By: Shubham Ghosh
Anil Wadhwani on Saturday (25) took over as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Prudential plc. The British insurer had named Wadhwani, who was earlier the president and CEO of Manulife Asia, for the top post in May last year.
The new CEO will present the 2022 full year results on March 15 and begin meeting investors and stakeholders.
Prudential has gone through a transformation in recent years, dividing its UK and European unit four years ago and separating US business Jackson last year following pressure from American activist investor Third Point, Reuters reported. It also said that Third Point had sought Prudential to slash London office costs and focus on talent from Asia.
Last February, Prudential said that its future CEO and senior management team would be based in Asia after Mike Wells retired last year. Mark FitzPatrick ran the show as an interim CEO till Wadhwani took over. His elevation indicates the company’s pivot to focus on Asia.
Wadhwani, who has studied in India’s Mumbai, “has 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, that will help us meet the needs of our customers in our chosen growth markets in Asia and Africa,” Prudential chair Shriti Vadera was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Welcoming Wadhwani after he took charge, Vadera said Prudential completed the move of having its entire senior management team in Asia, a news release said.
Speaking on his new role, Wadhwani said he is thrilled to join the team during what is an excellent time in the development of the company’s Asian and African operations and that he was looking forward to meeting customers, colleagues, investors, and key stakeholders, the release said.
The 54-year-old Wadhwani has more than 30 years of experience in financial services, predominantly in Asia. He has succeeded in the role of combining strategic vision and execution in some of the world’s biggest companies. As the CEO of Manulife Asia, Wadhwani successfully grew its multi-channel business and transformed its highly diversified business in nearly five years.
Prior to that, he served 25 years in a number of consumer financial services roles at Citi across Asia Pacific, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and the US.
Wadhwani, who has worked in Mumbai, Singapore, London, and New York, is based in Hong Kong, Prudential’s Asia headquarters.