Brian Corby (died in 2009) As chairman of the Prudential "he became part of a powerful double act with his chief executive, Mick Newmarch, who had made his name as the City's most formidable investment manager...
"Frederick Brian Corby was born on May 10 1929 near Northampton, where his father worked in the city's traditional shoe trade. Brian was educated at Kimbolton School and went up to St John's College, Cambridge, to read Mathematics after national service in the RAF. On graduation in 1952 he joined the actuary's office of the Pru, spending most of his career – apart from a secondment to South Africa from 1958 to 1962 – in its ornate red-brick Victorian head office at Holborn. He became a general manager in 1976 and chief actuary in 1980.
"Having stepped back from executive duties in 1990, he was elected president of the Confederation of British Industry, where his two-year tenure coincided with a period of recession and very high borrowing costs which caused great pain for the CBI's membership. Corby urged John Major's government to slash interest rates to speed recovery – the response from Downing Street was that his members would have to "be patient".
"Corby was a member of the Court of the Bank of England from 1985 to 1993, chairman of the Association of British Insurers, president of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and vice-president of the Institute of Actuaries.
"Outside the City, he was chairman from 1990 to 1998 of the South Bank arts complex, which he defended robustly against accusations that it was "technically insolvent" and could be saved only by privatisation. He was also chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire.
"An enthusiast for European co-operation, he contributed to work in Brussels on the development of the EU internal market, and chaired a number of study groups on European business issues for the Federal Trust.
"Brian Corby was knighted in 1989. In retirement he enjoyed golf, gardening and reading history. He married, in 1952, Elizabeth (Beth) McInnes, with whom he had a son and two daughters. "