Our businesses through history

Prudential was founded in 1848 to provide professional people with loans secured by life assurance. This market broadened during the second half of the nineteenth century with the opening of the Industrial Branch, which sold insurance policies for weekly premiums of a penny upward to the working classes through a network of agents.

The company was established as The Prudential Mutual Assurance Investment and Loan Association. This was shortened after a series of acquisitions to The Prudential Assurance Company (PAC) in 1867.

PAC became a limited company in 1881, following the Limited Liability Act (1880). At this time the company was owned by fewer than 100 shareholders and most of these were related to the directors. Prudential grew rapidly and by the 1900s the company insured one third of the UK population.

New policies for single women, family and home protection were introduced following the First World War. Prudential shares were floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1924, and a further range of products was initiated in 1929 with the establishment of group pensions.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Prudential focused on life cover, long-term savings products and retirement annuities. By the 1970s Prudential had established a wide range of assurance, investment and savings products.

Today, Prudential’s business in the UK has approximately 6 million customers and focuses on pensions, savings and investments along with providing retirement income through its successful annuities business.

M&G’s long history of innovation began in 1931 when it launched the first unit trust in Britain, the First British Fixed Trust. The idea was brought to Britain by a stockbroker impressed by the way American mutual funds had withstood the 1929 Wall Street Crash.

Since the launch of the first unit trust, M&G's development has continued to include an impressive array of UK firsts, including the M&G Thrift Plan in 1954, the M&G Personal Pension Plan in 1968 and the M&G Japan and General Fund, a pioneer of overseas unit trusts, in 1971.

In 1999 Prudential acquired M&G, strengthening at a stroke the Group’s investment portfolio.

Today M&G manages the investments of individuals, institutions and the UK policyholders of Prudential funds. Its aim is to help these customers to meet their financial goals through long-term active investment management across a diversified range of asset classes.

Prudential has a rich and extensive history in Asia and has maintained a continuous presence in the region for more than 80 years.

In 1923 Prudential began its first overseas life operation in Calcutta, India, with the first policy being sold to a tea planter in Assam. General insurance agencies were appointed in China and the Philippines throughout the 1920s, while the life insurance business soon expanded to Malaya (1924), Singapore (1931) and Hong Kong (1964).

Prudential Corporation Asia was formed in 1994 with the objective of developing our established markets of Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong, and pursuing value-creation opportunities in the region's many high-potential markets.

Prudential rapidly extended its life business in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Vietnam, Taiwan, China, Japan and Korea. In 2013 we began life insurance operations in Cambodia.

In China and India, two of the world's fastest-growing economies, the company has formed joint venture partnerships with CITIC Group and ICICI Bank respectively for our life insurance and fund management businesses.

Prudential's Asian asset management business, Eastspring Investments, manages investments across a broad range of asset classes for internal, retail and institutional clients.

Jackson National Life Insurance Company started business in Jackson, Michigan in 1961.

In 1975 Jackson developed an early form of ‘universal' life assurance, eight years before any competitor offered a similar type of protection. By 1976 the states of California, Washington, Montana, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana and Alabama were included in Jackson’s operating territory.

When it was acquired by Prudential in 1986, Jackson was a successful family-managed life company operating in 45 states.

Since becoming part of the Prudential group, Jackson has successfully grown into a multi-product, multi-channel financial services company. Headquartered in Lansing, Michigan, Jackson is now registered to provide products and services in 50 US states and the District of Columbia.

In 2003 Curian Capital LLC was launched, a registered investment adviser providing a managed account fee-based brokerage application. In 2012 Jackson acquired REALIC, adding a diverse portfolio of traditional US life business to its operations.