Prudential Financial

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Prudential Financial, Inc.
The Prudential Insurance Company of America
Traded as
Industry Financial services
Founded1875;144 years ago (1875)
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Founder John F. Dryden
Area served
Key people
Charles Lowry
(Chairman and CEO)
Robert Falzon
(Vice Chairman)
  • Life insurance
  • Mutual funds
  • Retirement
  • Annuity
  • Real estate
RevenueIncrease2.svg US$ 59.689 billion [1]  (2017)
Increase2.svg US$ 6.487 billion [1]  (2017)
Increase2.svg US$ 7.863 billion [1]  (2017)
AUM Increase2.svg US$ 1.394 trillion [1] (2017)
Total assets Increase2.svg US$ 831.921 billion [1]  (2017)
Total equity Increase2.svg US$ 54.069 billion [1]  (2017)
Number of employees
49,705 [1]  (2017)

Prudential Financial, Inc. is an American Fortune Global 500 and Fortune 500 company whose subsidiaries provide insurance, investment management, and other financial products and services to both retail and institutional customers throughout the United States and in over 40 other countries.

The Fortune Global 500, also known as Global 500, is an annual ranking of the top 500 corporations worldwide as measured by revenue and the list is compiled and published annually by Fortune magazine.

<i>Fortune</i> 500 Annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine

The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks 500 of the largest United States corporations by total revenue for their respective fiscal years. The list includes publicly held companies, along with privately held companies for which revenues are publicly available. The concept of the Fortune 500 was created by Edgar P. Smith, a Fortune editor, and the first list was published in 1955. The Fortune 500 is more commonly used than its subset Fortune 100 or superset Fortune 1000.

Insurance equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another in exchange for payment

Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management, primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent or uncertain loss.


Prudential Financial is the largest insurance company in the United States, with total assets amounting to approximately 1.456 trillion U.S. dollars.

Principal products and services provided include life insurance, annuities, mutual funds, pension- and retirement-related investments, administration and asset management, securities brokerage services, and commercial and residential real estate in many states of the U.S. It provides these products and services to individual and institutional customers through distribution networks in the financial services industry. Prudential has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America and has organized its principal operations into the Financial Services Businesses and the Closed Block Business.

Life insurance is a contract between an insurance policy holder and an insurer or assurer, where the insurer promises to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money in exchange for a premium, upon the death of an insured person. Depending on the contract, other events such as terminal illness or critical illness can also trigger payment. The policy holder typically pays a premium, either regularly or as one lump sum. Other expenses, such as funeral expenses, can also be included in the benefits.

A life annuity is an annuity, or series of payments at fixed intervals, paid while the purchaser is alive. A life annuity is an insurance product typically sold or issued by life insurance companies. Life annuities may be sold in exchange for the immediate payment of a lump sum or a series of regular payments, prior to the onset of the annuity.

A mutual fund is a professionally managed investment fund that pools money from many investors to purchase securities. These investors may be retail or institutional in nature.

Prudential is composed of hundreds of subsidiaries and holds more than $4 trillion of life insurance. [2]

The company uses the Rock of Gibraltar as its logo.

Rock of Gibraltar Monolithic limestone promontory located in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar

The Rock of Gibraltar, also known as the Rock, is a monolithic limestone promontory located in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, near the southwestern tip of Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. It is 426 m (1,398 ft) high. Most of the Rock's upper area is covered by a nature reserve, which is home to around 300 Barbary macaques. These macaques, as well as a labyrinthine network of tunnels, attract a large number of tourists each year.

Logo graphic mark or emblem commonly used by commercial enterprises

A logo is a graphic mark, emblem, or symbol used to aid and promote public identification and recognition. It may be of an abstract or figurative design or include the text of the name it represents as in a wordmark.

The use of Prudential's symbol, the Rock of Gibraltar, began after an advertising agent passed Laurel Hill, a volcanic neck, in Secaucus, New Jersey, on a train in the 1890s. [3] The related slogans "Get a Piece of the Rock" and "Strength of Gibraltar" are also still quite widely associated with Prudential, [4] though current advertising uses neither of these. Through the years, the symbol went through various versions, but in 1989, a simplified pictogram symbol of the Rock of Gibraltar was adopted. It has been used ever since. The logotype was updated with a proprietary font in 1996. The font, Prudential Roman, was designed by Doyald Young and John March, [5] based on the Century font family. [6]

Snake Hill mountain in New Jersey, United States of America

Snake Hill is an igneous rock intrusion jutting up from the floor of the Meadowlands in southern Secaucus, New Jersey, USA, at a bend in the Hackensack River. It was largely obliterated in the 1960s by quarrying that reduced the height of some sections by one-quarter and the area of its base by four fifths. The diabase rock was used as building material in growing areas like Jersey City. The remnant of the hill is the defining feature of Laurel Hill County Park. The high point, a 203-foot graffiti-covered inselberg rock formation, is a familiar landmark to travelers on the New Jersey Turnpike's Eastern Spur, which skirts the hill's southern edge. The crest of the hill's unusual, sloping ridge is about 150 feet high.

Secaucus, New Jersey Town in New Jersey, United States

Secaucus is a town in Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town's population was 16,264, reflecting an increase of 333 (+2.1%) from the 15,931 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,870 (+13.3%) from the 14,061 counted in the 1990 Census.

Doyald Young was an American typeface designer and teacher who specialized in the design of logotypes, corporate alphabets, lettering and typefaces.


Started in Newark, New Jersey, in 1875, Prudential Financial was originally called The Widows and Orphans Friendly Society, then the Prudential Friendly Society. It was founded by John F. Dryden, who later became a U.S. Senator. It sold one product in the beginning, burial insurance. Dryden was president of Prudential until 1912. He was succeeded by his son Forrest F. Dryden, who was the president until 1922. [7]

Newark, New Jersey City in Essex County, New Jersey, U.S.

Newark is the most populous city in the U.S. state of New Jersey and the seat of Essex County. As one of the nation's major air, shipping, and rail hubs, the city had a population of 282,090 in 2018, making it the nation's 73rd-most populous municipality, after being ranked 63rd in the nation in 2000.

John F. Dryden American businessman and philanthropist

John Fairfield Dryden was the founder of the Prudential Insurance Company and a United States Senator from New Jersey. He was known as the "father of industrial insurance".

Forrest Fairchild Dryden was the president of Prudential Insurance Company of America from 1912 until 1922. Prudential was founded by his father, John F. Dryden, who was also a United States Senator, representing New Jersey.

Old advert of the Prudential Insurance Co. of America (1909) Prudential advert 1909.jpg
Old advert of the Prudential Insurance Co. of America (1909)

A history of The Prudential Insurance Company of America up to about 1975 is the topic of the book Three Cents A Week, referring to the premium paid by early policyholders.

At the turn of the 20th century, Prudential and other large insurers reaped the bulk of their profits from industrial life insurance, or insurance sold by solicitors house-to-house in poor urban areas. [8] For their insurance, industrial workers paid double what others paid for ordinary life insurance, and due to high lapse rates, as few as 1 in 12 policies reached maturity. [9] Prominent lawyer and future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis helped pass a 1907 Massachusetts law to protect workers by allowing savings banks to sell life insurance at lower rates. [10]

Prudential logo from 1948 Prudential Insurance Presents.jpg
Prudential logo from 1948
Homeland Security secured the Prudential Headquarters in August, 2004 Newark-2004-prudential-threat.jpg
Homeland Security secured the Prudential Headquarters in August, 2004

Prudential has evolved from a mutual insurance company (owned by its policyholders) to a joint stock company (as it was prior to 1915 [11] ). It is now traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PRU. The Prudential Stock was issued and started trading on the New York Stock Exchange on December 13, 2001. On October 16, 2007 the Fox Business Channel picked Prudential as part of its Fox50 Index.

On August 1, 2004, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the discovery of terrorist threats against the Prudential Headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, prompting large-scale security measures that included concrete barriers outside the premises and internal X-ray machines. [12] In the same year, a joint venture was formed between Prudential Financial and China Everbright Limited. [13]

On August 28, 2006 federal and state securities regulators and the Department of Justice announced parallel settlements and a total of $600 million in monetary sanctions against Prudential Securities, Inc. (now known as Prudential Equity Group) for misconduct relating to improper market timing. [14]

On November 28, 2007, Prudential Financial board of directors elected a new CEO, John R. Strangfeld, to replace retiring Arthur F. Ryan. [15]

Acquisitions and divestitures

In 1981, the company acquired Bache & Co., a stock brokerage service that operated as a wholly owned subsidiary until 2003, when Wachovia and Prudential combined their retail brokerage operations into Wachovia Securities, with Prudential a minority stake holder. [16] [17] In 1999, Prudential sold its healthcare division, Prudential HealthCare, to Aetna for $1 billion. On May 1, 2003, Prudential formalized the acquisition of American Skandia, the largest distributor of variable annuities through independent financial professionals in the United States. The CEO of American Skandia, Wade Dokken, partnered with Goldman Sachs and sold the division to Prudential for $1.2 billion. [18] The combination of American Skandia variable annuities and Prudential fixed annuities was part of Prudential's strategy to acquire complementary businesses that help meet retirement goals.

In April 2004, the company acquired the retirement business of CIGNA Corporation. In late 2009, Prudential sold its minority stake in Wachovia Securities Financial Holdings LLC to Wells Fargo & Co. [19] In 2011, Prudential sold Prudential Bache Commodities, LLC to Jefferies.

In February 2011, the company acquired AIG Edison and AIG Star both in Japan from American International Group, Inc (AIG) for a total of $4.8 billion. [20] This acquisition bolstered Prudential's operations in Asia while giving cash to AIG to pay back the federal government from its bailout in 2008.

In January 2013, the company acquired the individual life insurance business from The Hartford for $615 million in cash. The acquisition includes 700,000 in force life insurance policies with a face amount of approximately $135 billion. This move by Prudential not only brought over additional life insurance revenue, it brought in new talent that the U.S. Life Insurance division needed for innovation. [21] As Prudential's Variable Annuity business continues to grow, the company needs to continue to grow its life insurance business to provide a natural hedge against unforeseen mortality risk.

Investor fraud

During the 1980s and 1990s, Prudential Securities Incorporated (PSI), formerly a division of Prudential Financial, was investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for suspected fraud. [22] During the investigation, it was found that PSI had defrauded investors of close to $8 billion, the largest fraud found by the SEC in US history to that point. [23] The SEC charged that Prudential allowed rogue executives to cheat customers on a large scale and blithely ignored a 1986 SEC order to overhaul its internal enforcement of securities laws. [24] In all, some 400,000 individual investors lost money on the deals. [23] In 1993, Prudential Financial eventually settled with investors for $330 million. [24] Prudential said it would repay customers across the U.S. who lost money on the company's limited partnerships in the 1980s. In addition, the firm was required to pay another $41 million in fines. [23] The settlement also resolved investigations of the firm by the National Association of Securities Dealers and 49 states, including California, where 52,000 investors lost money in Prudential limited partnerships. [23] [24] Further investigation was conducted by the SEC into the executives of the company to determine the extent of the fraud. [25]

Class action lawsuit over sales practices

In 1997, Prudential settled a class action lawsuit by millions of its customers who had been sold unnecessary life insurance by Prudential agents over a 13-year period ending in 1995. The settlement called for Prudential to repay an estimated $2 billion to customers through direct refunds and enhancements to existing policies. The settlement had been the subject of extensive negotiations involving not only Prudential and its customers, but also insurance regulators in 30 states. Prudential had agreed in early 1997 to pay a fine of $35 million to settle state allegations of deceptive sales practices. Prudential acknowledged that for more than a decade its agents had improperly persuaded customers to cash in old policies and purchase new ones so that the agents could generate additional sales commissions. [26]

US military life insurance lawsuit

In 2010, various media outlets noted allegations that the Prudential Life Insurance Company was manipulating the payout of life insurance benefits due to the families of American soldiers in order to gain extra profits. The company provided life insurance to people in the armed forces under a government contract. Rather than paying the full amount due to the families at once, the company would instead deposit the funds into a Prudential corporate account. These accounts are referred to as 'retained asset accounts' and are essentially an I.O.U. from the company to the payee (in many cases a fallen service members' family). While Prudential was making profits of up to 4.2% in its general account in early 2010, they paid out 0.5% interest in these non-FDIC insured "Alliance" accounts. [27] [28] In some cases, when families requested to be sent a full payout in the form of a check, the family was sent a checkbook, rather than the amount due. [27]

It is not clear if the practice was in violation of law or the contract. In August 2010, the company was sued by a number of the bereaved families. [29] The company's response included an open letter to the military community in which it addressed what it characterized as "misinformation" about the nature of the accounts. [30] [31] Military Times noted that prior lawsuits against insurance companies pertaining to the use of retained asset accounts have been dismissed in federal courts without action. [30]

Ratings, awards and The Prudential Foundation

Prudential has received a 100% rating on the Corporate Equality Index released by the Human Rights Campaign every year since 2003, the second year of the report. In addition, the company is in the "Hall of Fame" of Working Mothers magazine among other companies that have made their "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" list for 15 or more years. [32] It is still achieving that list, as of 2013. [33] According to Business Week's The Best Places to Launch a Career 2008, Prudential Insurance was ranked #59 out of 119 companies on the list. [34] In 2007, The Prudential Foundation provided over $450,000 in Prudential CARES Volunteer Grants to 444 nonprofit organizations worldwide. The Prudential CARES Volunteer Grants Program recognizes individual and team volunteers based on a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service per individual. Grants range from $250 to $5,000 for each award winner's charitable organization. [35] Prudential ranked #69 on the 2017 Forbes World’s Biggest Public Companies list, calling out their $45.6 billion market value. [36] Prudential ranked No. 52 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. [37]

The foundation also supports the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.[ citation needed ]

See also

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