Prudential UK boss to take over global role

Keith Bedell-Pearce, the controversial managing director of Prudential UK, has left the UK operation to take an unspecified position at Prudential Corporation.

A spokesman says his new role will be to oversee Prudential operations in Australia, New Zealand and Italy.

The move follows a restructure at the UK’s biggest life assurer, which includes the creation of two separate divisions under Prudential UK. The UK retail division’s management will be slimmed down with greater power being given to Prudential Bank, headed by managing director Mike Harris, and Prudential Assurance, headed by former TSB deputy chief executive John Elbourne, who becomes managing director.

Last April, Prudential merged its door-to-door sales division Home Services with the independent financial advisors division Personal Financial Services. Bedell-Pearce, who was in charge of PFS marketing, took charge of marketing as managing director of the newly-merged Prudential UK.

He caused a storm in November last year when he referred to his own marketing people as “well-intentioned amateurs”, as he announced he was hunting for a high-profile marketing director to take charge.

In April, he appointed Paul McGrane from Carlton Home Entertainment as marketing director. He sacked Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy at the end of last year and appointed Abbott Mead Vickers. BBDO without a pitch (MW January 5).

Bedell-Pearce had previously denied that the company intended to review its advertising. At the same time, Prudential’s head of advertising, Dominic Owens, left to join Mercury Communications as manager of marketing services.

Despite the appointment of AMV.BBDO, no new advertising has appeared for the company in ten months. Prudential Bank was launched last month with a poster execution which mimicked previous work by Mustoe Merriman.

Marketing Week also revealed that Prudential did not have a central database of information on its 6 million policy holders (January 26).

Prudential UK continues to be headed by chief executive Jim Sutcliffe. McGrane will oversee marketing for both the Assurance and Bank business.

Bedell-Pearce will partially replace main board director John Maxwell.

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