday at the request of the company.

It is understood that the company asked the Quotations Committee, which is hearing the appeal, for more time to prepare its case. The Pru lost an earlier appeal after the exchange's listings department found Mr Newmarch, the company's former chief executive, and Sir Brian Corby, its chairman, guilty of breaching the model code on directors' dealings.

The committee, composed of senior executives from quoted companies and market practitioners, is the last court of appeal at the exchange. It is to consider whether Mr Newmarch breached the code by dealing in Pru shares on the morning of 25 October, just hours before a report on pensions misselling was published by the Securities and Investments Board.

Mr Newmarch made a profit of £200,000 plus, by exercising and selling 208,000 share options. The company said Mr Newmarch had to exercise by that day to allow him to receive options due the following day. But critics maintain he should have exercised the options, but held the shares for a few days until the effects on the Pru's share price from the SIB report were clear. Mr Newmarch resigned at the end of January, citing frustration at the regulatory regime in financial services. But in a statement announcing his departure, the company also revealed the existence of the inquiry into his share dealing.

Sir Brian faces censure for authorising the transaction. The affair hinges on whether the SIB report was price-sensitive information. It was very critical of the insurance industry for advising customers to opt out of company pension schemes. It is likely to lead to large compensation bills that will have to be met by insurance companies such as the Pru.

The company maintains that Mr Newmarch and Sir Brian did nothing wrong as the report's contents were widely known. Although the Pru's share price did fall slightly on the day the report was published, it did rise steadily in the following weeks.

In a further twist, Treasury officials gave evidence to the Stock Exchange that Mr Newmarch told Kenneth Clarke, the Chancellor, that the report would hit the Pru's share price at a meeting a week before publication. Mr Newmarch denies he made such a remark.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
Arts and Entertainment
As depicted in Disney's Robin Hood, King John was cowardly, cruel, avaricious and incompetent
film
Life and Style
Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber, is now worth $5.3bn
tech
News
Homer’s equation, in an episode in 1998, comes close to the truth, as revealed 14 years later
science
News
news
News
people
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

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn