Prudential names Mike Wells as CEO to replace Thiam

Thiam: Always going to leave Prudential
Thiam: Always going to leave Prudential   

British insurer Prudential has appointed Mike Wells, head of its U.S. business,as its new chief executive to replace Tidjane Thiam.

Wells will take up the CEO position on June 1, Prudential said on Friday.

Thiam said in March he was moving to head Swiss bank CreditSuisse. Prudential said at the time that the board had identified a successor from a range of candidates and expected to be able to announce a new CEO once the regulatory approval process had been completed.

The seven-week delay between the announcements of Thiam's departure and Wells' appointment was not a surprise, analysts and investors said, as regulatory approvals can take time, particularly as Wells has not previously worked in Britain.

Tidjane Thiam
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Tidjane Thiam

Thiam had a strong track record at Prudential, which is listed in London and Asia. The group's profits rose 14 percent last year, to £3.2 billion ($4.89 billion).

Read MoreCredit Suisse appoints Tidjane Thiam as new CEO

Wells joined the company's U.S. business, Jackson, in 1995and has 29 years' experience in life insurance and asset management, Prudential said.

Jackson reported a 21 percent rise in operating profit last year, to £1.4 billion.