BusinessCompany NewsPru’s FD throws his weight behind fair value

Pru's FD throws his weight behind fair value

Tidjane Thiam, the new finance director at the Prudential, backs controversial fair value accounting as he faces searching questions from the City

Tidjane Thiam, Prudential FD

Tidjane Thiam, Prudential FD

In one of his first public engagements, Thiam fielded questions from analysts
as he detailed the first-quarter numbers in a conference call, which included a
fair value drop of £459m at its US insurance arm Jackson’s.

Thiam weighed in at a time when the regime has been panned by insurers AIG
and Axa. Some have demanded its suspension while the credit crisis is resolved.

‘We fair value the securities,’ said Thiam. ‘My predecessor Philip Broadley
has made a number of public statements on that, which I’m very comfortable
with.’

Broadley has historically backed fair value measurement. Under the demands of
the controversial IAS39, Prudential’s US securities classed as ‘available for
sale’ took a major hit in Q1 2008, but Thiam stood by the rule when asked about
the volatility it caused.

He also refused to be drawn on other accountancy sticking points. ‘We’ve
pretty much given our views across the standards and clearly support and follow
them,’ Prudential chief exec Mark Tucker, told Accountancy Age.

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