Chris Sickle to lead Prudential under new M&G Investments banner

Chris Sickle, the current Chief Financial Officer of Prudential Investment Managers, has been appointed as the new CEO of the company. He takes over from Bernard Fick, who announced that he will be stepping down in February 2022 to take a break after over 10 years heading the group. Chris has been with Prudential for 2.5 years and has worked closely with Bernard during this period, making him an excellent choice to lead the company going forward.

Prior to joining Prudential, Chris worked for global consulting group EY for 17 years, the majority of which as a Partner and Asset Management Leader for Africa. In addition, for the last six years at EY he was the Managing Partner for the Cape Region.

Chris’s appointment coincides with Prudential changing its name to M&G Investments in Southern Africa, which reflects the company’s return to being majority-owned by M&G plc, the London-listed global investment manager that has been its largest shareholder for many years.

Explaining the changes, the new CEO said: “We have always shared a very similar valuation-based, risk-cognisant investment approach with M&G, so we are retaining our long-standing investment philosophy and process. However, we will be more closely integrating our own work with M&G’s global investment team and operations to take greater advantage of their global scale and expertise, with the goal of further enhancing our clients’ investment outcomes.

“These days our clients require greater, cost-effective access to more advanced international investment solutions offered by truly global experts, in order for them to best benefit from the innumerable available market opportunities. What better way for us to give them this than to use more of the substantial resources within our global parent company? We have already worked closely with our London-based peers, under either the Prudential or M&G banners, for over 25 years, so it is a relatively easy step forward for us. We don’t have to seek help from outside partners to add more value for our clients.”

Besides a more holistic exchange of global ideas, processes and technologies, M&G Investments Southern Africa plans to offer certain M&G solutions should they fit client needs, such as funds using advanced technology like machine-learning, listed and unlisted infrastructure, private debt, hedge funds, etc, as well as those aiming to achieve certain environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.

Working with M&G will give them larger scale to make a more meaningful impact through ESG investing, where they can influence company policies to a greater extent. In fact, they have already begun collaborating with M&G’s specialist ESG teams in their engagements with large carbon-emitting companies, towards a transition to cleaner energy solutions.

And like the range of Prudential Global Funds, they can also tailor future client solutions to combine both global and local expertise, taking into account South African investors’ requirements and shaped by the understanding of both local and international conditions.

Concluded Chris Sickle: “Like some other emerging markets, we have been experiencing increasing globalisation in the local investment industry, so it makes sense for us to bring more of our global parent’s expertise here to benefit South African investors. United as single global investment manager, M&G Investments will be able to enhance the quality of investors’ portfolios and the potential for them to meet their investment goals.”

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