Prudential Financial Inc was founded in New Jersey in 1875 by John F. Dryden. It was originally called The Widows and Orphans Friendly Society, and then the Prudential Friendly Society. At the beginning the company’s only product was burial insurance.
By the turn of the century, Prudential was making the bulk of its profits selling industrial life insurance door-to-door. Industrial workers paid double what others paid for life insurance because of the danger involved in their work. High lapse rates meant that only one in twelve policies reached maturity.
Today Prudential Financial is a financial services company. With its subsidiaries, the company provide insurance, investment management, life insurance, annuities, mutual funds, pension and retirement investments, securities, asset management, and brokerage services in more 30 countries.
Prudential is a Fortune 500 company, has been publicly traded since 2001, is composed of hundreds of subsidiaries with $2 trillion of life insurance, has over 50,000 employees, and had $34.4 billion in revenue in 2011.