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Prudential names former Citi banker as new boss as pivot to Asia continues

Anil Wadhwani will become the insurance company’s new chief executive in February next year.

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Prudential’s pivot to Asia and Africa has sparked talk that it might abandon its London base (Ian West/PA)

Prudential’s pivot to Asia and Africa has sparked talk that it might abandon its London base (Ian West/PA)

Prudential’s pivot to Asia and Africa has sparked talk that it might abandon its London base (Ian West/PA)

Insurance giant Prudential has poached its new boss from a Canadian rival, it announced on Wednesday.

The business said that former Citi banker Anil Wadhwani would pick up the reins in February next year.

Prudential will tap him for his experience of the Asian markets, where Mumbai-educated Mr Wadhwani has spent most of his career.

The insurer is listed and has headquarters in both Hong Kong and London, but there have been concerns in recent years that it might walk away from its London base after a pivot to Asia and Africa.

Having sold its UK and US businesses, Prudential’s chief executive will be based in Asia for the first time when Mr Wadhwani takes up the role.

“I am honoured to have been appointed as the new CEO of Prudential,” Mr Wadhwani said.

“Prudential is diversified across Asia and Africa, with a highly successful business, a very powerful brand and leading market positions in many of its key markets.

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“I strongly believe in the strength of its digitally enabled multi-channel distribution model.”

He comes from Canadian insurance company Manulife where he was president and chief executive of the company’s Asian operations.

Prudential chair Shriti Vadera said: “The board is delighted to appoint Anil following our thorough succession process and the move of the entire senior management team to Asia.

“He has a wealth of experience, not just in insurance but as a customer-centric people leader with a strong track record of creating and driving a culture of success, that will help us meet the needs of our customers in our chosen growth markets in Asia and Africa.

“Over the course of 2021, we reshaped our business, and the board is confident that Anil will capture the significant opportunities that we see ahead.

“Following his appointment, the group’s leadership, lead regulator and its operations will be geographically aligned.”


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