Schroders' Buxton, Neptune's Geffen Call for Thiam to Go, FT, Times Report
Prudential Plc shareholders Richard Buxton and Robin Geffen of Schroders Plc called on Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam to quit over his failed attempt to buy American International Group Inc.’s main Asia unit, U.K. newspapers reported today.
Thiam spent three months trying to persuade investors of the London-based insurer to pay $35.5 billion for AIA Group Ltd. The agreement collapsed after AIG rejected a reduced offer. Thiam agreed to pay a 152.6 million-pound ($221 million) breakup fee to AIG.
Geffen, founder and chief investment officer of Neptune Investment Management Ltd., said Thiam “should go,” the Times reported, citing an interview. Someone at board level should be accountable for the aborted deal, which cost Prudential about 450 million pounds in fees, Buxton, Schroders’s head of U.K. equities, told the Financial Times.
Prudential spokesman Ed Brewster today referred back to Thiam’s comments yesterday in a Bloomberg Television interview. “I’m the servant of the shareholders and if the shareholders wanted me to resign of course I would,” Thiam said. “They have not expressed that desire.”