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Pru bosses brace for AGM amidst calls for resignation

Increasing number of shareholders voicing concerns about how the failed $35.5bn bid was conducted.

Prudential chairman Harvey McGrath and chief executive Tidjane Thiam are likely to face calls for their resignation at the AGM on Monday.

Some company shareholders have already approached Pru's Mark Tucker - who served as chief executive from 2005 to September last year - as a possible replacement for Thiam. Tucker, who was responsible for creating Prudential's profitable Asian division, has so far been non-committal about a return to the company.

The Times reported that Michael McLintock, chief executive of M&G, the Prudential's fund management division, could be another possible replacement.

An increasing number of shareholders are now voicing concerns about how the failed $35.5bn bid for AIG's Asian business AIA was conducted and the pay of the Pru's directors. They are worried as well about the huge costs incurred in making the bid and the safety of the dividend.

The Prudential management seems eager to tell investors at the AGM that the failed AIA bid that cost the company £450m will not be resurrected and its strategy of focusing on Asia for growth to deliver shareholder value remains the same.

Investors would also be grilling the UK insurer about the pay packet offered to finance director Nic Nicandrou and head of the company's British operations, Rob Devey. Both have been paid around £2m million to compensate them for lost bonuses from Aviva, their previous employer. The company says the payments were reasonable and worth 30 per cent of their missed bonuses.

A shareholder rebellion at the AGM, where the entire board meets investors for the first time since the AIA deal was killed, could worsen the position of Thiam and McGrath.

To soften the shareholders, Prudential will issue a positive trading statement today for the months of April and May. It is expected to show impressive new business sales.