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Stable Top-Line Evolution in Prudential’s International Business

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Apr. 7 2015, Updated 1:07 p.m. ET

Sales evolution

Prudential Financial’s (PRU) sales come from independent agents, banking channels, and Life Consultant and Life Planner channels in its International Insurance operations. Prudential introduced the Life Planner model in Japan in 1988. Operations of other US insurers like Manulife (MFC), Aflac (AFL), and MetLife (MET) also occur in Japan.

Life Planner and Gibraltar Life are Prudential’s most important businesses in this segment, with contributions exceeding 30% and 50% of its top line, respectively, in 2014.

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Life Planner

The Life Planner model, which targets mass affluent customers via its sales force offering these products, remains the key contributor to sales, as shown in the chart above. Life Planner also targets the business and the professional markets.

Gibraltar Life

The banking channel, independent agents, and Life Consultants—a proprietary distribution network for Gibraltar Life operations that sells individual protection products to the middle market—are key contributors to Prudential’s top line. Sales remained stable over the years, as shown in the chart above.

Prudential’s third-party distribution channels provide access to a larger customer base, supplementing the captive distribution channels like Life Planner and Life Consultant.

Sales mix

Prudential’s sales strategy focuses on death protection products, which contribute over 50% of the revenue from new business written. These products also contribute half of the in-force premiums, which are renewal premiums. As shown in the chart above, savings and retirement products contribute around 20% each toward new business premiums.

Although acquisitions have altered the product mix over time, the proportion of protection products still remain high. In the following article, we’ll look at how such a product mix drives profitability in the international business franchises.

Investors interested in gaining exposure to the insurance sector can invest through ETFs, like the iShares US Financials ETF (IYF) or the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF).

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