Prudential Assurance Company Ltd, now part of Prudential Plc, was for many years the dominant life assurance company in the UK.
Prudential was founded on 30 May 1848 in Hatton Garden, London. The company’s registered name was “The Prudential Mutual Assurance Investment and Loan Association” and its purpose was to offer life assurance and loans to the middle classes. The firm built its early strength on a large direct sales force of agents who would visit clients in person to discuss their needs and to collect insurance premiums. The army of premium collection agents was for many many years identified with the Prudential as the "Man from the Pru".
Relative to the size of the UK economy and financial markets the firm became more influential than either the Prudential of America or Nissei (Nippon Life) in Japan. Today, Prudential is one of the top listed UK based life insurance companies with key businesses in the UK, US and Asia.
It was agents from the Pru who, on deciding to leave the Prudential and move to the United States, were given access to all the techniques of the firm to assist them in forming an insurance firm in America. That infant company went on to become Prudential of America, The Rock. There was never a significant ownership link between the two Prudential companies (one a listed firm in the UK and the Prudential of America a mutual company) although there is a memorandum of understanding about use of the Prudential name outside the United States.
Prudential Group main website (http://www.prudential.co.uk/)
Had the company not campaigned so hard in 2000 against demutualisation, when the members were persuaded to vote no, the members would have made ten times the amount that they are likely to make now.
The Prudential is, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the last major life assurancecompany to introduce time bars to their endowment policy holders wishing to complain about shortfalls on their endowment policies.
Not surprisingly the insurance companies want to bring the matter to a close, as they are the ones who are being hit by the claims from their endowment policy holders.
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