Manduca is persuaded to take the chair at the Pru

Prudential has ended its five-month hunt for a new chairman by appointing the board member who was initially charged with leading the search.

Paul Manduca at first ruled himself out of the process but was subsequently invited to put his name forward as a candidate to replace Harvey McGrath.

The Pru’s senior independent director, who handed over responsibility for the search to fellow board member Lord Turnbull, has sat on the board since October 2010, having founded Threadneedle Asset Management in 1994 and been chief executive at Rothschild Asset Management and Deutsche Asset Management.

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He will step down from his position as chairman of Aon UK in order to reduce his commitments and “make Prudential his principal focus”.

Manduca will assume the £600,000-a-year position on 2 July, taking over from McGrath who announced his decision to step down in December following flak over the Pru’s failed £22 billion bid for Asian insurer AIA in 2010.

Turnbull said Manduca’s leadership skills and financial experience would make him an “excellent” chairman for the insurer.

Chief executive Tidjane Thiam, who spearheaded the AIA bid, paid tribute to McGrath: “Throughout his time as chairman, Harvey has led this board with integrity, determination and courage and I wish him well for the next stage of his long and successful career.”