Institutional investors are trying to get Prudential to organise a leaving do for chief executive Jonathan Bloomber because of concerns the latest "surprise" - a £1bn rights issue - is one to many, The Daily Telegraph writes.
Other examples include proposing incentive schemes for executives while slashing bonuses for policyholders, and last year’s decision to cut the dividend despite assurances of capital strength, the paper writes.
Working against those who would like to see some changes at the top is the fact there is no dominant institutional shareholder in the company: Fidelity and L&G each hold 4% as the biggest investors, followed by Lehman Brothers with 3.6%, and Morley Fund Management and Schroder Investment Mangagement with 3% each, the paper adds.
The Times points out that Pru competitor Aviva seems to be taking another tack, which is the UK savings market is giving off signs of “early recovery”.
The company’s reporting today that sales of life and pensions products are up 7% in the first nine months of the year contrasts with the request for cash by Pru to exploit market growth, The Times adds.
IN OTHER COMPANY news, The Scotsman notes how changes to the corporate structure of Royal Dutch/Shell Transport & Trading will result in a new £100bn company.
The news follows a quarter in which the company made a record £2.4bn in profit on high oil prices, and continued to try to put space between itself and the oil reserves scandal that claimed several scalps earlier this year.
A big change for investors is the decision to change to quarterly dividends from half-yearly payouts, the paper says.
A REFERENDUM ON the EU treaty is expected by 2006 in the UK after statements from Jack Straw suggested the date at a meeting of ministers in Rome for members to sign the controversial document, the FT writes.
The comment comes as countries try to plan worse-case scenarios, whereby early adopters such as Italy and Germany, where Parliaments can approve such treaties without submitting to referendums, may see rejection take place.
Ratification may be a touch-and-go affair because it must be cleared by all 25 members of the EU by 1 November 2006 for this to happen.IFAonline
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