21 Feb 2001
Prudential plc board changes
The Board of Prudential plc announces that Mark Wood is to join the board in a new role as Chief Executive of Prudential's UK and European Insurance businesses from 21 June 2001.
Mr Wood, who is 47, has held a number of senior positions in the insurance industry and is currently chief executive of AXA UK.
"I am delighted that Mark has agreed to join us," said Jonathan Bloomer, Group Chief Executive of Prudential. "He comes with a wealth of relevant experience, having held several very senior positions in the insurance industry, including Chief Executive of AXA Equity & Law and Managing Director of AA Insurance. I am confident that he will be successful in driving the business forward."
Mark Wood said: " I am excited by the challenge ahead. Prudential is, and will be, a key player in the financial services industry and I look forward to helping shape its future, by building on its strong existing platform."
Keith Bedell-Pearce, Executive Director and Chairman of Prudential Europe, plans to retire from the board at the end of this year. As part of the transition of his responsibilities he will hand over responsibility for the European business to Mark Wood on his arrival.
John Elbourne, Chief Executive of UK Insurance Operations will retire, as planned, at the end of June.
Paying tribute to his colleagues, Jonathan Bloomer said: "Over the past 29 years Keith Bedell-Pearce has made a significant contribution to the development of the company and I am very grateful for his wise counsel and support over a number of years. "I would also like to thank John Elbourne, who in his four and a half years with Prudential, led the reorganisation and restructuring of our UK insurance business and the integration of Scottish Amicable. During this time he has made some very tough decisions to ensure that the UK insurance business is well positioned for the future."
Geraldine Davies (Press Enquiries)
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Rebecca Burrows (Analyst Enquiries)
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Steve Colton (Press Enquiries)
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Tina Christou (Press Enquiries)
Tel: 020 7548 3719
Notes to Editors
- This appointment is subject to regulatory consent
- Biography of Mark Wood below
Mark Wood will join the Board of Prudential plc from 21 June 2001.
Mark Wood is currently Group Chief Executive of AXA UK and a Senior Executive Vice President of the AXA Group.
He joined the AXA Group in February 1997 as Chief Executive of AXA Equity & Law. He became Group Chief Executive of Sun Life and Provincial Holdings (SLPH), after the reorganisation of AXA's UK insurance operations in September 1997. In May 1999, AXA acquired Guardian Royal Exchange Group which resulted in SLPH becoming a leading financial services operation in the UK and Ireland employing some 15,000 people. In July 2000, AXA acquired the outstanding minority interests in SLPH and the UK holding company was renamed AXA UK plc.
Mark Wood is a Chartered Accountant, qualifying with Price Waterhouse in London. He worked in New York for MAI plc's money broker division and subsequently for its financial services divisions as UK Chief Executive. His career also includes several years with the Barclays Group in London and New York, and with Commercial Union, where he was in charge of the Treasury function. Before joining AXA, he was Managing Director responsible for the AA's Insurance, Financial Services and Retail Businesses.
He is Chairman of the General Insurance Council of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Deputy Chairman of the ABI. Home Secretary Jack Straw appointed him Chairman of the Government's Property Crime Reduction Action Team (PCRAT) and he was recently elected as a Trustee of the NSPCC.
Mark Wood was born in 1953, is married and has three children.