Tidjane Thiam is an Ivorian businessman and former politician who is the Chief Executive of Prudential plc, the UK-based insurance group. Born in Côte d’Ivoire, he holds dual Ivorian and French citizenship. He studied advanced mathematics and physics in France before joining the management consultants McKinsey & Company in 1986, where he worked until 1994. From 1994 to 1999 he worked in Côte d’Ivoire first as Chief Executive of the National Bureau for Technical Studies (BNETD), reporting directly to the Prime Minister and the President, and from 1998 as both Chairman of the BNETD and Minister of Planning and Development. Following the Ivorian coup of 1999, he resumed a private sector career and re-joined McKinsey in Paris from 2000 to 2002, then worked as a senior executive for Aviva before being recruited by Prudential. When appointed the chief executive of Prudential in 2009, he became the first black person to lead a FTSE 100 company.