Bailed-out insurance giant AIG is parting company with Mark Wilson, the well-liked boss of its pan-Asian life insurance unit AIA. Mark Tucker, the former chief executive of Prudential, which failed to buy AIA last month, has taken the helm to prepare the Asian insurer for a jumbo Hong Kong initial public offering that bankers expect will raise up to US$20 billion. Wilson reportedly clashed in May with Robert Benmosche, American International Group's headstrong chief executive, threatening to leave if the US$35.5 billion sale of AIA to Prudential went through. Some analysts have guessed that Tucker, who was the architect of Prudential's successful Asian business before he left last September, will use the funds from AIA's IPO to bid for his troubled former employer. Prudential is licking its wounds after its audacious plan to buy its Asian rival flopped spectacularly last month, when its shareholders baulked at AIA's high price tag. Some investors have demanded chief executive Tidjane Thiam's resignation. AIA has been on the block since autumn 2008. AIG originally intended to sell a 49 per cent stake. In June last year, it appointed bankers to launch it on the Hong Kong stock market instead - an idea scratched in favour of selling to Prudential. In the latest twist, AIG said in a statement yesterday: 'After reviewing various options to monetise AIA's substantial value, we have concluded that an IPO is our best option.' It said Wilson would stay at AIA until the end of this year and work closely with Tucker to 'ensure a smooth transition'. The nine banks that won lucrative roles on the earlier IPO plan would now have to re-apply for their jobs, because Tucker would want to choose the advisers himself, a person close to AIA said. Last year, AIG tapped Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank to lead AIA's IPO. In February, it added Bank of America, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, UBS, China Construction Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China as bookrunners. Similar-sized transactions in Hong Kong have earned the banks involved about 2 per cent of deal value, so AIA could shell out up to US$400 million for financial advice. Yet Benmosche said last October that the company, which owes US taxpayers about US$130 million, would slash its payments to outside consultants. Wilson is the latest top boss to leave AIG over the bungled Prudential deal. Last week, AIG chairman Harvey Golub quit after clashing with Benmosche. Golub reportedly had argued that selling to Prudential, which proposed to pay more than its own market capitalisation for AIA, would be too risky. Benmosche, meanwhile, was determined to proceed with the deal. Wilson was credited with keeping AIA buoyant while AIG teetered on bankruptcy. Between AIG's first government bailout in September 2008 and March last year, AIA's loss of customers was less than 1 per cent above normal levels, Wilson told the Wall Street Journal last July. Rumours have swirled for months that Tucker would soon take a top job at either his previous employer or AIA. British newspapers said last month he was being lined up to replace Prudential chairman Harvey McGrath. Tucker, a former trainee professional footballer, ran Prudential's Asian business until 2003 and became group chief executive in 2005. He built the British firm into Southeast Asia's second-biggest life insurer.