UK insurer Prudential has appointed Harvey McGrath, former head of the listed hedge fund manager Man Group, as chairman in succession to Sir David Clementi, a former deputy governor of the Bank of England. The 56-year-old McGrath will join the Prudential board as a non-executive director on September 1 on a salary of GBP500,000 a year before taking the chair at the beginning of next year.
During a career with Man Group from 1980 to 2007 McGrath was variously treasurer, finance director, president of Man in New York, chief executive and then chairman. He has a stake worth GBP152m in the company after selling GBP5m worth of shares last year.
Prudential believes the former Man chairman's expertise will help it to expand internationally. The insurer, which is suffering from a moribund share price and is regularly the subject of takeover rumours, is focusing on growth in Asia to offset the effects of a slumping UK economy and weakening sales in the US.
Chief executive Mark Tucker says of McGrath: 'He will bring great insight and experience to the board of the company as we pursue our increasingly international strategy.' These days, it is to the hedge fund industry that traditional financial institutions look for leadership qualities.