View more on these topics

Geffen fires warning to Prudential over Hong Kong move

Neptune founder Robin Geffen has issued a warning over Prudential’s potential head office move from London to Hong Kong, saying it could raise questions about the future of its asset management arm M&G.

Geffen, who is one of the group’s institutional shareholders, claimed that Prudential’s move would raise concerns about the company’s “financial health” as well as reminding people of its failed attempt to acquire AIG’s Asian arm for £24bn in 2010.

Earlier this week Prudential confirmed that it was considering switching the domicile of its headquarters in a bid to respond tough Solvency II rules being introduced in January 2013.

Speaking to The Scotsman, Geffen said: “If this is a way of the group avoiding European solvency ratios, then investors would have every right to be worried.

“If Prudential wants to head offshore in search of less stringent solvency rules then it would raise serious questions about the fundamental health of the business.

“They [the Pru] need to be very careful about this. They have already tried to make a major, expensive Asian acquisition, which the shareholder base was not prepared to tolerate,” Geffen added.

“If this was a backdoor way of repeating this it would be doomed to failure. It would leave them [management] to answer questions of the future of the UK business, and M&G in particular.”

This is not the first time Geffen has spoken against Prudential’s plans. Neptune holds a significant stake in Prudential, estimated to be less than 3 per cent of the company’s share issue. In May 2010, Geffen launched an action group for shareholders to fight against Prudential’s proposed takeover of AIG’s Asian arm AIA.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. They will probably sell off the UK operation to Phoenix (lol)

  2. Then again, these plans might just be a sign of how extremely hacked off with European and UK regulation Prudential is. It’s not as if there isn’t good cause for such a view.

Leave a comment

Close

Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm

Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com