Insurance giant Prudential to split into two as it looks to focus on Asia and US

The British insurer has also sold a US$16.7 billion UK annuity portfolio to Rothesay Life

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 March, 2018, 8:03pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 March, 2018, 12:58am

British insurer Prudential plans to spin off its UK and European business from its international operations, a move aimed at better focusing on faster growing markets such as Asia and the US.

M&G Prudential, the UK and European business, will be listed on the London Stock Exchange and headed by its current chief executive John Foley.

Meanwhile, Prudential will include the Asian, US and African operations and retain the listing status in London, Hong Kong, Singapore and New York. It will be led by current group chief executive Mike Wells.

Both firms will be headquartered in London.

The move was made after “a rigorous review” by the board, which concluded it is in the best interest of the group to operate as two separately listed firms and allow each other to focus on their individual strategies, said Paul Manduca, Prudential’s chairman.

The group will give more control to M&G Prudential over its business strategy and capital allocation, enabling it to play a greater role in developing the savings and retirement markets in the UK and Europe, said Wells.

Meanwhile, Prudential will be able to focus on the attractive returns and growth potential of its business in Asia and the US.

“The return on equity was good in the UK and European division, but not the same as we have in Asia, US and Africa,” said Wells. “The US and Asia are the next frontier.”

Meanwhile, Prudential also announced the sale of a £12 billion (US$16.7 billion) of UK annuity portfolio to Rothesay Life, in line with its strategy to transition towards a more capital light business model.

Additionally, Prudential disclosed its 2017 results, which showed operating profit increased 6 per cent year on year to £4.7 billion, on a constant exchange rate basis, above market expectations.

Its Asia business jumped 15 per cent in operating profits, compared with a 10 per cent increase in its UK and European division.