|Bid||38.81 x 800|
|Ask||38.80 x 3200|
|Day's Range||38.26 - 38.87|
|52 Week Range||31.85 - 46.50|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.59|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||16.90|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||1.26 (3.40%)|
|1y Target Est||46.60|
(Bloomberg) -- One of London’s top money managers, responsible for overseeing billions of pounds of assets at M&G Prudential Plc, is alleged to have sexually harassed female colleagues over several years.The senior fund manager targeted women in junior positions at the firm’s London headquarters and barraged them with sexually explicit text messages, inappropriate comments and unwanted physical contact, according to people who experienced or witnessed his behavior and asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation.One woman who frequently dealt with the manager said he would often put his hand on her bottom, fondle her thighs or give her unsolicited shoulder massages. When she asked him to stop, she said, he would refuse and complain she was being uptight, or say he had touched her by accident. A second woman said he did similar things to her.The first woman said she complained about the behavior to the firm’s human resources department. It isn’t known what, if any, action the company took, but the manager has remained in his position.“We consider the allegations that you have raised with us to be very serious matters which merit a full investigation,” Alexandra Ranson, a spokeswoman for M&G, said in an email to Bloomberg News. “We want our people to feel safe where they work, and expect all our employees to treat each other with dignity and respect. If it is found that any individuals in the employment of M&G Prudential have breached our very clear policies relating to conduct and behavior, we will take the appropriate disciplinary action.”The firm has hired law firm Baker McKenzie to assist with the investigation, according to people with knowledge of the probe. A Baker McKenzie spokeswoman declined to comment.M&G, which manages about 340 billion pounds ($430 billion) of assets on behalf of both retail and institutional investors, is owned by British insurer Prudential Plc. Prudential is planning to spin off its U.K. and European investment and savings business as M&G Plc later this month.Drinking CultureHarassment is still part of daily life for many women working in finance in London, where the high cost of pursuing court cases and some of the toughest libel and privacy laws in the world conspire against them.In contrast with the U.S., where media outlets have identified accused sexual harassers, many in the U.K. have remained anonymous. Few people who say they’ve been victims have been willing to make those claims publicly in court. Bloomberg News isn’t naming the manager at this time. His lawyer said he has never been made aware of any complaint about his behavior to HR.A Bloomberg Businessweek investigation in March revealed a culture of sexual misconduct nearby at the 331-year-old Lloyd’s of London insurance market, ranging from inappropriate comments to unwanted touching and sexual assault. In response, Lloyd’s set up a whistle-blower hotline, introduced lifetime bans for inappropriate behavior and barred those under the influence of alcohol or drugs from the exchange.Like Lloyd’s, M&G has a deeply embedded drinking culture, where some employees, including managers, knock back pints in the pubs and clubs around the office at lunchtime before returning to the office or after work. Some would round off an evening with a trip to a strip club. Rape jokes and other coarse sexual language were the norm in the office and at the pub, the people said. Some men would openly look at pornographic pictures on their mobile phones while at their desks, one person said.The senior manager who allegedly harassed junior colleagues made no secret of what he was doing. At a staff party a few years ago, he approached a trainee, grabbed her around the waist, held her close and kissed her, according to a person who witnessed the incident. The woman was visibly distressed, but no one did anything to stop him, the person said. The manager did the same thing to another woman later that same night, the person said.Inappropriate MessagesThe manager would target women in junior positions where they didn’t have any power, the people said. One woman said he started off by making inappropriate comments about her clothing and physical appearance, then asked for her phone number in case he needed to contact her outside of work and connected with her on social media.The woman said she initially felt flattered that a senior manager seemed to care about her and wanted to hear her opinions. Things spiraled quickly, though, and he began sending increasingly inappropriate messages and photographs to her phone and email accounts. He would sometimes send sexually graphic messages late at night while she was sleeping, so it would be the first thing she saw in the morning. She said she asked him to stop and had never given him any reason to suspect she was interested in him sexually.The manager was able to get away with his abusive behavior for so long because of his seniority, the people said. Many of those who said they were victimized by him or who witnessed his behavior said they were too scared to complain to HR or their managers because they thought it would negatively affect their careers. Some were recent graduates with no experience of corporate life and not in a position to challenge someone operating with seeming impunity.Those who did complain saw nothing come of it. One woman who lodged a formal protest said she was advised to smile less around the manager and dress more conservatively. The HR manager she complained to, a woman, told her she wasn’t the first person to say she had been sexually harassed by the fund manager.One person said that when she asked her manager for advice about how to handle the situation she was told she needed to toughen up, as that was what the industry was like. The manager said there was very little that could be done about it, and that she should count herself lucky as the behavior of men in London’s financial district used to be far worse.Sexual AdvancesThe senior fund manager wasn’t the only alleged offender at M&G. One man pointed a phone camera up the dress of a female colleague without her knowledge at an after-hours gathering and then shared the photo with others, according to a person with direct knowledge of the incident.One of the women said men would routinely assess the attractiveness of female employees. Several said they would like to have sex with her. “You would definitely get done,” she recalled one saying. “I would destroy you.”The woman said she didn’t complain to HR because she thought it could hurt her chances of promotion, risk turning her colleagues against her and wouldn’t result in any disciplinary action. She said her experiences were in no way unique and that women had to develop a thick skin if they wanted to survive at the firm.One woman who worked in various parts of the business said she experienced sexual harassment in one form or another on all the desks where she worked. She also didn’t complain to HR because was worried about the impact on her career.Pornographic PicturesM&G fired a junior fund manager in 2017 for posting sexually explicit pictures online of a 22-year-old trainee after she had spurned his advances. Davide Buccheri, the fund manager, created a gallery of pictures using photos from the woman’s social media accounts alongside edited pornographic images he found on the internet. He then told managers at M&G about the photos. Buccheri was reported to the police and subsequently found guilty of harassment and sentenced to 16 weeks in prison. He declined to comment.The firm said at the time that it “does not tolerate harassment of any kind, and we have very clear processes for identifying, investigating and resolving any issues which arise.”Ranson, the M&G spokeswoman, said in her email that the company encourages current and former employees to report any behavior they have experienced or witnessed at work through a confidential hotline. “His or her concern will be taken seriously, thoroughly investigated and appropriate action will be taken,” she said.There are parallels in the way M&G failed to deal with allegations of inappropriate behavior and how insurance companies in the Lloyd’s of London market turned a blind eye to sexual misconduct. The women Bloomberg interviewed as part of the Lloyd’s investigation said their employers willfully ignored the near-constant harassment they suffered. The few who complained to HR were usually talked out of pursuing their grievances after being told it would hurt their career prospects to do so.Two of the women who worked at M&G said they found it easier to leave than take on their harassers. One, who said she had been harassed by the fund manager for years, said that after she gave notice the abuse stopped, and he turned his attention to the newest hire on the desk.To contact the reporter on this story: Gavin Finch in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Katz at email@example.com, Robert FriedmanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
M&G Investments, famed for launching the first ever UK unit trust back in 1931, breaks away from insurer Prudential on October 21 in a listing that promises a rapid ascension into the FTSE 100. The demerger, which sees shareholders receive one new M&G share for each Prudential share they already own, will create an insurance and asset management powerhouse that analysts predict will command a market value of between £7bn and £9bn. The split from Prudential marks a turning point that provides M&G with scope to reinvent itself and fix problems that have dogged it for years.
Investors who take an interest in Prudential plc (LON:PRU) should definitely note that the Group Chief Risk...
Out of thousands of stocks that are currently traded on the market, it is difficult to identify those that will really generate strong returns. Hedge funds and institutional investors spend millions of dollars on analysts with MBAs and PhDs, who are industry experts and well connected to other industry and media insiders on top of that. Individual investors can piggyback […]
Increase in profitability and industry-beating performance can be essential considerations in a stock for some...
Britain's top property investment funds have shed almost 10% of their combined assets this year as investors fret about the impact of Britain's exit from the European Union. Despite that, the FCA maintained the right for retail investors to leave such funds any day they like. Fund industry tracker Morningstar showed each of the 10 biggest open-ended property funds shed assets between January and August this year as investors pulled cash from the sector.
Investing.com -- China throws a party with ICBMs and stealth drones, while Hong Kong burns. Meanwhile, Europe's economy looks ever grimmer and Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN) clears its CEO of wrongdoing in a spy drama. Here's what you need to know in financial markets on Tuesday, 1st October.
The following are the top stories on the business pages of British newspapers. Litigation financing company Burford Capital Ltd has launched action in the High Court seeking to obtain the identities of traders allegedly behind the manipulation of its shares during a recent short attack. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has accused the French state-owned company building Britain's new nuclear plant of "unacceptable" failings as he threatened sweeping change at the group and denounced cost overruns and delays in the construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor in Somerset and similar projects in Flamanville in Normandy and Olkiluoto in Finland.
Prudential plc was fined £23.9 million ($29.4 million) by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority over annuity sales. From July 2008 to Sept. 2017, "Prudential failed to ensure that customers were consistently informed that they may get a better deal if they shopped around and failed to take reasonable care to organise and control its affairs in breach of its obligation to ensure fair treatment of customers," the FCA said. As of Sept. 19, Prudential has offered approximately £110 million in redress to 17,240 customers. Prudential did not dispute the FCA's findings.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it will introduce a new category of funds investing in inherently illiquid assets, or FIIA, from September 2020, confirming proposals made last October. "The new rules and guidance are designed to protect the interests of investors, particularly during stressed market conditions," said Christopher Woolard, the FCA's executive director for strategy and competition. The funds will be subject to additional requirements, including standard risk warnings in financial promotions, enhanced depositary oversight, and a requirement to produce liquidity risk contingency plans, it said.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Turbulent times should mean good business for insurers as people try to protect themselves against the hazards of an uncertain world. Hong Kong’s summer of unrest has proved anything but happy for shares of AIA Group Ltd., the city’s biggest seller of policies. The company may prove more resilient than investors are giving it credit for.AIA has slumped more than 16% from its July 19 peak, among the worst performers on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index in that period. The insurer has the third-highest weighting in the benchmark after HSBC Holdings Plc and Tencent Holdings Ltd., which have both lost less than 9% over the same time frame. AIA’s steepening decline is unusual for a stock that has mostly seen steady gains since it was spun out of American International Group Inc. after the financial crisis in 2010.Blame the Hong Kong protests. Anti-government demonstrations have led to a precipitous fall in mainland Chinese visitors to the semi-autonomous city. These tourists are an important source of business for Hong Kong insurers, whose dollar-based products offer a hedge against the falling yuan and a route outside China’s restrictive capital controls. Chinese tour groups to Hong Kong for the Golden Week holiday starting Oct. 1 are set to plunge 86% from a year earlier, Jinshan Hong and Qian Ye of Bloomberg News reported last week, citing the city’s Travel Industry Council.Policies sold to mainland visitors accounted for 26% of total new premiums received from individuals in the first six months of 2019, according to Hong Kong’s Insurance Authority. While AIA sells insurance across Asia, Hong Kong contributed 40% of its new business value in the first half, Michael Chang of CGS-CIMB Securities Ltd. reckons. Of this, mainland Chinese visitors accounted for 20%, Chang estimates.The physical presence of customers in Hong Kong is important because, unlike most financial assets, the city’s regulators require insurance to be sold face-to-face, at least to new clients. AIA, Prudential Plc and China Taiping Insurance Holdings Co., a state-controlled company based in Shanghai, are among the most reliant on mainland visitors, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Steven Lam.There’s more to AIA’s China exposure than sales made in Hong Kong, though. The company’s new business value in China surged 26% in the first half to account for 29% of AIA’s total. Demand for insurance is surging in the mainland as incomes rise while health and retirement systems remain under-developed.Until recently, AIA had failed to make much headway in a market that’s dominated by state behemoths such as China Life Insurance Co., despite being the only foreign insurer allowed to operate without a partner (thanks to roots that stretch back to 1919, when AIG was founded in Shanghai). That may be starting to change as the government, under pressure from slowing economic growth, opens its financial markets further to overseas companies.This year, the government loosened regulations that restricted AIA to five geographical regions: Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and the provinces of Jiangsu and Guangdong. The insurer has now moved into new provinces and started selling policies in Tianjin municipality and in the city of Shijiazhuang in Hebei province. (German insurer Allianz SE has been given the green light to set up the first wholly foreign-owned insurance holding company in the country.)In any event, the collapse in Chinese visitors to Hong Kong is likely to ease even if the protests continue. Investment-linked insurance products denominated in the Hong Kong dollar – which is pegged to the greenback – offer a perennial hard-currency allure for mainland individuals with few opportunities to diversify at home. Insurers in the city also sell policies denominated in the U.S. dollar itself. AIA’s new business value in Hong Kong jumped 19% in the first half.The slide in AIA stock has taken its price to embedded value to 1.9 times, from a peak of 2.4 times at the end of June. That’s still a premium to rivals such as Ping An Insurance (Group) Co., at 1.3 times, and China Life at 0.5 times, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Prudential, weighed down by its exposure to the slower-growing U.K. market, trades at 0.7 times embedded value. Still, 19 of 22 analysts tracked by Bloomberg rate AIA stock a buy, with only one sell recommendation.This slump looks to have limits. To contact the author of this story: Nisha Gopalan at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Prudential will spin off its UK and European insurance and asset management business M&G in October, Britain's largest insurer said in a prospectus published on Wednesday, dividing the insurance giant into two large-cap stocks. Prudential, founded in 1848 to provide loans to professional workers, announced the plan to hive off its UK arm last year. The split follows a trend among insurance and asset management businesses such as Old Mutual and Standard Life Aberdeen to break up and simplify their operations.
Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has completed a periodic review of the ratings of Jackson National Life Insurance Company and other ratings that are associated with the same analytical unit. The review was conducted through a portfolio review in which Moody's reassessed the appropriateness of the ratings in the context of the relevant principal methodology(ies), recent developments, and a comparison of the financial and operating profile to similarly rated peers. This publication does not announce a credit rating action and is not an indication of whether or not a credit rating action is likely in the near future.
British insurer Legal & General will offer annuities to Prudential pension savers in a deal it expects will increase its 2020 annuity sales by 15%, L&G said on Friday. Legal & General is one of the biggest players in annuities in Britain which offer pensioners a fixed income for life. Prudential pulled out of the annuity market in early 2017.
Two Prudential subsidiaries have agreed to pay nearly $33 million to settle charges they failed to disclose conflicts of interest and made misleading disclosures regarding 94 insurance-dedicated mutual funds they advised, the U.S. securities regulator said on Monday. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it had censured AST Investment Services Inc and PGIM Investments LLC, requiring them to disgorge $27.6 million and pay a civil fine of $5 million. The subsidiaries did not admit or deny the SEC's findings, the SEC said.
Passive investing in an index fund is a good way to ensure your own returns roughly match the overall market. But if...