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Wood quits Axa to be new man at Pru

Axa UK group chief executive Mark Wood is quitting to join rival the Prudential. Wood, who will become the Prudential&#39s chief executive of UK and European insurance businesses in June, has headed up Axa for four years.

During his tenure he saw through the merger of Sun Life and Provincial Holdings and Axa Equity & Law in 1997, which led to the creation of the Axa UK name.

Wood was widely seen as being the driving force behind the high-profile orphan assets case where Axa was forced to justify to the Law Lords the method it was using to redistribute its inherited estate.

Prudential executive director and chairman of Prudential Europe Keith Bedell-Pearce will retire at the end of the year to be replaced by Wood.

In a separate move, Prudential UK Insurance Operations chief executive John Elbourne confirms he will also be retiring at the end of June.

Axa UK chairman Anthony Hamilton says: “Over the last three years Axa has appointed strong chief executives to each of our four key business areas and they have established excellent leadership teams. I believe that Axa UK is better positioned than ever to implement our strategy for the years ahead.”

Prudential group chief executive Jonathon Bloomer says: “Mark comes to us with a wealth of relevant experience, having held several very senior positions in the insurance industry. I am confident he will be successful in driving the business forward.”

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