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Mike Wells said in line to replace Thiam as Prudential plc's CEO

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(Bloomberg) — Prudential Plc, Britain’s largest insurer, is due to name Mike Wells as chief executive officer, succeeding Tidjane Thiam, who is set to run Credit Suisse Group AG, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

The company plans to make an announcement once the U.K. regulator has approved the choice, Chairman Paul Manduca said on a conference call on Tuesday, without commenting further. Wells has been CEO of London-based Prudential’s Jackson National Life U.S. unit since 2010.

“He is well respected and has done a good job in the U.S.,” Oliver Steel, a Deutsche Bank AG analyst, said in a note to clients Tuesday. “We think the market will be content with this appointment.”

Wells joined Jackson in 1995 in the marketing and distribution arm and helped develop the firm’s first variable annuity products. Since he was promoted to CEO, the company has grown to become the largest seller of variable annuities in the U.S., surpassing companies such as MetLife Inc., according to data from trade group Limra.

He has been in the insurance industry for 29 years and has a bachelor of science degree from San Diego State University. His selection as Prudential’s CEO was reported earlier by Sky News.

Prudential fell 2 percent to 1,630 pence by 9:59 a.m. in London, trimming the stock’s advance this year to 9.2 percent.

Thiam, 52, has run Britain’s largest insurer by market value since 2009, tripling its stock price while betting on Asia to drive up profit. He was named Tuesday to replace Brady Dougan as CEO of Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-largest lender.

Prudential reported Tuesday a 14 percent increase in group operating profit before the effect of currency swings to 3.2 billion pounds ($4.8 billion) from a year earlier. It raised the final dividend 10 percent. Jackson National Life reported a 21 percent jump in full-year operating profit to 1.43 billion pounds.

Prudential Plc has no relation to Newark, New Jersey-based Prudential Financial Inc.


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