* Mark FitzPatrick joins as CFO from Deloitte
* Tony Wilkey quits as Asia head, replaced by Nic Nicandrou
* New business profit of 856 mln pounds
* Drop in solvency under new disclosure rules
(Adds analysts' comment, solvency data, updates shares)
By Carolyn Cohn
LONDON, May 18 British insurer Prudential
reported a 25 percent rise in first-quarter new-business
profits on Thursday, driven by a strong performance in Asia, and
announced the appointment of a new chief financial officer in a
The company said in a statement before its annual general
meeting that the head of its Asian business, Tony Wilkey, is
stepping down in July after more than 10 years with Prudential
"to pursue new challenges" and will be replaced by group CFO Nic
Mark FitzPatrick, currently a managing partner at consulting
firm Deloitte, has been appointed as the new CFO.
The moves are the latest in a number of management changes
at Prudential since Mike Wells became chief executive in 2015.
Barrie Cornes, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, said in a
client note he was "slightly surprised about the change in
senior management coming so soon after the last round of
Regarding its first-quarter performance, Prudential said
new-business profits rose to 856 million pounds ($1.12 billion),
including a 26 percent rise in Asia on a constant currency
basis, to 561 million pounds.
Jackson, Prudential's U.S. business, also posted a 26
percent rise in new-business profit to 224 million pounds, while
the UK insurance arm's new-business profit rose 15 percent to 71
M&G, Prudential's UK fund management arm, saw net inflows
from retail and institutional investors of 3.6 billion pounds.
Total assets under management rose 4 percent over the quarter to
275 billion pounds.
"We see the company offering relative value, with further
growth in the Asian top-line being a catalyst," analysts at KBW
said in a client note, reiterating their outperform rating on
Prudential's shares were down 1 percent at 1,714 pence at
1053 GMT, when the FTSE 100 index was down 1.4 percent.
Prudential also published data showing its capital strength
without the benefit of so-called transitional measures,
following new disclosure requirements under European Union
Bernstein analysts said the impact on Prudential's solvency
capital ratio, showing a 68-percentage-point drop to 103
percent, was "reasonably-sized".
Under the rules, a ratio of 100 percent shows insurers have
sufficient capital to cope with underwriting, operational and
investment risk. Transitional measures remain in place, however,
for up to a further 15 years.
Other major UK life insurers are due to disclose further
solvency figures on Friday.
($1 = 0.7671 pounds)
(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Larry King)