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Prudential History

We've been helping people meet their financial goals for more than 140 years.

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140 years of helping people achieve financial security

A lot has changed since 1875, but not our commitment to helping people achieve financial security and peace of mind. For more than 140 years we have demonstrated that we know what it means to keep the promises and commitments we make.

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1870s

In the world: Thomas Edison invents the phonograph.

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1875 Founding

Insurance agent John Fairfield Dryden establishes the Prudential Friendly Society, the first U.S. company to make life insurance affordable to working-class people. The company sold Industrial Insurance, which provided funeral and burial expenses for low-income families, with some weekly premiums as low as three cents.

1876 Policy Growth

Prudential issues its 5,000th policy.

1876 First Woman

Prudential hires the first female life insurance agent, Julia Babbit.

1877 Evolution

The company changes its name to The Prudential Insurance Company of America.

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1879 Marked Growth

Four years later, Prudential's sales extended beyond New Jersey, into New York City and Philadelphia, and the company's customer base expanded to the newly emerging middle class. With growing sales, assets reached $1 million.

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1880s

In the world: U.S. President Chester A. Arthur dedicates the Washington Monument.

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1881 A New Leader

John Dryden is elected president of the company.

1885 Policy Expands

John Dryden purchases Prudential's one millionth policy.

1885 The Headquarters is Born

Property at Bank and Broad Streets in Newark is purchased for the construction of Prudential's headquarters.

1885 Evolution of The Rock

Renamed "The Prudential Insurance Company of America," Prudential later adopted The Rock of Gibraltar as its company symbol, reflecting the strength and security it offered to customers.

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1890s

In the world: The first modern Olympic Games are held in Athens.

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1892 Policy Change

Prudential discontinues its 3 cents industrial policies.

1896 The Rock of Gibraltar

The "Rock of Gibraltar" is used as a company symbol for the first time in an ad in Leslie's Weekly with the company, "The Prudential has the strength of Gibraltar."

1898 Policy Holder Concession

Prudential grants a concession to policy holders, allowing them to serve in the Spanish-American War without having to pay additional premiums.

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1940s

In the world: The United Nations is formed.

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1948 Eight New Home Offices

Administrative functions of the company are decentralized with the opening of a home office in Los Angeles. Prudential later establishes eight additional home offices across the U.S., including Chicago and Philadelphia.

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1980s

In the world: The Berlin Wall comes down.

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1984 New Policy

Prudential introduces the industry's first Variable Appreciable Life policy.

1985 Major Acquisition

Prudential acquires Jennison Associates Capital Corp., a major pension funds manager, expanding our capabilities as a money manager for other institutions.

1985 Milestone

The company's consolidated assets surpass $100 billion.

1987 Real Estate Market

Prudential enters the residential real estate franchise business by forming The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates.

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1989 Major Acquisition

Prudential acquires Merrill Lynch Realty and Merrill Lynch Relocation Management.

1989 Milestone

Prudential surpasses $2 billion in assets under management.

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2000s

In the world: The Euro enters circulation.

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2001 New Policy

Prudential introduces the industry's first Variable Appreciable Life policy.

2001 IPO

Prudential becomes a public company on December 13, the first NY Stock Exchange IPO after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.

2003 Major Acquisition

Prudential completes acquisition of American Skandia, a leading annuities company.

2004 Major Acquisition

Prudential acquires Cigna's retirement business.

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2005 Corporate Social Responsibility Milestone

The Social Investments unit of Prudential reaches $1 billion in socially responsible investments.

2006 Expansion to Mexico

Prudential launches a new life insurance operation in Mexico.

2007 The Prudential Center

Prudential becomes the name sponsor of Prudential Center, a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue, in Newark, the company's hometown since 1875.

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2010s

In the world: Web connected video devices exceed the global population.

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2010 Stability in Crisis

As a result of Prudential's strong capital position, the company does not seek funds from the Troubled Asset Relief (TARP) in the aftermath of the 2007 financial crisis.

2010 Diversity Milestone

Diversity Inc names Prudential one of the "Top 50 Companies for Diversity" for the 10th consecutive year.

2010 Strength After Crisis

Prudential restores the annual dividend to its prior peak level of 2007.

2017 Global Enterprise

We have built our company on our proud heritage of life insurance and asset management expertise. Today, we offer individuals and institutions in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America a wide array of financial products and services, including life insurance, annuities, mutual funds, investment management, and retirement related services.

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