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Pru chief Wood defends &#39important&#39 WP

Prudential chief executive Mark Wood has defended the role of with-profits products, saying they are too important for the country to be killed off.

Speaking at Prudential&#39s with-profits roadshow in London last week, Wood said the combination of CP121 and the Sandler review presented challenges for product providers and IFAs alike but he said the Pru will continue to offer with-profits.

He compared the amount of money put into with-profits with this country&#39s savings gap, estimated at £27bn, and said consumers had been protected from stockmarket falls.

At the same event, Prudential UK actuary Tom Imber sounded a note of concern about the forthcoming report from the Sandler review, suggesting that something radical could be afoot.

Imber said: “Sandler is going to have to do something to get his knighthood. We have told Sandler that charges and commission on with-profits are not high.”

But Imber said he welcomed moves to improve the image of the industry, saying: “We want to raise the bar and rid the industry of those that taint us all.”

Wood said: “We remain committed to offering with-profits. With-profits is too important to be killed off.”

Informed Choice managing director Nick Bamford says: “Of the clients who took out a unit-linked and a with-profits policy five years ago, I know which is happier now. The with-profits model is a good one, we should not knock what has given some good results and value.”

•Prudential is currently considering who should be appointed as a replacement for its chairman Sir Roger Hurn, who resigned last week because his involvement with Marconi.

•Investment, p26

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