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Prudential’s Mark Tucker to step down

Prudential’s chief executive Mark Tucker has announced he will step down from his position in October as the firm posted an EEV profit increase of 17 per cent at £2.9bn in its results.

Tucker will be succeeded by group financial officer Tidjane Thiam.

Tucker, who has been at the Pru for the past 25 years and held the position of CEO for the past four, has not revealed his future plans.

In a conference call this morning Tucker said: “I have hugely enjoyed my career to date. It has been a very difficult decision but I believe I have achieved what I set out to do as CEO. We have a wonderful successor in Tidjane. He is clearly an exceptional talent and will do a wonderful job.”

The announcement comes as the firm released its full year results for 2008.

Prudential’s operating profit on an EEV basis increased by 17 per cent in 2008 to £2.9bn, with new business rising by 8 per cent to £1.3bn.

On an IFRS basis, operating profit increased by 12 per cent to £1.3bn.

The insurer’s capital position sat at £1.7bn at year-end after dipping into its with-profits inherited estate for £300m.

The FSA has allowed the firm to utilise the orphan cash, which was valued at £1.7bn at the end of 2008, further if necessary. A deal the firm in brokering in Taiwan will boost this reserve to £2.5bn on completion.

This capital position translates to a 162 per cent solvency ratio. The firm also put an additional £770m aside last year to boost its credit reserve to £1.4bn against its £15bn portfolio.

Prudential also announced it has pumped an extra 5 per cent into its dividend, increasing the full-year dividend from 12.91p per share to 18.9p.

The insurer confirmed it was interested in buying AIG’s AIA assets but pulled out.

Tucker said: “We did not submit a bid. Our view was that we could not meet the our value criteria, there were clear hurdles we had to get over in terms of returns but we could not find an effective route so we withdrew from the process.”

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