After a five-month vacancy, the group chief investment officer (CIO) position at Prudential has been filled by Don Guo, who has joined from non-life insurance and reinsurance company Catalina Holdings, Prudential announced on Thursday (Sept 1).
Unlike his Hong Kong-based predecessor Stephan van Vliet, Guo will be based in Singapore, where he currently resides, the life insurer told AsianInvestor, without further explanation.
Former CIO van Vliet left the position in April after five years in the role. He joined Zurich Insurance as group CIO in May, based in Zurich.
Assuming the new role on Thursday, Guo will oversee Prudential’s investment, treasury, and asset and liability management functions across its markets in Asia and Africa. He reports to group chief financial officer, James Turner.
In addition, he will ensure optimal asset-liability management outcomes for the group’s insurance funds and provide effective liquidity management and capital market funding solutions for the group’s balance sheet, the firm said.
“I am honoured to have the opportunity to join Prudential. The company is a trusted brand with a solid history and reputation of serving the health and protection needs of consumers in Asia and Africa,” Guo told AsianInvestor.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues to build on Prudential’s capital strength and capabilities, to deliver growth and value for our customers and shareholders.”
As of the end of June, Prudential’s assets under management (AUM) stood at $166.9 billion, shrinking from $199.1 billion by end-2021.
Guo has more than 25 years of investment management and capital market experience, primarily with insurance and reinsurance companies in Asia, Europe and the United States.
He joins Prudential from Catalina Holdings where he was Asia and Europe CIO, responsible for managing investments for Catalina's regulated insurance and reinsurance entities.
Before joining Catalina, Guo was CIO at Asia Capital Reinsurance Group for 12 years.
“His appointment reflects our commitment to generating high returns and strong cash flow so that we can deliver long-term sustainable growth and value for our customers and shareholders,” said group CFO Turner.
PIVOT TO ASIA
Despite being headquartered in the UK, Prudential only operates insurance businesses in Asia and Africa after its UK operations were separated from the parent firm and are now owned by M&G. As it continues growing the Asia business, especially in Hong Kong and mainland China, Prudential has adopted a dual-head office strategy, pivoting its business focus to Asia and basing more senior executives in Hong Kong.
In August, Prudential for the first time announced its interim results out of Hong Kong with interim group chief executive Mark FitzPatrick flying from the UK to Hong Kong to hold an in-person meeting with the media.
Earlier in May, after months of difficult search for a Hong Kong-based CEO, Prudential successfully hired former Manulife’s Asia chief Anil Wadhwani in the city, becoming Prudential’s first Asia-based CEO in its 174-year history. He will be onboard in February 2023.