Our history


Since 1848 Prudential has protected the interests of our policyholders and shareholders — from industrial workers and their families in Victorian Britain to around 24 million insurance customers worldwide today.


On 30th May 1848, in a room at 12 Hatton Garden in the City of London, the premises of Hanslip and Manning solicitors, a group of gentlemen met to form The Prudential Mutual Assurance Investment and Loan Association. The first annual report boldly stated the Company’s clear intentions: ‘to infix habits of Prudence among many individuals’.

By 1875 the company - known as The Prudential Assurance Company from 1867 - was collecting premiums on 3.4 million policies and by 1898 it had become the leading UK life company, with £30 million in accumulated funds.

Over the decades, Prudential’s agents became a familiar sight around Britain, offering the company’s products all over the country and building the business.

Prudential’s rapid growth can be judged by the fact that, during the First World War, the company paid out claims on more than one third of the British soldiers killed during the war.

Overseas expansion

Prudential soon looked to expand its business overseas and in 1923 opened its first overseas life branch in India.

By the 1970s Prudential had made several new acquisitions, including Vanbrugh Life and M&G Reinsurance. It became impractical to manage these diverse units and so Prudential Corporation plc was established in 1978 to enable more flexible management.

In the United States, Prudential acquired Jackson National Life Insurance Company in 1986. Founded in 1961, Jackson is one of the largest life insurance companies in the US, providing retirement savings and income solutions to more than 2.9 million customers.

Growth in Asia

Recognising the high potential for growth and expansion in Asia, Prudential Corporation Asia was formed in 1994 and now has operations in 14 markets across the region.

Back in the UK, the company acquired M&G in 1999, strengthening its investment portfolio. Founded in 1901, M&G launched the first unit trust in Britain in 1931.

In 1999 Prudential Corporation plc became Prudential plc. In 2000 Prudential plc was listed on the New York Stock Exchange and in 2010 on stock exchanges in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Today, Prudential plc is an international financial services group with significant operations in Asia, the US and the UK. Wherever we are in the world, we are providing the same benefits that we offered to our very first customers over 166 years ago.


Business histories


Learn about key events in the history of Prudential and its subsidiaries

Business histories

Read in-depth histories of Prudential’s businesses, from their origins to the present day.

Prudential UK
Prudential Corporation Asia

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