UK - Prudential chairman Sir Roger Hurn is quitting the firm, claiming that corporate governance issues and "market rumours" have forced him to resign before his successor could be named.
Hurn, who is also a non-executive director of financial services firm Cazenove, said that he was stepping down in order to protect Prudential and ensure that it is not adversely affected by his ties to Marconi. He will stay on until a replacement is found, a process Prudential believes will be concluded shortly.
The former Marconi chairman said: Because of Prudential's role as a significant investor in major British companies and hence its influence on corporate governance, I have decided that it is in Prudential's best interests for me to resign. It had been my intention to announce my resignation and name my successor at the same time. However, market rumours have made it necessary for me to bring my announcement forward.
Hurn has been chairman of Prudential since May 2000, and was chairman of the disaster-hit telecoms firm Marconi between 1998 and 2001. Marconi collapsed spectacularly last year, resulting in a wave of redundancies and the obliteration of its shareprice.
Jonathan Bloomer, Prudential chief executive, said: We will be very sorry to see Sir Roger go. He has played an important and valuable role in the company. We understand his decision as he has always acted honourably and in the best interests of Prudential. I am grateful to him for putting the interests of Prudential before his personal desire to resign.
Hurn’s resignation comes just a week after institutional investor pressure forced Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of Easyjet, to resign as chairman of the low-budget airliner. Haji-Ioannou said that he will leave the company next year to “ensure the company abides by the highest standards of corporate governance”.
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