Bond Manager's Pay Cut by $9.5 Million as M&G Fund Shrinks

Richard Woolnough, a bond manager at Prudential Plc’s M&G Investment unit, took a pay cut of at least 6.6 million pounds ($9.5 million) in 2015 as market turmoil saw the fund he looks after shrink by about 10 billion pounds.

Woolnough was Prudential’s highest-paid employee for at least two previous years, earning more than 15 million pounds in cash and shares in 2014 and surpassing the 11.8 million pounds paid to the London-based company’s chief executive officer at the time, Tidjane Thiam.

Mike Wells, chief executive officer of Prudential Plc
Mike Wells, chief executive officer of Prudential Plc
Source: Prudential Plc via Bloomberg

New CEO Mike Wells became highest-paid executive after taking over in June, with the company awarding him 10 million pounds, the insurer’s annual report showed Thursday. The second-highest paid employee earned at least 8.7 million pounds, the filing showed, without disclosing further details. A spokesman for Prudential declined to comment.

Another two unidentified employees of the U.K.’s largest insurer were paid at least 8 million pounds and 5.6 million pounds respectively in 2015, the report showed. Thiam was paid 5 million pounds for his final months at Prudential before he joined Credit Suisse Group AG as CEO where he received another $4.7 million last year.

Assets at M&G Investments shrank last year after waning sentiment toward fixed-income securities led to 7 billion pounds of net outflows, including at Woolnough’s Optimal Income Fund. His fund, which invests mostly in bonds, now looks after about 14.9 billion pounds for clients compared with about 24.5 billion pounds a year ago, according to filings.

Wells, whose compensation included a 3.2 million-pound bonus, still earned less than the 12.4 million pounds he was paid the previous year when he was CEO of Prudential’s U.S. unit, the annual report showed.

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