Former Citi banker Anil Wadwhani appointed as Prudential chief

Life insurer Prudential has appointed as chief executive Anil Wadhwani, a former Citi banker who previously ran the Asia business for Toronto-based insurance group Manulife.

Wadhwani will be the first Asia-based chief of the insurance group, which has undergone radical transformation in recent years and is now entirely focused on insurance markets in Asia and Africa. The company has joint headquarters and primary listings in London and Hong Kong.

He will take up the role in February 2023, subject to regulatory approval, and will be based in Hong Kong, where he lives.

The company announced earlier this year that Mike Wells would be stepping down as chief executive, to be replaced on an interim basis by finance chief Mark FitzPatrick.

Wadhwani said he was “honoured” to join the group which he said had shown “great resilience and agility through the recent and ongoing Covid pandemic”.

“This strong performance is a real testament to all their people, the quality of talent and the leadership team who I am very much looking forward to working with,” he added.

He will make an annual salary of about $1.6mn and could receive as much as double that in bonuses.

Prudential chair Baroness Shriti Vadera said Wadhwani had a “wealth of experience, not just in insurance but as a customer-centric people leader with a strong track record of creating and driving a culture of success”.

Nic Nicandrou, Prudential’s head of Asia and Africa and widely viewed as the leading internal candidate for the job, will “be leaving in order to seek opportunities outside the group”, Prudential said. His role will be retired.

FitzPatrick, who had ruled himself out of the race for the top job, will continue to lead the business and support the transition.

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