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Pru chairman faces protest vote at AGM

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Prudential chairman Harvey McGrath admitted the company needed to improve its relationship with some investors following the rebuke that saw 21.98 per cent of the votes cast reject his re-appointment at the AGM yesterday, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The protest vote – supported by shareholder Fidelity, which holds almost two per cent of the insurer – was over McGrath’s role in the Pru’s failed  £21.9bn deal for rival AIA.

Prudential chief executive Tidjane Thiam attracted strong support from investors with 99 per cent of votes cast in favour of his re-election.

Speaking after the vote, McGrath said: “The chairman becomes the lightning rod for shareholder issues at large and that’s what’s reflected in the voting today.

“I don’t think there are areas of dispute, it’s a question of continuing the level of engagement we’ve had over the last six to nine months. We will continue the work and allay any fears about the stewardship of the company.”

The Pru was forced to scrap its takeover of AIA last June after investors refused to back the original bid price and AIA’s parent company, AIG, refused to lower the terms. The failed bid left investors facing £377m in fees. Last year’s AGM, held days after the deal collapsed, saw investors demand the resignation of both McGrath and Thiam.

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