Report on Newmarch expected this week

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The Independent Online
The Stock Exchange is expected to report this week the conclusions of its investigation into share dealings by Mick Newmarch, the chief executive of the Prudential, who resigned suddenly last week.

The team investigating Mr Newmarch's exercise and sale of 200,000 share options last October has been asked to speed up its inquiry because of the controversy that followed Mr Newmarch's departure. The investigation came to light when the Pru revealed its existence in a statement explaining Mr Newmarch's resignation. But Britain's biggest insurer has maintained that the share-dealing inquiry was not the principal reason for his departure.

The share sale took place just hours before the Securities and Investments Board released a report on pension transfers that was highly critical of the insurance industry. The Pru also announced quarterly new business figures the day after Mr Newmarch sold the shares.

The company says Mr Newmarch is keen for the exchange's report to be released as soon as possible so he can make a statement clearing up the confusion that followed his departure.

He is likely to fire another broadside at the regulators, with whom he has been at war over the past year. The company has maintained that Mr Newmarch left because he was fed up with the increasing burden of regulation. Under Mr Newmarch's leadership, the Pru stood alone as the only big insurer to refuse to join the Personal Investments Authority, the new body set up to police investments, opting for direct regulation by the Securities and Investments Board.