Prudential is understood to be looking at a process called a scheme of arrangement rather than a reattribution of its £9bn inherited estate, which would mean the firm would only need 75 per cent of policyholders to agree with any potential deal.
By taking this route, any policyholders disagreeing with the potential deal would be swept into the sub-fund if a majority of 75 per cent voting in favour of the deal is achieved and policyholders would give up the rights to any future payouts.
Rival Aviva has favoured the reattribution path, which means that each policyholder can choose individually whether to opt in or out.
Pru is understood to be considering 20 industry insiders for the role of policyholder advocate at its board meeting in Mumbai next month.
Friends Provident outgoing chief executive Keith Satchell is thought to have ruled himself out, as has former head of the British Board of Film Classification Andreas Whittam Smith, who sits on Pru’s with-profits committee.
Actuary AKG communications director Guy Vanner says: “There can be bad reattributions and good scheme of arrangements and vice versa. It is not a black and white issue.”
A Prudential spokesman says: “At this stage, no decision has been taken to proceed with a reattribution.”