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The man from the Pru – an endangered species?

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Insurance giant Prudential has said that 3,000 of its staff will be “affected” by the decision to raise its cost-cutting target to £195m from £115m.

The company envisages this amount coming from internal cost-savings, as well as shifting jobs to cheaper locations overseas. Prudential’s life and pensions operation currently employs about 6,000 people in the UK, including 2,400 in Stirling and 1,900 in Reading.

The review of its organisation came after the firm successfully repelled a merger bid from bitter rival Aviva.

“We are looking at the work of 3,000 people and the importance of the work of those 3,000 people we have yet to determine,” said Nick Prettejohn, chief executive of Prudential UK.

“Whether our cost savings come from more offshoring or more outsourcing we have yet to determine.”

But old insurance hand Peter Mapp has heard these sorts of words before. “Back in the early 1990s I was working for Pearl when Australian company AMP came in for it,” he said.

“There was much talk of cost savings and the like and the upshot was that I and most of my colleagues lost our jobs. This sounds like a similar situation developing at Prudential and I fear for a lot of jobs there.”


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