Prudential, AIG CEOs brief staff on merger

Prudential, AIG CEOs brief staff on merger

The AIA tower in Hong Kong. AFP

Prudential CEO Tidjane Thiam and his AIG counterpart Robert Benmosche are leading a series of ‘town hall’ meetings across Asia that aim to allay concerns among staff of both companies.  They are reiterating they plan to keep the businesses and brands separate, with overlap mainly in back-and middle-office operations, according to people who attended the meetings. The CEOs met employees in Malaysia on Thursday morning, and arrived together, later in Singapore to meet staff there. They are expected to visit Thailand on Friday. Neither CEO would comment to reporters outside Singapore’s Suntec convention centre.

The meetings with employees kicked off in Hong Kong on Wednesday, where Thiam and Benmosche addressed staff of the two companies side-by-side, according to people who were present. Benmosche said that with markets softening ahead of the mooted IPO, a deal with Prudential offered more certainty, according to one person who attended. Should Prudential succeed in taking over AIA, the companies have promised to keep the AIA brand name –– a message that was conveyed at the AIA ‘town hall’.

The meetings also aimed to put employees at ease, saying it was business as usual for now, with no planned layoffs for front-end, customer-facing staff. In Malaysia, AIA has more than 1,000 staff and a network of 10,000 agents. In Singapore,  both have about 15 percent market share, the CEOs will address staff at two meetings.

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