JACKIE HUNT, one of the most senior women in the City and, has made a sudden exit from FTSE 100 life insurer Prudential in the most high-profile management change since the departure of group chief executive Tidjane Thiam.
Hunt, head of Prudential’s UK and Europe business and one of the insurance industry’s most experienced chief financial officers, has left the company with immediate effect, Prudential said in a statement, giving no further details.
The move comes after only two years in the job and less than five months after Mike Wells replaced Thiam as CEO, a job for which Hunt had been tipped as a possible contender.
Barrie Cornes, analyst at Panmure Gordon, said he suspected she had been replaced “following a clash in personalities” between Hunt and Wells, the Financial Times reported.
Hunt’s departure comes after steering Prudential’s UK arm through a difficult period with the business hit by sweeping pension changes unveiled by chancellor George Osborne which damaged sales of lucrative annuity products.
Hunt joined Prudential from Standard Life where she was CFO. She joined Standard Life in 2009 as deputy CFO taking on the CFO role in 2010. Prior to Standard Life she was CFO of Norwich Union Insurance, a subsidiary of insurance group Aviva. Hunt has had financial roles at Deloitte, PwC and Royal & SunAlliance.
Mike Wells said: “I would like to thank Jackie for the contribution she has made during a period of radical change in the UK marketplace. She leaves our UK life business in a strong position to continue to meet our customers’ long-term savings and retirement needs while delivering valuable returns for our shareholders.”