Prudential plc

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Prudential plc
TypePublic limited company
FTSE 100 Component
Founded1848; 173 years ago (1848)
in London
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
Area served
Key people
ProductsLife insurance
Investment management
Consumer finance
RevenueIncrease $93.73 billion (2019)[1]
Decrease $2.28 billion (2019)[1]
Decrease $792 million (2019)[1]
Total assetsDecrease $454.21 billion (2019)[1]
Total equityDecrease $19.66 billion (2019)[1]
Number of employees
23,792 (2018)[2]

Prudential plc is a British multinational insurance company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It was founded in London in May 1848 to provide loans to professional and working people.[3]

Prudential has 20 million life customers.[4] It owns Prudential Corporation Asia, which has insurance and asset management operations across 14 markets in Asia, Jackson National Life Insurance Company, which is one of the largest life insurance providers in the United States.

Prudential has dual primary listings on the London Stock Exchange and Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.[5] It also has secondary listings on the New York Stock Exchange and Singapore Exchange.


Early history[edit]

The company was founded in Hatton Garden in London in May 1848 as The Prudential, Investment, Loan, and Assurance Association and in September 1848 changed its name to The Prudential Mutual Assurance, Investment, and Loan Association,[6] to provide loans to professional and working people.[3] In 1854, the company began selling the relatively new concept of industrial branch insurance policies to the working class population for premiums as low as one penny through agents acting as door to door salesmen. The army of premium collection agents was for many years identified with the Prudential as the "Man from the Pru".[3] It moved to its traditional home at Holborn Bars in 1879 and converted to a limited company in 1881.[3] The building was designed by Alfred Waterhouse, and is built of terracotta manufactured by Gibbs and Canning Limited of Tamworth (c.1878) — two of the same driving forces behind the Natural History Museum in London.[7]

Twentieth century[edit]

Holborn Bars—Traditional home of Prudential

The company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1978.[8]

In the mid-1980s, financial deregulation allowed financial institutions to own estate agencies and Prudential decided to follow early market entrants such as Provident Financial Group plc (Whitegates) and Lloyds Bank (Black Horse Agencies),[9] in the Summer of 1985 by purchasing a long established and successful Huntingdon-based firm of estate agents; Ekins, Dilley and Handley for £12 million.[10] This was originally supposed to be an experiment allowing the company a new route to market for mortgage-linked endowment policies, however after many other financial institutions followed suit, Prudential rapidly started to embark on an acquisition trail which would quickly see it become market leader in terms of number of offices.[11][9] Acquisitions included Chestertons Residential and Earl & Lawrence in August 1986,[12] Edward Bailey & Son in January 1987, The Channel Island Estate Agency Property Shop in February 1987, and Rogers & Clark in May 1987.[13] This was however done at great cost and despite the cost of established a new estate agency branch being in the region of £75,000-£100,000, Prudential paid £125 million collectively for 337 of its branches; an average cost per branch of £371,000.[14]

In 1986, Prudential acquired the American insurer Jackson National Life.[15] In the same year, amongst many other acquisitions, Prudential Property Services acquired the fifty-two strong chain of Reeds Rains for £24 million.[16][17]

The collapse of the housing market in the south of England in 1989 brought about a slump in income at Prudential Property Services which during the first half of 1990 lost £23 million. Prudential had been closing branches, with 100 closing between December 1988 and May 1990. The announcement of these losses saw another 175 branches closed in July 1990. In May 1991 Prudential sold the remainder of the chain for a total of £13.5 million, representing a 90% loss on the cost of acquisition. Some branches were purchased by their original owners for fractions of the amount they had sold to Prudential for just a few years earlier.[14] For example the Prudential Property Services office in Hanwell was originally an independent agency, purchased by Prudential for £200,000: it was subsequently sold off to Rolfe East Estate Agents for £1.[18] The western division of Prudential Property Services was sold to Scottish Widows to join their Connells Estate Agents chain. The northern division[18] was sold in a £3.4 million management buyout reverting to the name, Reeds Rains,[16][17] the south east division was sold to become Arun Estates,[18] and Chestertons and another region was sold to the Woolwich Property Services.[19][20]

In 1997, Prudential acquired Scottish Amicable, a business founded in 1826 in Glasgow as the West of Scotland Life Insurance Company, for £1.75bn.[21]

In 1998, Prudential set up Egg, an internet bank within the UK. The subsidiary reached 550,000 customers within nine months but had difficulty achieving profitability.[22] In June 2000, an initial public offering of 21% was made to allow for further growth of the internet business but in February 2006 Prudential decided to repurchase the 21% share of Egg.[23] Egg was subsequently sold to Citibank in January 2007.[24] In 1999, M&G, a UK fund management company, was acquired.[25] In June 2000, the company was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange to help focus on the US market.[26]

Twenty-first century[edit]

In February 2002, Churchill bought Prudential's general insurance business.[27]

In October 2004, Prudential launched a new subsidiary, PruHealth, a joint venture with Discovery Holdings of South Africa selling private medical insurance to the UK market.[28] In April 2008, Prudential outsourced its back office functions to Capita: about 3,000 jobs were transferred (1,000 in Stirling, 750 in Reading and 1,250 in Mumbai).[29] This significant outsourcing deal, worth an estimated £722m over a 15-year contract, built on Prudential's existing relationship with Capita who took over its Belfast operation in 2006 along with approximately 450 employees in a smaller operational restructure.[30]

On 1 March 2010, Prudential announced that it was in "advanced talks" to purchase the pan-Asian life insurance company of AIG, American International Assurance (AIA) for approximately £23 billion.[31] The deal later collapsed and AIA ended up raising money in an IPO.[32]

In December 2013, Prudential announced the purchase of Ghana's Express Life Company. Express Life was subsequently rebranded as Prudential Ghana.[33] In April 2014, Prudential launched two corporate responsibility initiatives to support education in Ghana: the Prudential Scholarship Programme for more than 500 senior high school students, in partnership with the NGO Plan Ghana; and a scheme to support actuarial science graduates.[34] In September 2014, Prudential purchased Kenyan life insurer Shield Assurance and rebranded it as Prudential Kenya, further expanding the company's presence in Africa.[35] Prudential has since entered six other African countries – Uganda in 2015, Zambia in 2016, Nigeria in 2017, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire and Togo in 2019.[36]

On 10 March 2015, it was announced that the CEO, Tidjane Thiam, would leave Prudential to become the next CEO of Credit Suisse.[37] On 1 May 2015, it was announced that Mike Wells, head of the company's US business, would succeed Tidjane Thiam as CEO, on a pay package worth up to £7.5 million.[38]

In August 2017, it was announced that Prudential was to combine its asset manager, M&G, and Prudential UK & Europe to form M&GPrudential.[39]

In November 2017, Prudential announced the change in the name of its joint venture with Chinese investment company CITIC to "CITIC Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited".[40]

In March 2018, Prudential announced that it would demerge M&GPrudential from the Group;[41] the demerger was completed on 21 October 2019.[42]


Prudential's administrative centre in Reading, United Kingdom

The Company has two business units:[43]

  • Prudential Corporation Asia: based in Hong Kong,[44] the business is the largest UK life assurer in Asia. It has had a presence in the continent since 1923 when an overseas agency for life assurance was created in India. Although this was subsequently nationalised, Prudential relaunched in India in 2000 as ICICI Prudential, a 26% joint venture with ICICI Bank. As CITIC Prudential Life, a 50–50 joint venture, they were the first UK company to re-establish a life business in China in 2000. There are also businesses in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Prudential's Asian asset management business, Eastspring Investments, has total funds under management of USD241 billion.[4]
  • Jackson National Life Insurance Company: based in Michigan, United States,[45] the business was purchased in 1986. It was named after Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States of America and started business in 1961.

Prudential RideLondon[edit]

Prudential RideLondon is an annual two-day cycling festival, held for the first time in 2013. The 2017 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 set a new fundraising record for the event, with £12.75 million raised for charity, bringing the total raised by the event to more than £53 million in its first five years.[46]

The event was developed by the Mayor of London and his agencies and is organised by the London & Surrey Cycling Partnership. The main events are a 100-mile professional road race through Surrey and London, and an amateur race along the same route. Participants in the amateur race typically raise money for good causes. The 20,709 finishers in the 2014 event raised more than £10 million for charity.[47]

The inaugural sponsor of RideLondon, Prudential has extended its sponsorship of the event for a further three years, up to and including the 2018 event.[48]

Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon[edit]

In October 2014, Prudential announced that it would invest up to £100 million in the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon Power station project. Prudential has committed to invest £25 billion in UK infrastructure projects over five years. Prudential will be one of the main investors in the scheme designed to harness tidal-energy, which could power 120,000 homes for 120 years. If approved, the project would take two years to build and would create 1,850 construction jobs.[49]

Senior management[edit]

Key individuals are:

Chair of the Board of Directors Shriti Vadera
Group Chief Executive Mike Wells
Group Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer Mark FitzPatrick
Chief Executive Officer, Jackson Holdings Michael Falcon
Chief Executive of Prudential Corporation Asia Nic Nicandrou
Group Chief Risk and Compliance Officer James Turner
Group Chief Digital Officer Al-Noor Ramji

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Full Year Results 2019" (PDF). Prudential Public Limited Company. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Annual Report 2018" (PDF). Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d "Timeline 1826–1901". Prudential plc. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b "fact-file" (PDF). Prudential plc. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  5. ^ "2019 Annual Report" (PDF).
  6. ^ Dennett, Laurie. (1998). A Sense of Security: 150 Years of Prudential. Granta Editions. pp. 18–20. ISBN 978-1-85757-060-1.
  7. ^ Research page including details of many buildings that used Gibbs and Canning terracotta Archived 15 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine accessed 25 March 2012
  8. ^ "Prudential plc". London Stock Exchange. Archived from the original on 10 April 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  9. ^ a b Ennew, Christine, ed. (1993). Cases in Marketing Financial Services. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. pp. 196–200. ISBN 0750606614.
  10. ^ Dennett, Laurie (1998). A Sense of Security: 150 Years of Prudential. Cambridge: Granta Editions. p. 363. ISBN 185757060X.
  11. ^ Thomson, Richard (22 August 1993). "The lenders fold their cards: Richard Thomson looks into the story behind Abbey National's sale of its disastrous estate agency venture". The Independent. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  12. ^ "The Times". 8 August 1986. Retrieved 11 May 2020. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  13. ^ George, K D (1988). Mergers and Acquisitions Year Book. Basingstoke: Macmillan Publishers. pp. 68, 116, 402. ISBN 978-1-349-10005-7.
  14. ^ a b Hamnett, Chris (1998). Winners And Losers: Home Ownership in Modern Britain. Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 42–44. ISBN 978-1857283341.
  15. ^ "Prudential P.L.C. To Buy Jackson". The New York Times. 19 September 1986. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  16. ^ a b Lawson, David (1999). Swiss Financial Giant Backs UK Residential Agents. Property Week, April 1999.
  17. ^ a b [1] The History of Reeds Rains - Youtube.
  18. ^ a b c Willcock, John (17 August 1993). "Abbey National sells estate agents for 8m pounds: Two entrepreneurs buy Cornerstone chain after bank's losses since 1987 mount to at least pounds 243m". The Independent. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  19. ^ Woolwich Property Services Limited (1992). Accounts to 31 December 1991.
  20. ^ Backe-Hansen, Melanie (2018). The History of Chestertons. Chestertons Global Limited.
  21. ^ Pru of Britain in Deal to buy Scottish Life Insurancer. The New York Times, 26 March 1997.
  22. ^ Egg cracks internet for Pru BBC News, 1999
  23. ^ Prudential to swallow the Egg whole. BBC News, 2005.
  24. ^ Pru sells Egg to Citigroup. BBC News, 2007.
  25. ^ Pru pounces on investment rival BBC News, 1999
  26. ^ Prudential goes to New York BBC News, 2000
  27. ^ "Churchill set to cull Pru suppliers". Insurance Times. 31 January 2002. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  28. ^ Insurance boon for health conscious. BBC News, 2004.
  29. ^ Prudential jobs deal with Capita BBC News, 2007
  30. ^ Prudential outsources 450 jobs in Belfast to Capita Group. The Independent, 17 August 2006.
  31. ^ "Prudential gambles on Asia with $35bn deal". The Guardian. 1 March 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  32. ^ "Prudential abandons bid for AIA". BBC News. 2 June 2010. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  33. ^ "Prudential Moves into Insurance in Ghana". The Financial Times. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  34. ^ "Prudential Increases Capital Base". Business and Financial Times. 25 April 2014. Archived from the original on 3 August 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  35. ^ Jones, Sarah (16 September 2014). "Prudential Buys Kenyan Insurer in Second African Purchase". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  36. ^ Taofik Salako. "UK's Prudential becomes majority investor in Zenith Life Assurance". Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  37. ^ Milmo, Dan (10 March 2015). "Prudential's Tidjane Thiam to take top role at Credit Suisse". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  38. ^ Julia Kollewe. "Prudential appoints new CEO on £7.5m pay package". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  39. ^ "Prudential announces merger of M&G and Prudential UK & Europe". Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  40. ^ "Prudential changes name of Chinese joint venture". Sina Finance. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  41. ^ Lucy Burton. "Prudential unveils radical overhaul as it splits itself in two FTSE 100 firms". The Telegraph. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  42. ^ Senior City Correspondent, Ben Martin (21 October 2019). "M&G makes its debut after demerger from Prudential". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  43. ^ "About us". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  44. ^ "Prudential Corporation Asia – How to contact us". Archived from the original on 18 December 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  45. ^ "Jackson National Life Insurance Company - How to contact us". Archived from the original on 18 December 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  46. ^ "Riders raise record £12.75 million for charity in 2017". Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  47. ^ "Prudential RideLondon raises record-breaking £10 million for charity". Archived from the original on 10 February 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  48. ^ "Prudential renews sponsorship of RideLondon". Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  49. ^ "£100m investment in Swansea Bay tidal lagoon". BBC News. 20 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.

External links[edit]