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Table of Contents

 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
__________________________________________ 
FORM 10-K
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED December 31, 2019
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM              TO             
COMMISSION FILE NUMBER 001-16707
____________________________________________ 
Prudential Financial, Inc.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)
New Jersey
 
22-3703799
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)
751 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 802-6000
(Address and Telephone Number of Registrant’s Principal Executive Offices)
SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OF THE ACT:
Title of Each Class
Trading Symbols(s)
Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Common Stock, Par Value $.01
PRU
New York Stock Exchange
5.75% Junior Subordinated Notes
PJH
New York Stock Exchange
5.70% Junior Subordinated Notes
PRH
New York Stock Exchange
5.625% Junior Subordinated Notes    
PRS
New York Stock Exchange
SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(g) OF THE ACT: NONE
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes      No  ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes      No  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of the Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes      No  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer Accelerated filer ☐ Non-accelerated filer ☐ Smaller reporting company Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes No
As of June 30, 2019, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s Common Stock (par value $0.01) held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $40.70 billion and 403 million shares of the Common Stock were outstanding. As of January 31, 2020, 397 million shares of the registrant’s Common Stock (par value $0.01) were outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Part III of this Form 10-K incorporates by reference certain information from the Registrant’s Definitive Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 12, 2020, to be filed by the Registrant with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A not later than 120 days after the year ended December 31, 2019.
 


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
 
Page
PART I
Item 1.
1
 
Item 1A.
37
 
Item 1B.
49
 
Item 2.
49
 
Item 3.
50
 
Item 4.
50
PART II
Item 5.
50
 
Item 6.
51
 
Item 7.
53
 
Item 7A.
143
 
Item 8.
148
 
Item 9.
309
 
Item 9A.
309
 
Item 9B.
309
PART III
Item 10.
309
 
Item 11.
310
 
Item 12.
310
 
Item 13.
310
 
Item 14.
311
PART IV
Item 15.
311
 
Item 16.
322
323
326
331
 
Forward-Looking Statements

Certain of the statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “expects,” “believes,” “anticipates,” “includes,” “plans,” “assumes,” “estimates,” “projects,” “intends,” “should,” “will,” “shall” or variations of such words are generally part of forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are made based on management’s current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects upon Prudential Financial, Inc. and its subsidiaries. There can be no assurance that future developments affecting Prudential Financial, Inc. and its subsidiaries will be those anticipated by management. These forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, and there are certain important factors that could cause actual results to differ, possibly materially, from expectations or estimates reflected in such forward-looking statements, including, among others: (1) losses on investments or financial contracts due to deterioration in credit quality or value, or counterparty default; (2) losses on insurance products due to mortality experience, morbidity experience or policyholder behavior experience that differs significantly from our expectations when we price our products; (3) changes in interest rates, equity prices and foreign currency exchange rates that may (a) adversely impact the profitability of our products, the value of separate accounts supporting these products or the value of assets we manage, (b) result in losses on derivatives we use to hedge risk or increase collateral posting requirements and (c) limit opportunities to invest at appropriate returns; (4) guarantees within certain of our products which are market sensitive and may decrease our earnings or increase the volatility of our results of operations or financial position; (5) liquidity needs resulting from (a) derivative collateral market exposure, (b) asset/liability mismatches, (c) the lack of available funding in the financial markets or (d) unexpected cash demands due to severe mortality calamity or lapse events; (6) financial or customer losses, or regulatory and legal actions, due to inadequate or failed processes or systems, external events, and human error or misconduct such as (a) disruption of our systems and data, (b) an information security breach, (c) a failure to protect the privacy of sensitive data, (d) reliance on third-parties or (e) labor and employment matters; (7) changes in the regulatory landscape, including related to (a) financial sector regulatory reform, (b) changes in tax laws, (c) fiduciary rules and other standards of care, (d) U.S. state insurance laws and developments regarding group-wide supervision, capital and reserves, (e) insurer capital standards outside the U.S. and (f) privacy and cybersecurity regulation; (8) technological changes which may adversely impact companies in our investment portfolio or cause insurance experience to deviate from our assumptions; (9) an inability to protect our intellectual property rights or claims of infringement of the intellectual property rights of others; (10) ratings downgrades; (11) market conditions that may adversely affect the sales or persistency of our products; (12) competition; (13) reputational damage; (14) the costs, effects, timing, or success of our plans to accelerate our strategy; and (15) costs associated with the acquisition of Assurance IQ, Inc. and its integration into our strategy. Prudential Financial, Inc. does not undertake to update any particular forward-looking statement included in this document. See “Risk Factors” included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for discussion of certain risks relating to our businesses and investment in our securities.


Table of Contents

Throughout this Annual Report on Form 10-K, “Prudential Financial” and the “Registrant” refer to Prudential Financial, Inc., the ultimate holding company for all of our companies. “PICA” refers to The Prudential Insurance Company of America. “Prudential,” the “Company,” “we” and “our” refer to our consolidated operations.

PART I
ITEM 1.
BUSINESS
 
Table of Contents

1



Overview
 
Prudential Financial, Inc., a financial wellness leader and premier global investment manager with approximately $1.551 trillion of assets under management as of December 31, 2019, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Through our subsidiaries and affiliates, we offer a wide array of financial products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related products and services, mutual funds and investment management. We offer these products and services to individual and institutional customers through proprietary and third-party distribution networks. Our principal executive offices are located in Newark, New Jersey, and Prudential Financial’s Common Stock is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “PRU”.
 
On December 18, 2001, PICA converted from a mutual life insurance company owned by its policyholders to a stock life insurance company and became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prudential Financial. The demutualization was carried out under PICA’s Plan of Reorganization, which required us to establish and operate a regulatory mechanism known as the “Closed Block.” The Closed Block includes certain in-force participating insurance and annuity products and corresponding assets that are used for the payment of benefits and policyholders’ dividends on these products, as well as certain related assets and liabilities.

Our principal operations are comprised of PGIM (our global investment management business), our U.S. Businesses (consisting of our U.S. Workplace Solutions, U.S. Individual Solutions, and Assurance IQ divisions), our International Businesses, the Closed Block division and our Corporate and Other operations. The U.S. Workplace Solutions division consists of our Retirement and Group Insurance businesses, the U.S. Individual Solutions division consists of our Individual Annuities and Individual Life businesses, and the Assurance IQ division consists of our Assurance IQ business. In October 2019, we completed the acquisition of Assurance IQ, Inc. (“Assurance IQ”), a leading consumer solutions platform that offers a range of solutions that help meet consumers’ financial needs (see Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information). The Closed Block division is accounted for as a divested business that is reported separately from the Divested and Run-off Businesses that are included in Corporate and Other. Divested and Run-off Businesses are comprised of businesses that have been, or will be, sold or exited, including businesses that have been placed in wind down status that do not qualify for “discontinued operations” accounting treatment under generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”). Our Corporate and Other operations include corporate items and initiatives that are not allocated to business segments and businesses that have been or will be divested or placed in run-off, excluding the Closed Block division. See Note 22 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for revenues, income and loss, and total assets by segment.

Our strategy centers on our mix of high-quality protection, retirement and investment management businesses which creates growth potential due to earnings diversification and the opportunity to provide customers with integrated cross-business solutions, as well as capital benefits from a balanced risk profile. We are well-positioned to meet the needs of customers and tap into significant market opportunities through PGIM, our U.S. Businesses and our International Businesses. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for additional information.


2



PGIM

Provides asset management services related to public and private fixed income, public equity and real estate, commercial mortgage origination and servicing, and mutual funds and other retail services to institutional, private and sub-advisory clients (including mutual funds), insurance company separate accounts, government-sponsored entities (e.g., Fannie Mae, the Federal Housing Administration and Freddie Mac) and our general account.

Products

Our products and services are offered through the following eight businesses: 

PGIM Fixed Income - provides global active asset management services across all public fixed income markets.
Jennison Associates - provides active fundamental public equity and fixed income asset management services across an array of high-quality fixed income and growth, value, blend, global and specialty equity strategies.
QMA - provides systematic quantitative equity and global multi-asset strategies as well as customized client solutions.
PGIM Private Capital - provides private corporate financing across the risk spectrum including investment grade, high yield and mezzanine, and offers a variety of products to its investors.
PGIM Real Estate Finance - provides commercial mortgage origination and asset management services.
PGIM Real Estate - provides a broad range of public and private real estate equity investment services utilizing deep knowledge of local and regional markets.
PGIM Investments - develops, distributes and services investment management products primarily utilizing PGIM’s proprietary asset management expertise in the U.S. and European retail markets and offering a suite of retail investment products covering a wide array of investment styles and objectives.
PGIM Global Partners - operates an asset management business in Taiwan and India, and has interests in asset management operating joint ventures in China and Italy. Each of these businesses offers mutual funds and serves individual and institutional investors and clients.
 
We hold seed and co-investments in sponsored investment products that invest in a variety of asset classes, including private equity, hedge funds and real estate assets. Investments are generally made for co-investment purposes, to establish a track record or for regulatory purposes.

Marketing and Distribution

We primarily distribute products through the following channels:

Institutional
Proprietary sales force of each PGIM business with independent marketing and client service teams.
PGIM’s Institutional Relationship Group, which develops relationships with, and introduces PGIM’s broad capabilities to, large institutions globally.
Institutional asset management services through the Retirement segment.

Retail 
Assets under management from distribution channels associated with other Prudential business segments.
Third-party networks and product manufacturers/distributors who include our investment options in their products and platforms.
Licensed sales professionals within Prudential Advisors, Prudential’s proprietary nationwide sales organization.

General account
Provide investment management services across a broad array of asset classes for our general account.







3


PGIM(Continued)

Revenues and Profitability
Our revenues primarily come from:
Asset management fees which are typically calculated based upon a percentage of assets under management. In certain asset management arrangements, we also receive performance-based incentive fees when the return on the managed assets exceeds certain benchmark returns or other performance targets.
Transaction fees earned as a percentage of the transaction price associated with the sale or purchase of assets in certain funds, primarily related to real estate and private fixed income.
Investment returns from strategic investing.
Revenues from commercial mortgage origination and servicing.

Our profitability is substantially impacted by:
Macro market movements (e.g., interest rates and equity market performance).
Our ability to achieve investment returns above the target benchmarks.
Our ability to attract and retain customer investments.




Competition
We compete with numerous asset managers and other financial institutions. For our investment management products, we compete based on a number of factors, including investment performance, strategy and process, talent, organizational stability and client relationships.

We offer products across multiple asset classes, with specialized investment teams that employ approaches designed to add value in each product area or asset class. Our organizational stability and robust institutional and retail businesses have helped attract and retain talent critical to delivering investment results for clients. Our private placement and commercial mortgage businesses compete based on price, terms, execution and the strength of our relationship with the borrower.









4


U.S. BusinessesU.S. Workplace Solutions Division
Retirement
Develops and distributes retirement investment and income products and services to retirement plan sponsors in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.
Products
We offer a variety of products and services through the following two businesses:
Full Service
A broad range of products and services to assist in the design, delivery and administration of defined contribution, defined benefit and non-qualified retirement plans, and retail Individual Retirement Accounts (“IRA”).
Recordkeeping and administrative services, actuarial consulting services, tailored participant education and communication services, comprehensive investment offerings and consulting services to assist retirement plan sponsors in managing fiduciary obligations.
General Account and Separate Account Stable Value products - generally contain an obligation to credit interest at a specified rate for a specified period of time and to repay account balances over time, or market value upon contract termination. These products are either fully or partially participating with annual or semi-annual rate resets subject to certain contractual minimums, giving effect to previous investment experience and other factors depending on the products.
Other investment products - include fee-based products through which customer funds are held in separate accounts, retail mutual funds, institutional funds or bank collective trusts advised by affiliated and non-affiliated investment managers, as well as synthetic guaranteed investment contracts, and guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit products.

Institutional Investment Products
Payout Annuities: products that provide a predictable source of monthly income, generally for the life of the annuitant.
Pension risk transfer - non-participating group annuity insurance contracts issued to pension plan sponsors under which we assume all investment and actuarial risk associated with a group of specified participants within a plan in return for a premium typically paid as a lump-sum at inception.
Pension risk transfer - longevity reinsurance contracts with counterparties from which we earn a fee for assuming the longevity risk of pension plans that have been insured by third-parties. Premiums for these products are typically paid over the duration of the contract as opposed to a lump-sum at inception.
              (continued)
Products (continued)
Stable Value: products where our obligations are backed by our general account, and we bear some or all of the investment and asset-liability management risk, depending on the product.
Investment-only products - for use in institutional capital markets and qualified plans primarily including fee-based wraps through which customers’ funds are held in a client-owned trust and investment results pass through to the customer. We earn fee revenue for providing a minimum interest rate guarantee backed by the general account.
Guaranteed Investment Contracts and Funding Agreements - contain an obligation to pay interest at a specified rate and to repay principal at maturity or following contract termination.
Other products: include structured settlements and other group annuities.

Marketing and Distribution
We primarily distribute products through the following channels for the two businesses:
Full Service
Proprietary sales and support teams
Third-party financial advisors, brokers, benefits consultants, and investment consultants
Direct to plan sponsors

Institutional Investment Products
Pension risk transfer through actuarial consultants and third-party brokers.
Structured settlements through third-party specialized brokers.
Voluntary income products and other group annuities through the defined contribution portion of our full service business and direct to plan sponsors.
Stable value products through proprietary sales force and third-party intermediaries.



5


Retirement (Continued)
Revenues and Profitability

Our revenues primarily come in the form of:
Premiums associated with insurance and reinsurance contracts and our payout annuities.
Policy charges and fee income associated with recordkeeping and other administrative services, and investment products (including fee-based stable value) that we offer. Policy charges and fee income are primarily based on account values and/or number of participants.
Investment income (which contributes to the net spread over interest credited on certain stable value products and related expenses).

Our profitability is substantially impacted by our ability to appropriately price our products. We price our products based on pricing models that consider the investment environment and our risk, fees, expenses, profitability targets, and assumptions for mortality and potential for early retirement. These assumptions may be less predictable in certain markets. Deviations in actual experience from pricing could affect the profitability of these products.
Competition
We compete with other large, well-established insurance companies, asset managers, recordkeepers and diversified financial institutions.
Full Service - we compete primarily based on:
Pricing
Breadth of our service and investment offerings
Expertise of our employees
Investment performance
Technology
Our ability to offer product features to meet the retirement income needs of our clients
While we continue to have heightened pricing pressures (driven by competition, contractual limits on fee income, the influence of intermediaries and regulations requiring more standard and consistent fee disclosures across industry providers), this business has experienced strong persistency in recent years.

Institutional Investment Products - we compete primarily based on:
Pricing
Structuring capabilities
Our ability to offer innovative product solutions and successfully execute large-scale transactions
We are a leader in providing innovative pension risk management solutions to plan sponsors and in the stable value market. We believe the pension risk transfer market continues to offer attractive opportunities that are aligned with our expertise.



6


U.S. BusinessesU.S. Workplace Solutions Division
Group Insurance
 
Develops and distributes a full range of group life, long-term and short-term group disability, and group corporate-, bank- and trust-owned life insurance in the U.S. primarily to institutional clients for use in connection with employee and membership benefits plans. Also sells accidental death and dismemberment and other ancillary coverages, and provides plan administrative services in connection with its insurance coverages.

Products

We offer a variety of products and services through the following two businesses:

Group Life Insurance

Employer-paid and employee-paid coverages for term life insurance, group universal life, group variable universal life, basic and optional accidental death and dismemberment insurance.
 
Many of our employee-paid coverages allow employees to retain their coverage when they change employers or retire, and we offer waiver of premium coverage where required premiums are waived in the event the insured suffers a qualifying disability.
 
Group corporate-, bank- and trust-owned life insurance products in the form of group variable life insurance contracts utilizing separate accounts. These products are typically used by large corporations to fund deferred compensation plans and benefit plans for retired employees.

Group Disability Insurance

Short-term and long-term group disability insurance which protects against loss of wages due to illness or injury. Short-term disability generally provides weekly benefits for three to six months while long-term disability benefits are typically paid monthly, following a waiting period and generally continue until the insured returns to work or reaches normal retirement age.
 
Plan administration and absence management services.

Marketing and Distribution

We primarily distribute products through a proprietary sales force organized around market segments in conjunction with employee benefit brokers and consultants.


7


Group Insurance (Continued)

Revenues and Profitability

Our revenues primarily come in the form of:

Premiums and policy charges for our group life and group disability products.

Investment income (which contributes to the net spread over interest credited on our products and related expenses).

Our profitability is substantially impacted by our ability to appropriately price our products, many of which include multiple year premium rate guarantees. We price our products based on:

Underwriting practices and rating systems that consider company, industry and/or other experience.
 
The expected pay-out of benefits and other costs that we calculate using assumptions for mortality and morbidity rates, interest rates and expenses, depending upon the specific product features.

Competition

We compete with other large, well-established life and health insurance providers in mature markets. We compete primarily based on brand recognition, service capabilities, customer relationships, financial strength, range of product offerings and price. Pricing of group insurance products is reflective of the large number of competitors in the marketplace. The majority of our premiums are derived from large corporations, affinity groups or other organizations having over 5,000 insured individuals, which we refer to as the National segment. We are also seeking to grow our client base with institutions that have between 100 and 5,000 individuals, which we refer to as the Premier segment. Employee-paid coverage is important as employers attempt to control costs and shift benefit decisions and funding to employees who continue to value benefits offered at the workplace. Our profitability is dependent, in part, on the voluntary coverage marketplace, which will be affected by future employment and compensation rates.

8


U.S. BusinessesU.S. Individual Solutions Division
Individual Annuities

Develops and distributes individual variable and fixed annuity products, primarily to U.S. mass affluent (households with investable assets or annual income in excess of $100,000) and affluent (households with investable assets in excess of $250,000) customers with a focus on innovative product design and risk management strategies.
Products
We offer a variety of products to serve different retirement needs and goals.
Variable Annuities
The Prudential Premier® Retirement Variable Annuity with Highest Daily Lifetime Income (“HDI”) offers lifetime income based on the highest daily account value plus a compounded deferral credit.
Prudential Defined Income® (“PDI”) Variable Annuity provides for guaranteed lifetime withdrawal payments, but restricts contractholder investment to a single bond sub-account within the separate accounts. PDI includes a living benefit rider which provides for a specified lifetime income withdrawal rate applied to total purchase payments made to the contracts, subject to annual roll-up increases until lifetime withdrawals commence, but does not have a highest daily benefit feature as discussed above.
Prudential Premier® Investment Variable Annuity (“PPI”) offers tax-deferred asset accumulation, annuitization options and an optional death benefit that guarantees the contractholder’s beneficiary a return of total purchase payments made to the contract, adjusted for any partial withdrawals, upon death.
Prudential Premier® Retirement Variable Annuity with Legacy Protection Plus (“LPP”) provides an optional enhanced death benefit based on the purchase payments rolling up at a preset rate on an annual basis until certain events occur, such as the death of the first owner (or annuitant if entity-owned) or the roll-up cap is reached. LPP cannot be elected together with any of the other optional living or death benefits we offer.
MyRockSM Advisors, a fee-based variable annuity launched in August 2019, offers an elective Defined Income Benefit (“DIB”) rider which provides for specified lifetime income withdrawal rates applied to the purchase payments made to the contracts, subject to annual roll-up increases until lifetime withdrawals commence. In addition, the product offers both a basic death benefit, or a Return of Purchase Payment Death Benefit (“ROP”). Both the DIB and the ROP are available for an additional fee. 

Fixed Annuities
PruSecure®(launched in January 2018), and SurePathSM and SurePathSM Income (launched in July 2019), single premium fixed index annuities, offer flexibility to allocate account balances between an index-based strategy and a fixed rate strategy. The index-based strategy provides interest or an interest component linked to, but not an investment in, the selected index, and its performance over the elected term (i.e., 1, 3 or 5 years for PruSecure® and 1 or 3 years for SurePathSM and SurePathSM Income), subject to certain contractual minimums and maximums. The fixed rate strategy, not associated with an index, offers a guaranteed growth at a set interest rate for one year and can be renewed annually. (continued)


Products (continued)
Fixed Annuities (continued)
Additionally, SurePathSM Income offers a benefit which provides for guaranteed lifetime withdrawal payments.
Prudential Immediate Income Annuity (“PIIA”), a single premium immediate annuity, provides a regular stream of benefit payments. The payments are guaranteed and cannot be changed, and are higher than those guaranteed on products that provide liquidity.

Marketing and Distribution
Our distribution efforts, which are supported by a network of internal and external wholesalers, are executed through a diverse group of distributors including:
Third-party broker-dealers
Banks and wirehouses
Independent financial planners
Financial professionals, including those associated with Prudential Advisors, Prudential’s proprietary nationwide sales organization
Independent Marketing Organizations (“IMO”) (specifically for SurePathSM and SurePathSM Income)
LINK by Prudential, a direct-to-consumer advisory platform, that connects to customers, with the help of insurance professionals, through various channels (online, phone, video chat, or in person)


9


Individual Annuities (Continued)
Revenues and Profitability
Our revenues primarily come in the form of:
Fee income from asset management fees, as well as service fees, representing administrative service and distribution fees from many of our proprietary and non-proprietary mutual funds. The asset management fees are determined as a percentage of the average assets of our proprietary mutual funds in our variable annuity products (net of sub-advisory expenses related to non-proprietary sub-advisors).
Policy charges and fee income representing mortality, expense and other fees for various insurance-related options and features based on the average daily net asset value of the annuity separate accounts, account value, premium, or guaranteed value, as applicable.
Investment income (which contributes to the net spread over interest credited on certain of our products and related expenses).

Our profitability is substantially impacted by our ability to appropriately price our products. We price our products based on:
An evaluation of the risks assumed and consideration of applicable risk management strategies, including hedging and reinsurance costs.
Assumptions regarding investment returns and contractholder behavior, including persistency (the probability that a contract will remain in force), benefit utilization and the timing and efficiency of withdrawals for contracts with living benefit features, as well as other assumptions.


Competition
We are among the industry’s largest providers of individual annuities and we compete with other providers of retirement savings and accumulation products, including large, well-established insurance and financial services companies. We believe our competitive advantage lies primarily in our innovative product features and our risk management strategies as well as brand recognition, financial strength, the breadth of our distribution platform and our customer service capabilities.








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U.S. BusinessesU.S. Individual Solutions Division
Individual Life
 
Develops and distributes variable life, universal life and term life insurance products primarily to U.S. mass middle (households with investable assets in excess of $25,000 or annual income in excess of $50,000), mass affluent (households with investable assets or annual income in excess of $100,000) and affluent (households with investable assets in excess of $250,000) customers with a focus on providing life insurance solutions to protect individuals, families and businesses and to support estate and wealth transfer planning.

Products

We offer a variety of products that serve different protection needs and goals.

Variable Life - permanent coverage for life with potential to accumulate policy cash value based on underlying investment options

Our variable life policies offer flexibility in how much and when the policyholder pays premiums and the potential to accumulate cash value through a choice of over 50 underlying investment options or a fixed rate option.
 
We offer three types of variable life policies that, in addition to the death benefit, are tailored to prioritize different goals such as protection with moderate risk, growth with higher risk or legacy giving.

Universal Life - permanent coverage for life with the potential to accumulate policy cash value

Our universal life policies offer flexibility in how much and when the policyholder pays premiums and the potential to accumulate cash value in an account that earns interest based on a crediting rate determined by the Company subject to contractual minimums.
 
Guaranteed universal life policies provide a guarantee that the policy will remain in force when it would otherwise lapse due to insufficient cash value.
 
Indexed universal life policies provide interest credited to the cash value that is linked to, but not an investment in, the S&P 500® index performance over a 1-year period subject to certain participation rates and contractual minimums/maximums.

Term Life - coverage for a specified number of years with a guaranteed tax-advantaged death benefit

Most of our term life policies offer an income tax-free death benefit, guaranteed premiums that will stay the same during the level-premium period and access to the death benefit while the policyholder is still alive to help them if they become terminally ill.

Most of our term life policies offer a conversion option that allows the policyholder to convert the policy into a permanent policy that can potentially cover the insured for life.
Marketing and Distribution

Our distribution efforts, which are supported by a network of internal and external wholesalers, are executed through a diverse group of distributors including:
 
Third-party distribution
 
Independent brokers
Banks and wirehouses
General agencies and producer groups

Prudential Advisors

Prudential’s proprietary nationwide sales organization that distributes Prudential life insurance, annuities and investment products with proprietary and non-proprietary investment options as well as select insurance, annuities and investment products from other carriers.
 
Offers certain retail brokerage and retail investment advisory services (through our dually registered broker-dealer and investment advisor, Pruco Securities, LLC) including brokerage accounts, discretionary and non-discretionary investment advisory programs and financial planning services.
 
Continues to execute a solutions-oriented business model centered around client relationships, while strengthening and driving Prudential’s brand promise across the country.
 
Receives a market based allowance from other Prudential business segments for distributing their products which is eliminated between the segments in consolidation.

LINK by Prudential, a direct-to-consumer advisory platform, that connects to customers, with the help of insurance professionals, through various channels (online, phone, video chat, or in person).


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Individual Life (Continued)

Revenues and Profitability

Our revenues primarily come in the form of:

Premiums that are fixed or flexible in accordance with the terms of the policies.
 
Policy charges and fee income consisting of in-force policy- and/or asset-based fees.
 
Investment income (which contributes to the net spread over interest credited on our products and related expenses).

Our profitability is substantially impacted by our ability to appropriately price our products. We price our products based on:

Our assumptions of mortality and morbidity, persistency, interest rates, expenses, premium payment patterns, separate account fund performance, product generated tax deductions, as well as the level, cost and availability of financing for certain statutory reserves.



Competition

We compete with other large, well-established life insurance companies in a mature market. We compete primarily based on price, service, including the speed and ease of underwriting, distribution channel relationships, brand recognition and financial strength. Due to the large number of competitors, pricing is competitive. We periodically adjust product prices and features based on the market and our strategy, with a goal of managing our Individual Life business for steady, consistent sales growth across a balanced product portfolio and to avoid over-concentration in any one product type.
 

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U.S. Businesses—Assurance IQ Division
Assurance IQ
 
Assurance IQ leverages data science and technology to distribute third-party life, health, Medicare and property and casualty products directly to retail shoppers primarily through its digital and independent agent channels. Additionally, Assurance IQ may help customers fulfill financial wellness needs by matching them with other product providers or intermediaries.
Products

Assurance IQ primarily distributes the following products:

Life - third-party life insurance products including term life, final expense, and whole life protection. Some carriers’ products allow for accelerated underwriting to enable faster policy placement.
 
Health Under 65 - third-party primary and supplemental health insurance that cover an individual’s medical and prescription expenses, including product coverage provided under the Affordable Care Act.

Medicare - third-party Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage for qualifying Medicare beneficiaries.
 
Property and Casualty - third-party auto and home insurance coverage that indemnifies customers for loss caused by accidents, theft, natural disasters and other events where property damage or financial loss may occur.
Marketing and Distribution

The Assurance IQ business model relies primarily on digital marketing and data science to reach prospective customers (“shoppers”) to, in turn, drive traffic to its distribution platform. Digital marketing includes traffic from various sources such as search, email, and social media. To a lesser extent, we also use traditional forms of marketing such as print and TV.

We primarily distribute products through the following four channels:
 
On Demand Agents - Commission-based, independent agents are located across the United States. They work remotely, and collectively are licensed to sell various products in all 50 states.

Third-Party Agent Call Centers - Assurance IQ may contract with licensed agent call centers as a means of serving shoppers, especially during periods of peak shopper demand (e.g., Medicare annual election period in the fourth quarter).

Digital - Shoppers can price and purchase many of Assurance IQ’s offerings completely online, without the involvement of an agent.

Third-Party Case Referrals - Assurance IQ transfers shoppers in the form of calls, clicks and leads to selected marketing partners, including when it does not have a distribution agreement that would allow it to meet a shopper’s specific need.





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Assurance IQ (Continued)

Revenue

Our revenues primarily come in the form of:

Commissions received from product manufacturers.

Case referral revenues earned from marketing partners related to the transfer of calls, clicks or leads.
Competition

We compete with large and small life, health and property and casualty retail distributors, third-party brokers, as well as other FinTech and Insurtech companies. We compete based on several factors, including marketing reach and effectiveness, ability to effectively match shoppers to the right products and solutions using data science, our capacity to meet shoppers’ demands, and the quality of our technology platform, which optimizes the customer experience and enables independent agents to efficiently service shoppers.

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International Businesses
 
Develops and distributes life insurance, retirement products and certain accident and health products with fixed benefits to the mass affluent and affluent customers through our Life Planner operations in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. Also provides similar products to the broad middle income and mass affluent customers across Japan, our joint ventures in Chile, Malaysia, India and Indonesia, and our strategic investment in Ghana through multiple distribution channels including banks, independent agencies and Life Consultants associated with our Gibraltar Life and Other operations.

Products

Our products are classified into the following four categories:

Life Insurance Protection Products - include various traditional whole life products that provide either level or increasing coverage, and that offer limited or lifetime premium payment options. We also offer increasing, decreasing and level benefit term insurance products that provide coverage for a specified time period, as well as protection-oriented variable universal life products. Some of these protection products are denominated in U.S. dollars and some are sold as bundled products which, in addition to death protection, include health benefits or savings elements.

Retirement Products - include retirement income products which combine insurance protection similar to term life with a lifetime income stream which commences at a predefined age, savings-oriented variable universal life products which provide a non-guaranteed return linked to an underlying investment portfolio of equity and fixed income funds selected by the customer, and endowments which provide payment of the face amount on the earlier of death or policy maturity.

Annuity Products - primarily represented by U.S. dollar- and Australian dollar-denominated fixed annuities sold by our Gibraltar Life operations in Japan, and Korean won- and U.S. dollar-denominated variable annuities sold by our Life Planner operation in Korea. Sales and surrenders of non-yen products in Japan can be sensitive to foreign currency relationships which are impacted by, among other things, the comparative interest rates in the respective countries. Most of our fixed annuity products impose a market value adjustment if the contract is not held to maturity.

Accident and Health Products - provide benefits to cover accidental death and dismemberment, hospitalization, surgeries, and cancer and other dread diseases, often sold as supplementary riders and not as stand-alone products. We also offer waiver of premium coverage where required premiums are waived in the event the customer suffers a qualifying disability.
Marketing and Distribution

Proprietary agent models:

Life Planners - focuses on selling protection-oriented life insurance products on a needs basis to mass affluent and affluent customers, as well as retirement-oriented products to small businesses. We believe that our recruiting and selection process, training programs and compensation packages are key to the Life Planner model and have helped our Life Planner operations achieve higher levels of agent retention, agent productivity and policy persistency.

Life Consultants - is a proprietary distribution force for products offered by our Gibraltar Life operations. Their focus is to provide individual protection products to the broad middle income market, primarily in Japan, particularly through relationships with affinity groups. Our Life Consultant operation is based on a variable compensation plan designed to improve productivity and persistency that is similar to compensation plans in our Life Planner operations.

Third-party channels:

Bank Distribution Channel - sells primarily life insurance products intended to provide savings features, premature death protection and estate planning benefits as well as fixed annuity products primarily denominated in U.S. dollars and Australian dollars. We view the bank distribution channel as an adjunct to our core Life Planner and Life Consultant distribution channels. A significant portion of our sales in Japan through our bank distribution channel are derived through a single Japanese mega-bank; however, we have relationships with each of Japan’s four largest banks as well as many regional banks, and we continue to explore opportunities to expand our distribution capabilities through this channel, as appropriate.

Independent Agency Distribution Channel - sells protection products and high cash value products for retirement benefits through the corporate market and also sells a variety of other products including protection and fixed annuity products through the individual market. Our focus is to maintain a diverse mix of independent agency relationships including corporate agencies and other independent agencies with a balanced focus on individual and corporate markets.


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International Businesses (Continued)

Revenues and Profitability
Our revenues primarily come in the form of:
Premiums that are fixed or flexible in accordance with the terms of the policies.

Policy charges and fee income consisting of in-force policy- and/or asset-based fees.
 
Investment income (which contributes to the net spread over interest credited on our products and related expenses).

Our profitability is substantially impacted by our ability to appropriately price our products. We price our products based on:
Local regulation that is generally more restrictive for product offerings, pricing and structure than U.S. insurance regulation. Each international insurance operation has its own underwriting department that employs variations of U.S. practices in underwriting individual policy risks. To the extent permitted by local regulation, we base premiums and policy charges for our products on expected death and morbidity benefits, surrender benefits, expenses, required reserves, interest rates, policy persistency and premium payment patterns. In setting underwriting limits, we also consider local industry standards to prevent adverse selection and to stay abreast of industry trends. In addition, we set underwriting limits together with each operation’s reinsurers.
 
Achieving a targeted rate of return for each country operation, taking into account the country-specific costs of capital, risks, and competitive environment. The profitability of our products is impacted by differences between actual mortality, morbidity, expense, and investment experience and the related assumptions used in pricing these policies. As a result, the profitability of our products can fluctuate from period to period. Changes in local tax laws may also affect profitability.



Competition
The life insurance markets in Japan and Korea are mature and pricing is competitive. Rather than competing primarily based on price, we generally compete on the basis of customer service, including our needs-based approach to selling, the quality and diversity of our distribution capabilities, and our financial strength. Demographic trends in Asia suggest an increasing opportunity for product innovation, introducing insurance products that allow for savings and income as a growing portion of the population prepares for retirement. The ability to sell through multiple and complementary distribution channels is also a competitive advantage; however, competition for sales personnel, as well as access to third-party distribution channels, is intense.


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Corporate and Other
 
Includes corporate items and initiatives that are not allocated to our business segments and businesses that have been or will be divested or placed in run-off, except for the Closed Block. Results of the Closed Block, along with certain related assets and liabilities, are reported separately from the Divested and Run-off Businesses included in Corporate and Other.

Corporate Operations - consist primarily of: (1) capital that is not deployed in any business segment; (2) investments not allocated to business segments, including debt-financed investment portfolios, and tax credit and other tax-enhanced investments financed by business segments; (3) capital debt that is used or will be used to meet the capital requirements of the Company and the related interest expense; (4) our qualified and non-qualified pension and other employee benefit plans, after allocations to business segments; (5) corporate-level activities, after allocations to business segments, including strategic expenditures, acquisition costs, corporate governance, corporate advertising, philanthropic activities, deferred compensation, and costs related to certain contingencies and enhanced regulatory supervision; (6) expenses associated with the multi-year plan of programs that span across our businesses and the functional areas that support those businesses; (7) our ownership interest in a life insurance joint venture in China; (8) certain retained obligations relating to pre-demutualization policyholders; (9) our Risk Appetite Framework; (10) the foreign currency income hedging program used to hedge certain non-U.S. dollar denominated earnings in our International Businesses segment; (11) intercompany arrangements with our PGIM segment to translate certain non-U.S. dollar-denominated earnings at fixed currency exchange rates; and (12) transactions with and between other segments, including the elimination of intercompany transactions for consolidation purposes.

Divested and Run-off Businesses - reflect the results of businesses that have been, or will be, sold or exited, including businesses that have been placed in wind down status that do not qualify for “discontinued operations” accounting treatment under U.S. GAAP. We exclude these results from our adjusted operating income. Divested and Run-off Businesses include: 
 
Long-Term Care - in 2012, we discontinued sales of our individual and group long-term care insurance products. We establish reserves for these products in accordance with U.S. GAAP. We use best estimate assumptions as of the most recent loss recognition date when establishing reserves for future policyholder benefits and expenses, including assumptions for morbidity, mortality, mortality improvement, persistency, expenses and investment returns. Our assumptions also include our estimate of the timing and amount of anticipated future premium rate increases and policyholder benefit reductions which will require approval by state regulatory authorities.

Other - recent transactions include: (1) in 2019, we sold our Pramerica of Italy subsidiary; (2) in 2018, we sold our Pramerica of Poland subsidiary; and (3) in 2018, we exited our PGIM Brazil operations including the sale of our minority interest in a Brazilian asset management joint venture.
 

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Closed Block Division
 
In connection with the demutualization in 2001, we ceased offering domestic participating individual life insurance and annuity products, under which policyholders are eligible to receive policyholder dividends reflecting experience. The liabilities for our individual in-force participating products were segregated, together with assets to be used exclusively for the payment of benefits and policyholder dividends, expenses and taxes with respect to these products, in the Closed Block. We selected the amount of assets that were expected to generate sufficient cash flow, together with anticipated revenues from the Closed Block policies, over the life of the Closed Block to fund payments of all policyholder benefits, expenses and taxes, and to provide for the continuation of the policyholder dividend scales in effect in 2000, assuming experience underlying such scales continued. No policies sold after demutualization have been added to the Closed Block, and its in-force business is expected to decline as we pay policyholder benefits in full.

The results of the Closed Block, along with certain related assets and liabilities, are treated as a divested business under our definition of adjusted operating income and reported separately from the other Divested and Run-off Businesses that are included in our Corporate and Other.
 
As discussed in Note 15 to the Consolidated Financial Statements, if the performance of the Closed Block is more or less favorable than we originally assumed in funding, total dividends paid to Closed Block policyholders in the future may be greater or less than the total dividends that would have been paid to these policyholders if the policyholder dividend scales in effect in 2000 had been continued. Any experience in excess of amounts assumed may be available for distribution over time to Closed Block policyholders as part of policyholder dividends unless offset by future Closed Block experience that is less favorable than expected. This excess experience will not be available to shareholders. If the Closed Block has insufficient funds to make guaranteed policy benefit payments, such payments will be made from PICA’s assets outside of the Closed Block. A policyholder dividend obligation liability is established for any excess experience. Each year, the Board of Directors of PICA determines the dividends payable on participating policies for the following year based on the experience of the Closed Block, including investment income, net realized and unrealized investment gains and losses, mortality experience and other factors. See Note 22 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for revenues, income and loss, and total assets of the Closed Block division.
 
Our strategy is to maintain the Closed Block as required by our Plan of Reorganization over the time period of its gradual diminution as policyholder benefits are paid in full. We are permitted under the Plan of Reorganization, with the prior consent of the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance for the State of New Jersey, to enter into agreements to transfer all or any part of the risks under the Closed Block policies.

 

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Seasonality of Key Financial Items

The following chart summarizes our key areas of seasonality in our results of operations:

 
First Quarter
Second Quarter
Third Quarter
Fourth Quarter
 
 
 
 
 
PGIM
Higher compensation expense(1)
 
 
Other related revenues tend to be higher(2)
Retirement
Reserve gains higher(3)
Reserve gains higher(3)
Reserve gains lower(3)
Reserve gains lower(3)
Group
Insurance
Lowest underwriting gains
 
 
 
Individual
Annuities
 
 
 
 
Individual
Life
Lowest underwriting gains
 
Highest underwriting gains
 
Assurance IQ
Lowest revenue
 
 
Higher revenue driven by annual Medicare enrollment
International Businesses
Highest premiums
Lowest premiums
 
 
Corporate &
Other
Higher compensation expense(1)
 
 
 
All
Businesses
 
Impact of annual assumption update(4)
 
Higher expenses(5)
__________
(1)
Long-term compensation expense for retirement eligible employees is recognized when awards are granted, typically in the first quarter of each year.
(2)
Other related revenues include incentive fees, transaction fees, strategic investing results and commercial mortgage revenues.
(3)
Reserve gains are typically higher/lower than the quarterly average. Exclude the impact of annual reviews and update of assumptions and other refinements and market experience updates.
(4)
Impact of annual reviews and update of assumptions and other refinements. Excludes PGIM and Assurance IQ.
(5)
Expenses are typically higher than the quarterly average in the fourth quarter.


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Reinsurance

We regularly enter into reinsurance agreements as either the ceding entity or the assuming entity. As a ceding entity, exposure to the risks reinsured is reduced by transferring certain rights and obligations of the underlying insurance product to a counterparty. As an assuming entity, exposure to the risks reinsured is increased by assuming certain rights and obligations of the underlying insurance products from a counterparty. We enter into reinsurance agreements as the ceding entity for a variety of reasons but primarily to reduce exposure to loss, reduce risk volatility, provide additional capacity for future growth and for capital management purposes. Under ceded reinsurance, we remain liable to the underlying policyholder if a third-party reinsurer is unable to meet its obligations. On a Company-wide basis, we evaluate the financial condition of reinsurers and monitor the concentration of counterparty risk and maintain collateral, as appropriate, to mitigate this exposure. We enter into reinsurance agreements as the assuming entity as part of our normal product offerings (e.g., certain pension risk transfer products in the Retirement segment) or in order to facilitate an acquisition of a block of business.

The following table summarizes our use of reinsurance in each of our insurance reporting segments.

Segment
Primary type
of reinsurance
Purpose
Retirement
Assumed
Assumed reinsurance as part of our longevity reinsurance pension risk transfer product and in conjunction with our 2004 acquisition of CIGNA’s defined benefit and defined contribution business.
Group Insurance
Ceded
Ceded reinsurance on most products to limit losses from large claims, in response to client requests and for capital management purposes.
Individual Annuities
Ceded/Assumed
Ceded reinsurance with both third-party reinsurers and affiliates. The third-party reinsurance includes the following products:
A portion of HDI v.3.0 variable annuity business issued between April 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016; and
Certain fixed indexed annuity business (specifically for PruSecure® and SurePathSM) issued effective October 15, 2019. Under U.S. GAAP, this agreement is accounted for under deposit accounting.

Assumed reinsurance in conjunction with our 2006 acquisition of The Allstate Corporation (“Allstate”) variable annuity business as well as internal ceded and assumed reinsurance as part of our risk and capital management activities.
Individual Life
Ceded/Assumed
Ceded reinsurance with both third-party reinsurers and affiliates covering a variety of products to mitigate mortality risk and for capital management purposes. On policies sold since 2000, we have reinsured a significant portion of our mortality risk externally, with that portion varying over time depending on market factors and strategic objectives.
Assumed reinsurance in conjunction with our 2013 acquisition of The Hartford’s individual life insurance business.
International Businesses
Ceded
Ceded reinsurance with both third-party reinsurers and affiliates to mitigate mortality and morbidity risk for certain products and for capital management purposes.
Closed Block
Ceded
PICA cedes substantially all of the outstanding liabilities of the Closed Block into a statutory guaranteed separate account of a wholly-owned subsidiary, Prudential Legacy Insurance Company of New Jersey (“PLIC”), primarily on a coinsurance basis. The reinsurance transaction provides a long-term and comprehensive capital framework for the Closed Block.

Intangible and Intellectual Property
 
We capture and protect the innovation in our financial services products by applying for federal business method patents and implementing trade secret controls, as appropriate. We also use numerous federal, state, common law and foreign servicemarks, including in particular “Prudential”, the “Prudential logo”, our “Rock” symbol and “PGIM”. We believe that the value associated with many of our patents and trade secrets, and the goodwill associated with many of our servicemarks are significant competitive assets.


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Since 2004, we have had an agreement with Prudential plc of the United Kingdom (“U.K.”), with whom we have no affiliation, concerning the parties’ respective rights worldwide to use the names “Prudential” and “Pru.” Since 2019, the agreement has also included M&G plc of the U.K., the parent of The Prudential Assurance Company Limited, following its demerger from Prudential plc. The agreement restricts use of the “Prudential” and “Pru” name and mark in a number of countries outside the Americas, including Europe and most parts of Asia. Where these limitations apply, we combine our “Rock” symbol with alternative word marks. We believe that these limitations do not materially affect our ability to operate or expand internationally.
 
 
Regulation
 
Overview
 
Our businesses are subject to comprehensive regulation and supervision. The purpose of these regulations is primarily to protect our customers and the overall financial system and not necessarily our shareholders or debt holders. Many of the laws and regulations to which we are subject are regularly re-examined. Existing or future laws and regulations may become more restrictive or otherwise adversely affect our operations or profitability, increase compliance costs, or increase potential regulatory exposure. In recent years we have experienced, and expect to continue to experience, extensive changes in the laws and regulations, and regulatory frameworks applicable to our businesses in the U.S. and internationally. We cannot predict how current or future initiatives will further impact existing laws, regulations and regulatory frameworks.

In our international businesses, regulations may apply heightened requirements to non-domestic companies, which can reduce our flexibility as to intercompany transactions, investments and other aspects of business operations and adversely affect our liquidity and profitability. In some instances, regulators of a particular country may impose different, or more rigorous laws and requirements than in the U.S. or other countries to protect customers or their financial system from perceived systemic risk, including regulations governing privacy, consumer protection, employee protection, corporate governance and capital adequacy. In addition, certain of our international operations face political, legal, operational and other risks that we do not face in the U.S., including the risk of discriminatory regulation, labor issues in connection with independent contractor or franchisee status, workers’ associations and trade unions, nationalization or expropriation of assets, price controls and currency exchange controls or other restrictions that limit our ability to transfer funds from these operations out of the countries in which they operate or to convert local currencies we hold into U.S. dollars or other currencies. Some jurisdictions in which we operate joint ventures restrict our maximum percentage of ownership, which exposes us to additional operational, compliance, legal and joint venture partner risks and limits our array of potential remedies in the event of a breach by a partner.

The primary regulatory frameworks applicable to the Company are described further below under the following section headings:

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
Rescission of Designation
Initiatives Regarding Dodd-Frank and Financial Regulation
ERISA
Fiduciary Rules and other Standards of Care
U.S. State Insurance Holding Company Regulation
U.S. Insurance Operations
State Insurance Regulation
U.S. Federal and State Securities Regulation Affecting Insurance Operations
U.S. Federal and State Health Insurance Plan Regulation
International Insurance Regulation
U.S. Investment and Retirement Products and Investment Management Operations
U.S. Securities and Commodity Operations
International Investment and Retirement Products and Investment Management Operations
Derivatives Regulation
Privacy and Cybersecurity Regulation
Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Bribery Laws
Environmental Laws and Regulations
Unclaimed Property Laws
Taxation
U.S. Taxation
International Taxation
International and Global Regulatory Initiatives

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Several of our domestic and foreign regulators participate in an annual supervisory college facilitated by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (“NJDOBI”). The purpose of the supervisory college is to promote ongoing supervisory coordination, facilitate the sharing of information among regulators and enhance each regulator’s understanding of the Company’s risk profile. The most recent supervisory college was held in October 2019.

Existing and future accounting rules may also impact our results of operations or financial condition. For a discussion of accounting pronouncements and their potential impact on our business, including Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2018-12, Financial Services - Insurance (Topic 944): Targeted Improvements to the Accounting for Long-Duration Contracts, see Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
 
Rescission of Designation

In October 2018 the Financial Stability Oversight Council (the “Council”) rescinded the Company’s designation as a non-bank financial company (a “Designated Financial Company”) subject to supervision by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“FRB”) under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”). As a result of the Council’s rescission of the Company’s Designated Financial Company status, the Company is no longer subject to supervision and examination by the FRB or to the prudential standards applicable to Designated Financial Companies under Dodd-Frank. Accordingly, the Company will no longer incur FRB supervisory fees or certain consulting and other costs associated with FRB supervision.

The Council maintains the authority to designate entities, including the Company, for FRB supervision if it determines that either (i) material financial distress at the entity, or (ii) the nature, scope, size, scale, concentration, interconnectedness, or mix of the entity’s activities, could pose a threat to domestic financial stability. The Company continues to believe it does not meet the standards for designation.

Initiatives Regarding Dodd-Frank and Financial Regulation

In November 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released a report titled “Financial Stability Oversight Council Designations,” with recommendations on the Council’s standards and processes for the designation and continued designation of Designated Financial Companies. In addition, in October 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released a report titled “A Financial System That Creates Economic Opportunities - Asset Management and Insurance” which recommended, among other things, that primary federal and state regulators should focus on potential systemic risks arising from products and activities, and on implementing regulations that strengthen the asset management and insurance industries as a whole, rather than focus on an entity-based regulatory regime. The report also affirmed the role of the U.S. state-based system of insurance regulation. In December 2019 FSOC adopted interpretive guidance regarding Designated Financial Company determinations. The guidance describes the approach FSOC intends to take in prioritizing its work to identify and address potential risks to U.S. financial stability using an activities-based approach, and enhancing the analytical rigor and transparency in the processes FSOC intends to follow if it were to consider making a Designated Financial Company determination. From time to time Congress has also introduced legislation which if enacted, would amend certain provisions of Dodd-Frank, including by requiring the Council to prioritize the use of an activities-based approach to mitigate identified systemic risks.

We cannot predict whether the Treasury reports, interpretive guidance, new legislation or other initiatives aimed at revising Dodd-Frank and regulation of the financial system will ultimately form the basis for changes to laws or regulations impacting the Company.

ERISA
 
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) is a comprehensive federal statute that applies to U.S. employee benefit plans sponsored by private employers and labor unions. Plans subject to ERISA include pension and profit sharing plans and welfare plans, including health, life and disability plans. ERISA provisions include reporting and disclosure rules, standards of conduct that apply to plan fiduciaries and prohibitions on transactions known as “prohibited transactions,” such as conflict-of-interest transactions and certain transactions between a benefit plan and a party in interest. ERISA also provides for civil and criminal penalties and enforcement. Our insurance, investment management and retirement businesses provide services to employee benefit plans subject to ERISA, including services where we may act as an ERISA fiduciary. In addition to ERISA regulation of businesses providing products and services to ERISA plans, we become subject to ERISA’s prohibited transaction rules for transactions with those plans, which may affect our ability to enter transactions, or the terms on which transactions may be entered,

22


with those plans, even in businesses unrelated to those giving rise to party in interest status.
 
Fiduciary Rules and Other Standards of Care

The Company and our distributors are subject to rules regarding the standard of care applicable to sales of our products and the provision of advice to our customers. In recent years, many of these rules have been revised or reexamined, as described below. We cannot predict whether any proposed or new amendments to the existing regulatory framework will ultimately become applicable to our businesses. Any new standards issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”), the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) or state regulators may affect our businesses, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition. 

DOL Fiduciary Rules

In June 2018, a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision became effective that vacated rules issued by the DOL that redefined who would be considered a “fiduciary” for purposes of transactions with qualified plans, plan participants and Individual Retirement Accounts (“IRAs”), and generally provided that investment advice to a plan participant or IRA owner would be treated as a fiduciary activity. Prior to being vacated, the rules adversely impacted sales in our annuities and retirement businesses and resulted in increased compliance costs. We cannot predict whether the DOL will issue any new fiduciary rules or what impact they would have on the Company.

SEC Best Interest Regulation

In June 2019, the SEC adopted a package of rulemakings and interpretative guidance that, among other things, requires broker-dealers to act in the best interest of retail customers when recommending securities transactions or investment strategies to them. The guidance also clarifies the SEC’s views of the fiduciary duty that investment advisers owe to their clients. The new best interest standards will become effective on June 30, 2020. We are evaluating the impacts of the new standards and have begun to implement them. We believe that the new standards will apply to recommendations to purchase certain products offered by our PGIM, Retirement, Individual Annuities and Individual Life businesses, and will result in increased compliance costs, in particular in our Prudential Advisors distribution system, which we include in the results of our Individual Life segment.

U.S. State Standard of Care Regulation

In February 2020, the NAIC adopted revisions to the model suitability rule applicable to the sale of annuities. The revised model regulation states the insurance salesperson must act “without placing the producer’s or the insurer’s financial interest ahead of the consumer’s interest.” The model rule will become applicable to us as it is adopted in each state. In addition, certain state regulators and legislatures have adopted or are considering adopting best interest standards. For example, in July 2018, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NY DFS”) issued an amendment to its suitability regulations which imposes a best-interest standard on the sale of annuity and life insurance products in New York. The amendments became effective for annuity products on August 1, 2019 and for life insurance products on February 1, 2020, and the Company has taken steps we believe are necessary to comply with the rules. In addition, in October 2018 the New Jersey Bureau of Securities issued a proposal that would impose a fiduciary standard on all New Jersey investment professionals.

Japan Standard of Care Regulation

Outside the U.S., in 2017 the Japanese Financial Services Agency (“FSA”) announced the “Principles of Fiduciary Duty,” a set of recommended general principles for businesses to adopt when performing client related financial services. The principles have been adopted by The Prudential Life Insurance Company Ltd. (“Prudential of Japan”), Gibraltar Life, and Prudential Gibraltar Financial Life Insurance Company, Ltd. (“PGFL”). The FSA encourages voluntary adoption of these fiduciary principles as a best practice, but adoption is not required by regulation. Companies’ policies regarding their fiduciary duties can be tailored based on their specific business, such as target clients and complexity of products. Once companies adopt the principles and establish a policy, they are required to implement measures to ensure their employees fulfill their fiduciary duties, and periodically assess the measures’ effectiveness.

U.S. State Insurance Holding Company Regulation
 
We are subject to the insurance holding company laws in the states where our insurance subsidiaries are domiciled, which currently include New Jersey, Arizona, Connecticut and Indiana, or are treated as commercially domiciled, such as New York. These laws generally require each insurance company directly or indirectly owned by the holding company to register with the insurance department in the insurance company’s state of domicile and to furnish annually financial and other information about

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the operations of companies within the holding company system, including an assessment of the group’s risk management and current and future solvency position. Generally, all transactions affecting the insurers in the holding company system must be fair and reasonable and, if material, require prior notice and approval or non-disapproval by the state’s insurance department.
 
Change of Control

Most states, including the states in which our U.S. insurance companies are domiciled, have insurance laws that require regulatory approval of a direct or indirect change of control of an insurer or an insurer’s holding company. Laws such as these that apply to us prevent any person from acquiring control of Prudential Financial or of our insurance subsidiaries unless that person has filed a statement with specified information with the insurance regulators and has obtained their prior approval. Under most states’ statutes, acquiring 10% or more of the voting stock of an insurance company or its parent company is presumptively considered a change of control, although such presumption may be rebutted. Accordingly, any person who acquires 10% or more of the voting securities of Prudential Financial without the prior approval of the insurance regulators of the states in which our U.S. insurance companies are domiciled will be in violation of these states’ laws and may be subject to injunctive action requiring the disposition or seizure of those securities by the relevant insurance regulator or prohibiting the voting of those securities and to other actions determined by the relevant insurance regulator. In addition, many state insurance laws require prior notification to state insurance departments of a change in control of a non-domiciliary insurance company doing business in that state.
 
Group-Wide Supervision
 
NJDOBI acts as the group-wide supervisor of Prudential Financial pursuant to New Jersey legislation that authorizes group-wide supervision of internationally active insurance groups (“IAIGs”). The law, among other provisions, authorizes NJDOBI to examine Prudential Financial and its subsidiaries, including by ascertaining the financial condition of the insurance companies for purposes of assessing enterprise risk. In accordance with this authority, NJDOBI receives information about the Company’s operations beyond those of its New Jersey domiciled insurance subsidiaries.
  
Additional areas of focus regarding group-wide supervision of insurance holding companies include the following:

Group Capital Calculation. The NAIC has formed a working group to develop a U.S. group capital calculation using a risk-based capital (“RBC”) aggregation methodology. In constructing the calculation, the working group is considering group capital developments undertaken by the FRB and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (“IAIS”). The working group field tested a proposed calculation in 2019, and may seek to adopt a final version in 2020.

Macroprudential Framework. The NAIC has established a new initiative to develop a macroprudential framework intended to: (1) improve state insurance regulators’ ability to monitor and respond to the impact of external financial and economic risks on insurers; (2) better monitor and respond to risk emanating from or amplified by insurers that might be transmitted externally; and (3) increase public awareness of NAIC/state monitoring capabilities regarding macroprudential trends. As part of this initiative, the areas identified by the NAIC for potential enhancement include liquidity reporting and stress testing, resolution and recovery, capital stress testing, and counterparty exposure and concentration. The NAIC is currently developing a liquidity stress testing framework.

Examination. State insurance departments conduct periodic examinations of the books and records, financial reporting, policy filings and market conduct of insurance companies domiciled in their states, generally once every three to five years. Examinations are generally carried out in cooperation with the insurance departments of other states under guidelines promulgated by the NAIC. As group-wide supervisor, NJDOBI, along with our other insurance regulators, has expanded the periodic examinations to cover Prudential and all of its subsidiaries. In June 2018, NJDOBI, along with the insurance regulators of Arizona, Connecticut and Indiana, completed their first global consolidated group-wide examination of Prudential and its subsidiaries for the five-year period ended December 31, 2016 and had no reportable findings.

We cannot predict what, if any, additional requirements and compliance costs any new group-wide standards will impose on Prudential Financial.

U.S. Insurance Operations
 
State insurance laws regulate all aspects of our U.S. insurance businesses. State insurance departments in the fifty states, the District of Columbia and various U.S. territories and possessions monitor our insurance operations. PICA is domiciled in New Jersey and its principal insurance regulatory authority is the NJDOBI. Our other U.S. insurance companies are principally regulated

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by the insurance departments of the states in which they are domiciled. Generally, our insurance products must be approved by the insurance regulators in the state in which they are sold. Our insurance products are substantially affected by federal and state tax laws.
 
State Insurance Regulation
 
State insurance authorities have broad administrative powers with respect to all aspects of the insurance business including: (1) licensing to transact business; (2) licensing agents; (3) admittance of assets to statutory surplus; (4) regulating premium rates for certain insurance products; (5) approving policy forms; (6) regulating unfair trade and claims practices; (7) establishing reserve requirements and solvency standards; (8) fixing maximum interest rates on life insurance policy loans and minimum accumulation or surrender values; (9) regulating the type, amounts and valuations of investments permitted; (10) regulating reinsurance transactions, including the role of captive reinsurers; and (11) other matters.
 
State insurance laws and regulations require our U.S. insurance companies to file financial statements with state insurance departments everywhere they do business in accordance with accounting practices and procedures prescribed or permitted by these departments. The operations of our U.S. insurance companies and accounts are subject to examination by those departments at any time.
  
Financial Regulation
 
Dividend Payment Limitations. New Jersey insurance law and the insurance laws of the other states in which our insurance companies are domiciled regulate the amount of dividends that may be paid by PICA and our other U.S. insurance companies. See Note 16 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
 
Risk-Based Capital. We are subject to RBC requirements that are designed to enhance regulation of insurers’ solvency. The RBC calculation, which regulators use to assess the sufficiency of an insurer’s statutory capital, measures the risk characteristics of a company’s assets, liabilities and certain off-balance sheet items. In general, RBC is calculated by applying factors to various asset, premium, claim, expense and reserve items. Within a given risk category, these factors are higher for those items with greater underlying risk and lower for items with lower underlying risk. Insurers that have less statutory capital than required are considered to have inadequate capital and are subject to varying degrees of regulatory action depending upon the level of capital inadequacy.
  
Areas of the RBC framework that have recently been subject to reexamination or revision include the following:

Bond Factors. The NAIC’s Investment Risk-Based Capital Working Group is developing updates to the RBC factors for invested assets including expanding, for RBC purposes, the current NAIC designations from six to twenty.

Longevity/Mortality Risk. The NAIC’s Longevity Risk Subgroup of the Life Insurance and Annuities Committee and Financial Condition Committee is developing recommendations to recognize longevity risk in statutory reserves and/or risk-based capital related to annuities. The Company assumes this longevity risk primarily in its Retirement and Individual Annuities businesses. The NAIC is also developing updates to the existing mortality risk factors in RBC. In 2019 the American Academy of Actuaries issued a report at the request of the NAIC recommending implementation of a new longevity risk factor concurrently with a correlation adjustment for mortality risk.

Operational Risk. In 2018, the NAIC adopted operational risk charges that became effective for year-end 2018 RBC formulas and is continuing to consider whether to add an explicit growth risk charge to the RBC formula. The operational risk charges did not materially impact our 2018 RBC ratios given that we hold statutory capital consistent with or in excess of the thresholds established through these new charges.

Due to the ongoing nature of the NAIC’s activities regarding RBC, we cannot determine the ultimate timing of the proposed changes or their impact on RBC or on our financial position.
 
Insurance Reserves and Regulatory Capital. State insurance laws require us to analyze the adequacy of our reserves annually. The respective appointed actuaries for each of our life insurance companies must each submit an opinion that our reserves, when considered in light of the assets we hold with respect to those reserves, make adequate provision for our contractual obligations and related expenses.
 
The reserving framework for certain of our products and the regulatory capital requirements applicable to our business have

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undergone reexamination and revision in recent years, including in the following areas:

Principle-Based Reserving for Life Insurance Products. In 2016, the NAIC adopted a principle-based reserving approach for life insurance products. Principle-based reserving replaces the reserving methods for life insurance products for which the former formulaic basis for reserves may not accurately reflect the risks or costs of the liability or obligations of the insurer. The principle-based reserving approach had a three-year phase-in period. Principle-based reserving will not affect reserves for policies in force prior to January 1, 2017.

The Company has introduced updated versions of its individual life products in conjunction with the requirement to adopt principle-based reserving by January 1, 2020. These updated products are currently priced to support the principle-based statutory reserve level without the need for reserve financing. Certain elements of the implementation of principle-based reserving are yet to be finalized by the NAIC and may have a material impact on statutory reserves. The Company continues to assess the impact of the implementation of principle-based reserving on projected statutory reserve levels, product pricing and the use of financing.

Variable Annuities Framework for Change. In 2019, the NAIC adopted final revisions to the Valuation Manual (VM-21), Actuarial Guideline 43 (“AG 43”), and risk-based capital instructions to implement a new variable annuity statutory framework for 2020. Changes include: (i) aligning economically-focused hedge assets with liability valuations; (ii) reforming standard scenarios for AG 43 and C3 Phase II; and (iii) standardizing capital market assumptions and aligning total asset requirements and reserves. The Company does not expect material impacts to target capital levels from the revised framework. The NAIC is considering further changes to the Valuation Manual for future years.

New York Variable Annuity and Life Insurance Product Reserves. As a result of an agreement with the NY DFS regarding our reserving methodologies for certain variable annuity and life insurance products, certain of our New York licensed insurance subsidiaries hold additional statutory reserves on a New York basis, which reduces their New York statutory surplus. None of our U.S. operating insurance companies are domiciled in New York, and these changes do not impact statutory reserves reported in our insurance subsidiaries’ states of domicile, or any states other than New York, and therefore do not impact RBC ratios; however, the agreed reserve methodologies may require us to increase our additional New York statutory reserves in the future. If we were required to establish material additional reserves on a New York statutory accounting basis or post material amounts of additional collateral with respect to annuity or insurance products, our ability to deploy capital held within our U.S. domestic insurance subsidiaries for other purposes could be affected.

Reinsurance. In 2019, the NAIC’s Statutory Accounting Principles Working Group revised the statutory accounting rules regarding reinsurance credit with respect to the risk transfer requirements for yearly renewable term reinsurance agreements. The Company does not expect the revisions to have a material impact on reinsurance credit for yearly renewable term reinsurance in the group life insurance business.

The NAIC’s Life Actuarial Task Force is also evaluating changes to its Valuation Manual in respect of yearly renewable term reinsurance. Certain changes currently under consideration could adversely impact statutory reserve credit. The NAIC has adopted interim changes effective in 2020 that are expected to adversely impact statutory reserve credit for yearly renewable term reinsurance related to our individual life insurance products being reserved using a principle-based approach though the final Valuation Manual revisions are still being developed.

During 2019 the NAIC approved revisions to the Credit for Reinsurance Model Law and Credit for Reinsurance Model Regulation to make the models consistent with the provisions of the U.S.’s bilateral covered agreements with the European Union (“E.U.”) and United Kingdom (“U.K.”) with respect to reinsurance collateral requirements. The revisions eliminate reinsurance collateral requirements applicable to E.U. and U.S. reinsurers meeting certain minimum requirements. The revisions also eliminate the requirements to maintain a local presence to do business in the E.U. or U.K. or post collateral in any E.U. jurisdiction or the U.K. The amended model law will become applicable to the Company as it is adopted by each domiciliary state. Each E.U. jurisdiction and the U.K. must also enact the provisions of the covered agreements into local law/regulation.
 
Surplus Notes. The NAIC’s Statutory Accounting Principles Working Group is evaluating changes to the accounting rules regarding surplus notes with linked assets. This change could result in the classification of the surplus notes as debt instead of surplus and require linked assets to be treated as non-admitted assets. These changes

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would materially adversely impact the statutory financial position of the Company’s captive reinsurance subsidiaries that use credit-linked note structures to finance Regulation XXX and Guideline AXXX reserves. During 2019 the working group approved a data call to obtain surplus note financing information from insurers.

Captive Reinsurance Companies.

We use captive reinsurance subsidiaries to finance the portion of the statutory reserves for term and universal life policies that we consider to be non-economic for policies written prior to the implementation of principle-based reserving. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of OperationsLiquidity and Capital ResourcesCapitalFinancing ActivitiesTerm and Universal Life Reserve Financing” for a discussion of our life product reserves and reserve financing.
 
Market Conduct Regulation
 
State insurance laws and regulations include numerous provisions governing the marketplace activities of insurers, including provisions governing the form and content of disclosure to consumers, illustrations, advertising, sales practices and complaint handling. State regulatory authorities generally enforce these provisions through periodic market conduct examinations.

Long-Term Care Rate Regulation

During 2019 the NAIC established a new Long-Term Care Insurance Task Force under the Executive Committee. It is charged with (1) developing a consistent national approach for reviewing long-term care insurance rates that result in actuarially appropriate increases being granted by the states in a timely manner and eliminates cross-state rate subsidization, and (2) ensuring consumers are provided with meaningful options to modify their contract benefits in situations where the premiums are no longer affordable due to rate increases. The task force has in turn identified several workstreams regarding these and other related issues, including guaranty funds and reserving. We cannot predict whether this initiative will ultimately result in changes to the regulations applicable to our long-term care business, or how those changes will impact the Company.

Data and Underwriting

During 2019 the NAIC Big Data Working Group began reviewing accelerated or non-traditional underwriting models and predictive elements in the context of life insurance. In 2019 the NAIC also formed the Accelerated Underwriting Working Group, which is charged with studying key issues and, if appropriate, drafting guidance for states. It will review insurers’ use of external data and data analytics in accelerated underwriting.
 
Insurance Guaranty Association Assessments
 
Each state has insurance guaranty association laws under which insurers doing business in the state are members and may be assessed by state insurance guaranty associations for certain obligations of insolvent insurance companies to policyholders and claimants. Typically, states assess each member insurer in an amount related to the member insurer’s proportionate share of the business written by all member insurers in the state. Many states offer a reimbursement of such assessments in the form of credits against future years’ premium taxes. For the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, we paid $2 million, $2.3 million and $12.6 million, respectively, in assessments pursuant to state insurance guaranty association laws. The 2017 assessments reflected the Penn Treaty Network America Insurance Company insolvency, which liquidated on March 1, 2017. While we cannot predict the amount and timing of future assessments on our U.S. insurance companies under these laws, we have established estimated reserves totaling approximately $31 million as of December 31, 2019, for future assessments relating to insurance companies that are currently subject to insolvency proceedings including Penn Treaty Network America Insurance Company, Executive Life of California and Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance Company.

In 2017, the NAIC approved amendments to the Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association Model Act to address issues relating to long-term care insurance-related insolvencies. The amendments will spread costs from future long-term care insurance-related insolvencies across the entire health and life insurance industry, resulting in increased assessments for life insurers. The amended model law will become applicable to us as it is adopted by each state. Prior insolvencies will not be included under these amendments. Given our current market share of the impacted lines of business, we expect our cost related to future insolvencies, net of premium tax credits available under current state laws, would be a small percentage of the gross industry liability.
 
U.S. Federal and State Securities Regulation Affecting Insurance Operations
 

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Our variable life insurance, variable annuity and mutual fund products generally are “securities” within the meaning of federal securities laws and may be required to be registered under the federal securities laws and subject to regulation by the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”). Certain of our insurance subsidiaries are subject to SEC public reporting and disclosure requirements based on offerings of these products. Federal and some state securities regulation similar to that discussed below under “—Investment Products and Investment Management Operations” and “—Securities and Commodities Regulation” affect investment advice, sales and related activities with respect to these products.
 
Our mutual funds, and in certain states our variable life insurance and variable annuity products, are also “securities” within the meaning of state securities laws. As securities, these products are subject to filing and certain other requirements. Also, sales activities with respect to these products generally are subject to state securities regulation. Such regulation may affect investment advice, sales and related activities for these products.
  
Federal Insurance Office
 
Dodd-Frank established a Federal Insurance Office (“FIO”) within the Department of the Treasury headed by a director appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury. While the FIO does not have general supervisory or regulatory authority over the business of insurance, the FIO director performs various functions with respect to insurance, including serving as a non-voting member of the Council, monitoring the insurance sector and representing the U.S. on prudential aspects of international insurance matters, including at the IAIS.

U.S. Federal and State Health Insurance Plan Regulation

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) and The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (together, the “Affordable Care Act”), as well as state insurance laws, include numerous provisions governing the marketing and sale of health insurance plans. Congress from time to time considers health care reform that could decrease or increase the attractiveness of health insurance products sold by Assurance IQ, or have an unfavorable or favorable effect on our ability to earn revenues from sales of these products.

International Insurance Regulation
 
Our international insurance operations are principally supervised by regulatory authorities in the jurisdictions in which they operate, including the Japanese Ministry of Finance and the Japanese FSA, the financial services regulator in Japan. In addition to Japan, we operate insurance companies in Argentina, Bermuda, Brazil, Korea, Mexico and Taiwan, and have insurance operations in China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia through joint ventures, and in Ghana through a strategic investment. The insurance regulatory bodies for these businesses typically oversee such issues as: (1) company licensing; (2) the licensing of insurance sales staff; (3) insurance product approvals; (4) sales practices; (5) claims payment practices; (6) permissible investments; (7) solvency and capital adequacy; and (8) insurance reserves, among other items. In some jurisdictions, for certain products, regulators will also mandate premium rates (or components of pricing) or minimum guaranteed interest rates. Periodic examinations of insurance company books and records, financial reporting requirements, market conduct examinations and policy filing requirements are among the techniques used by these regulators to supervise our non-U.S. insurance businesses. Finally, insurance regulatory authorities in the various jurisdictions in which our insurance companies are domiciled, including Japan, must approve any change of control of Prudential Financial or the insurance companies organized under their laws.
 
Solvency Regulation

In order to monitor insurers’ solvency, regulatory authorities in the jurisdictions in which we operate outside the U.S. generally establish some form of minimum solvency requirements for insurance companies, similar in concept to the RBC ratios that are employed by U.S. insurance regulators. These solvency ratios are used by regulators to assess the sufficiency of an insurer’s capital and claims-paying ability and include the impact of transactions with affiliated entities. Certain jurisdictions require the disclosure of solvency ratios to the public. Insurers that have lower solvency ratios than the regulators require are considered to have inadequate capital and are subject to varying degrees of regulatory action depending upon the level of capital inadequacy.

 Japan Capital and Solvency Regulation. Our Japan insurance operations are subject to a capital standard known as the Solvency Margin Ratio framework (“SMR”). This standard prescribes the manner in which an insurance company’s capital is calculated and is meant to respond to changes in financial markets, improve risk management practices of insurers and consider risks associated with the insurer’s subsidiaries. In 2016, 2018 and 2019, the FSA conducted a field test of a potential market based alternative to the SMR framework that closely aligned with components of the IAIS’ Risk-based Global Insurance Capital Standard (“ICS”), which is described below under “—Other International and Global Regulatory Initiatives.” The FSA will continue to explore potential alternatives or revisions to the existing SMR framework. We cannot predict whether changes to the SMR will

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be adopted, or if they will result in additional capital requirements and compliance costs.

Korea Accounting Standards, Capital and Solvency Regulation. In 2017, the International Accounting Standards Board (“IASB”) released a new International Financial Reporting Standard (“IFRS”) for accounting for insurance contracts, which will apply to our operations in Korea and certain other jurisdictions. The new IFRS was initially scheduled to go into effect in 2021; however, in 2018 the IASB deferred the effective date to 2022. Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (“FSS”) and Financial Services Commission (“FSC”) announced plans to enhance the liability adequacy test (“LAT”) in June 2017 as part of its adoption effort. The enhancements require life insurers to set aside additional policy reserves in phases to support the transition to IFRS, which is expected to lead to an increase in the level of reserves insurers must hold. In October 2019, the FSC decided to further defer the implementation of enhanced LAT requirements. However, the FSC is requiring insurers to set aside reserves equal to the deferred LAT reserve requirements which will prevent insurers from paying out these reserves as a dividend. In Japan, changes in IFRS do not currently impact our operations as they are not required to report under IFRS.

Our Korea insurance operation is subject to RBC requirements that are based in part on financial statements prepared in accordance with current accounting requirements. In 2017, 2018 and 2019, the FSS conducted a field test of a potential market based alternative to the RBC framework that closely aligned with components of the IAIS’ ICS. The FSS will continue to explore potential alternatives or revisions to the existing RBC framework with the intention of implementing changes in parallel with its implementation of the new IFRS standards for accounting for insurance contracts. We cannot predict whether changes to the RBC framework will ultimately be adopted, or if they will result in additional capital requirements and compliance costs.

Dividend Payment Limitations

The insurance regulatory bodies in some of the countries where our international insurance businesses are located regulate the amount of dividends that they can pay to shareholders. See Note 16 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information regarding the ability of our international subsidiaries to pay dividends to Prudential Financial.
 
Insurance Guaranty Fund Assessments

Certain of our international insurance operations, including those in Japan, may be subject to assessments, generally based on their proportionate share of business written in the relevant jurisdiction, for certain obligations of insolvent insurance companies to policyholders and claimants. As we cannot predict the timing of future assessments, they may materially affect the results of operations of our international insurance operations in particular quarterly or annual periods. Under the Japanese insurance guaranty law, all licensed life insurers in Japan are required to be members of and are assessed, on a pre-funded basis, by the Japan Policyholders Protection Corporation (“PPC”). These assessments generate a collective fund which is used to satisfy certain obligations of insolvent insurance companies to policyholders and claimants. The PPC assesses each member in an amount related to its proportionate share of new business written by all member insurers. For the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, we paid approximately $23 million, $22 million and $21 million, respectively, based on fixed currency exchange rates, in assessments pursuant to Japanese insurance guaranty association laws.

U.S. Investment and Retirement Products and Investment Management Operations
 
Our investment products and services are subject to federal and state securities, fiduciary, including ERISA, and other laws and regulations. The SEC, FINRA, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), National Futures Association (“NFA”), state securities commissions, state banking and insurance departments and the DOL are the principal U.S. regulators that regulate our investment management operations. In some cases our domestic U.S. investment operations are also subject to non-U.S. securities laws and regulations.
  
Some of the separate account, mutual fund and other pooled investment products offered by our businesses, in addition to being registered under the Securities Act, are registered as investment companies under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, and the shares of certain of these entities are qualified for sale in some states and the District of Columbia. Separate account investment products are also subject to state insurance regulation as described above. We also have several subsidiaries that are registered as broker-dealers under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”), as amended, and are subject to federal and state regulation. In addition, we have subsidiaries that are investment advisers registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Our third-party advisors and licensed sales professionals within Prudential Advisors and other employees, insofar as they sell products that are securities, are subject to the Exchange Act and to examination requirements and regulation by the SEC, FINRA and state securities commissioners. Regulation and examination requirements also extend to various Prudential entities that employ or control those individuals.
 
Congress from time to time considers pension reform legislation that could decrease or increase the attractiveness of certain

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of our retirement products and services to retirement plan sponsors and administrators, or have an unfavorable or favorable effect on our ability to earn revenues from these products and services. Over time, these changes could hinder our sales of defined benefit pension products and services and cause sponsors to discontinue existing plans for which we provide investment management, administrative, or other services, but could increase the attractiveness of certain products we offer in connection with pension plans.

In December 2019, Congress enacted the Setting Every Community up for Retirement Enhancement (“SECURE”) Act. The SECURE Act is expected to help promote retirement plan coverage by expanding access to and use of Multiple Employer Plans; facilitate access to lifetime income disclosures for plan participants to better understand how their retirement savings translate into monthly lifetime income in retirement; improve upon the current annuity selection safe harbor; and provide lifetime income portability. The SECURE Act made significant changes to provisions of existing law governing retirement plans and IRAs. These changes, which involve both ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code, include:

increasing the required minimum distribution age from 70 ½ to 72;
allowing contributions to traditional IRAs after attaining age 70 ½;
allowing up to $5,000 of withdrawals from a defined contribution plan or IRA for the birth or adoption of a child;
allowing completely unrelated small employers to participate in an open Multiple Employer Plan;
facilitating portability of lifetime income products held in retirement plans;
requiring defined contribution plans to provide an annual lifetime income disclosure;
limiting the ability of plan and IRA beneficiaries to stretch benefits over their life; and
creating a statutory safe harbor in ERISA for a retirement plan’s selection of an annuity provider.

Some of the changes in law made by the SECURE Act are complex and unclear in application. Moreover, many of the provisions were effective on January 1, 2020, while other provisions are effective on later dates, including some that are not effective until action is taken to modify underlying retirement plan documents. We cannot predict what impact the SECURE Act will ultimately have on our businesses.

Finally, Federal and state banking laws also generally require regulatory approval for a change in control of Prudential Financial, Prudential Bank & Trust, FSB (“PB&T”) or Prudential Trust Company. The U.S. federal securities laws could also require reapproval or consent by customers of our investment advisory contracts upon a change of control, including for mutual funds included in variable annuity products.
 
U.S. Securities and Commodity Operations
 
We have subsidiaries that are broker-dealers, investment advisers, commodity pool operators or commodity trading advisers. The SEC, the CFTC, state securities authorities, FINRA, the NFA, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, and similar authorities are the principal regulators of these subsidiaries.
 
Our broker-dealer and commodities affiliates are members of, and are subject to regulation by, “self-regulatory organizations,” including FINRA and the NFA. Self-regulatory organizations conduct examinations of, and have adopted rules governing, their members. In addition, state securities and certain other regulators have regulatory and oversight authority over our registered broker-dealers. Broker-dealers and their sales forces in the U.S. and in certain other jurisdictions are subject to regulations that cover many aspects of the securities business, including sales methods and trading practices. The regulations cover the suitability of investments for individual customers, use and safekeeping of customers’ funds and securities, capital adequacy, recordkeeping, financial reporting and the conduct of directors, officers and employees. The SEC, CFTC and other governmental agencies and self-regulatory organizations, as well as state securities commissions in the U.S. and non-U.S. regulatory agencies, have the power to conduct administrative proceedings that can result in censure, fine, the issuance of cease-and-desist orders or suspension, termination or limitation of the activities of a broker-dealer, an investment adviser or commodities firm or its employees. Our U.S. registered broker-dealer subsidiaries are subject to federal net capital requirements that may limit the ability of these subsidiaries to pay dividends to Prudential Financial.

International Investment and Retirement Products and Investment Management Operations

Our non-insurance international operations are supervised primarily by regulatory authorities in the countries in which they operate. We operate investment-related businesses in, among other jurisdictions, Japan, Taiwan, the U.K., Ireland, Hong Kong, Mexico, Germany, Luxembourg, China and Singapore, and participate in investment-related joint ventures in India, Italy and China and a retirement related joint venture in Chile. These businesses may provide products such as investment management products and services, mutual funds, separately managed accounts and retirement products. The regulatory authorities for these businesses typically oversee such issues as: (1) company licensing; (2) the licensing of investment product sales staff; (3) sales

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practices; (4) solvency and capital adequacy; (5) mutual fund product approvals and related disclosures; and (6) securities, commodities and related laws, among other items. In some cases, our international investment operations are also subject to U.S. securities laws and regulations.
 
On January 31, 2020, the U.K. exited the E.U. following a non-binding referendum in June 2016, with a transition period in relation to existing laws and regulations until December 31, 2020. There is still a high degree of uncertainty regarding the outcome of negotiations between the U.K. and E.U. on trade and the on-going relationship between the U.K. and E.U. beyond 2020. The transition period could be extended subject to agreement between the U.K. and E.U. by July 2020. The outcome of the negotiations will determine the ultimate impact of the exit on our operations and investments in those jurisdictions and may lead to volatility in currency exchange rates and asset prices, as well as changes in regulation. In the event the exit results in future restrictions on cross-border trade in financial services and products between the U.K. and the E.U., PGIM may incur additional expenses and operational burdens in order to ensure compliance with such restrictions. In anticipation of the exit, PGIM has implemented a number of steps to minimize disruption to its existing business, including forming new legal entities and securing licenses and permissions in certain E.U. countries, and engaging in client communications.

Derivatives Regulation
 
Prudential Financial and our subsidiaries use derivatives for various purposes, including hedging interest rate, foreign currency and equity market exposures. Dodd-Frank established a framework for regulation of the over-the-counter derivatives markets. This framework sets out requirements regarding the clearing and reporting of derivatives transactions, as well as collateral posting requirements for uncleared swaps. Affiliated swaps entered into between our subsidiaries are generally exempt from most of these requirements.
 
We continue to monitor the potential hedging cost impacts of new initial margin requirements that we will be required to comply with in 2020, and increased capital requirements for derivatives transactions that may be imposed on banks that are our counterparties. Additionally, the increased need to post cash collateral in connection with mandatorily cleared swaps may also require the liquidation of higher yielding assets for cash, resulting in a negative impact on investment income.

Privacy and Cybersecurity Regulation
 
We are subject to laws, regulations and directives that require financial institutions and other businesses to protect the security and confidentiality of personal information, including health-related and customer information, and to notify their customers and other individuals of their policies and practices relating to the collection and disclosure of health-related and customer information. In addition, we must comply with international privacy laws, regulations, and directives concerning the cross border transfer or use of employee and customer personal information. These laws, regulations and directives also:
 
provide additional protections regarding the use and disclosure of certain information such as national identifier numbers (e.g., social security numbers);
require notice to affected individuals, regulators and others if there is a breach of the security of certain personal information;
require financial institutions and creditors to implement effective programs to detect, prevent, and mitigate identity theft;
regulate the process by which financial institutions make telemarketing calls and send e-mail, text, or fax messages to consumers and customers;
require oversight of third parties that have access to, and handle, personal information; and
prescribe the permissible uses of certain personal information, including customer information and consumer report information.  

Some countries have also instituted laws requiring in-country data processing and/or in-country storage of the personal data of its citizens. Compliance with such laws could result in higher technology, administrative and other costs for us and could affect how products and services are offered or require us to structure our businesses, operations and systems in less efficient ways.

Regulatory and legislative activity in the areas of privacy, data protection and information and cybersecurity continues to increase worldwide. Financial regulators in the U.S. and international jurisdictions in which we operate continue to focus on data privacy and cybersecurity, including in proposed rulemaking, and have communicated heightened expectations and have increased emphasis in this area in their examinations of regulated entities. For example, the E.U.’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which became effective in May 2018, confers additional privacy rights on individuals in the E.U. and establishes significant penalties for violations. In addition, in the U.S. the Federal government has proposed a number of sweeping privacy laws. In California the California Consumer Privacy Act will be effective in 2020 and confers numerous privacy rights on

31


individuals and corresponding obligations on businesses. Internationally, a number of countries such as Brazil and Argentina have enacted or are considering enacting GDPR-like regulations.
 
In October 2017, the NAIC adopted the Insurance Data Security Model Law. The model law requires that insurance companies establish a cybersecurity program and includes specific technical safeguards as well as requirements regarding governance, incident planning, data management, system testing, vendor oversight and regulator notification. New York implemented a similar law in March 2017 and other states have either implemented the Model Law or are anticipated to implement it in the near future.
 
The Company is monitoring regulatory guidance and rulemaking in these areas, and may be subject to increased compliance costs and regulatory requirements. In order to respond to the threat of security breaches and cyber-attacks, we have developed a program overseen by the Chief Information Security Officer and the Information Security Office that is designed to protect and preserve the confidentiality, integrity, and continued availability of all information owned by, or in the care of the Company. As part of this program, we also maintain an incident response plan. The program provides for the coordination of various corporate functions and governance groups, and serves as a framework for the execution of responsibilities across businesses and operational roles. The program establishes security standards for our technological resources, and includes training for employees, contractors and third parties. As part of the program, we conduct periodic exercises and a response readiness assessment with outside advisors to gain a third-party independent assessment of our technical program and our internal response preparedness. We regularly engage with the outside security community and monitor cyber threat information.
 
Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Bribery Laws
 
Our businesses are subject to various anti-money laundering and financial transparency laws and regulations that seek to promote cooperation among financial institutions, regulators and law enforcement entities in identifying parties that may be involved in terrorism or money laundering. In addition, under current U.S. law and regulations we may be prohibited from dealing with certain individuals or entities in certain circumstances and we may be required to monitor customer activities, which may affect our ability to attract and retain customers. We are also subject to various laws and regulations relating to corrupt and illegal payments to government officials and others, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the U.K.’s Anti-Bribery Law. The obligation of financial institutions, including the Company, to identify their clients, to monitor for and report suspicious transactions, to monitor dealings with government officials, to respond to requests for information by regulatory authorities and law enforcement agencies, and to share information with other financial institutions, has required the implementation and maintenance of internal practices, procedures and controls. 

Environmental Laws and Regulations
 
Federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations apply to our ownership and operation of real property. Inherent in owning and operating real property are the risks of hidden environmental liabilities and the costs of any required clean-up. Although unexpected environmental liabilities can always arise, we seek to minimize this risk by undertaking environmental assessments, among other measures prior to taking title to real estate.
 
Unclaimed Property Laws
 
We are subject to the laws and regulations of states and other jurisdictions concerning the identification, reporting and escheatment of unclaimed or abandoned funds, and we are subject to audit and examination for compliance with these requirements. For additional discussion of these matters, see Note 23 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
Taxation

U.S. Taxation
 
The Company and certain domestic subsidiaries file a consolidated federal income tax return that includes both life insurance companies and non-life insurance companies. Certain other domestic subsidiaries file separate tax returns. The principal differences between the Company’s actual income tax expense and the applicable statutory federal income tax rate are generally deductions for non-taxable investment income, including the Dividends Received Deduction (“DRD”), foreign taxes applied at a different tax rate than the U.S. rate and certain tax credits. For tax years prior to 2018, the applicable statutory federal tax rate was 35%. For tax years starting in 2018, the applicable statutory federal income tax rate is 21%. In addition, as discussed further below, the tax attributes of our products may impact both the Company’s and our customers’ tax positions. See “Income Taxes” in Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements and Note 16 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for a description of the Company’s tax position. As discussed further below, new tax legislation and other potential changes to the tax law may impact the Company’s tax position and the attractiveness of our products.

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The Tax Act of 2017 was enacted into law on December 22, 2017 and was generally effective starting in 2018. The Tax Act of 2017 changed the taxation of businesses and individuals by lowering tax rates and broadening the tax base through the acceleration of taxable income and the deferral or elimination of certain deductions, as well as changing the system of taxation of earnings of foreign subsidiaries. The most significant changes for the Company were: (1) the reduction of the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%; (2) revised methodologies for determining deductions for tax reserves and the DRD; (3) an increased capitalization and amortization period for acquisition costs related to certain products; and (4) the change from a worldwide deferred taxation system to a modified territorial system of taxation on applicable earnings of foreign subsidiaries, which includes (a) a new tax on earnings of foreign subsidiaries (the Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (“GILTI”) provision ) and (b) a new alternative tax with respect to payments to non-U.S. affiliates that are at least 25% owned (the Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax (“BEAT”)).

The GILTI provision applies a minimum U.S. tax to earnings of foreign subsidiaries in excess of a 10% deemed return on tangible assets of consolidated foreign subsidiaries by imposing the U.S. tax rate to 50% of earnings of such foreign affiliates and provides for a partial foreign tax credit for foreign income taxes. The amount of tax in any period on GILTI can depend on annual differences between U.S. taxable income recognition rules and taxable income recognition rules in the country of operations and the overall taxable income of U.S. operations, as well as U.S. expense allocation rules which limit the amount of foreign tax credits that can be applied to reduce the U.S. tax on the GILTI. Under certain circumstance the taxable income of U.S. operations may cause more than 50% of earnings of foreign affiliates to be subject to the GILTI provision. In years that the U.S. consolidated PFI group incurs a net operating loss or has a loss from domestic businesses, the GILTI provision would operate to cause a loss of U.S. tax benefits for some or all of those losses, effectively increasing the tax on foreign earnings.

The BEAT provision could, under certain conditions, increase our tax expense. The BEAT is an alternative tax implicated if tax deductible payments from U.S. companies to foreign affiliates that are at least 25% owned exceed 3% of total U.S. tax deductions. If implicated, the BEAT taxes modified taxable income at a rate of 10% in 2019, increasing to 12.5% in 2026 and is due if the calculated BEAT tax amount that is determined without the benefit of foreign and certain other tax credits is greater than the regular corporate tax in any given year. In general, modified taxable income is calculated by adding back to a taxpayer’s regular taxable income the amount of certain “base erosion tax benefits” with respect to payments to foreign affiliates, as well as the “base erosion percentage” of any net operating loss deductions. It is possible that benefit and claim payments made by our U.S. insurance business to our foreign affiliates on reinsurance assumed by the U.S. affiliates could be considered base erosion payments and, in the future, cause the U.S. consolidated PFI group to be subject to the BEAT.

During 2018 and 2019 the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) promulgated Proposed and Final Regulations on a number of provisions within or impacted by the Tax Act of 2017 including GILTI, foreign tax credits, net interest deductibility and the BEAT. The Treasury and IRS have requested comments on the Proposed Regulations. Our analysis of these Proposed Regulations is on-going and further guidance may be needed from the Treasury Department and the IRS to fully understand and implement several provisions. Other life insurance and financial services companies may benefit more or less from these tax law changes, which could impact the Company’s overall competitive position. Notwithstanding the enactment of the Tax Act of 2017, the President, Congress, as well as state and local governments, may continue to consider from time to time legislation that could increase the amount of corporate taxes we pay, thereby reducing earnings.

The U.S. federal tax law provides that an election may be made pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 952 (the “952 election”) to subject earnings from certain insurance operations to tax in the U.S. in the tax year earned, net of related foreign tax credits. The Company made the 952 election effective for the 2017 and later tax years with respect to its affiliates incorporated in Brazil. In October 2019 the IRS issued a legal memorandum applicable to all taxpayers in which the IRS argues that the election became inoperable in 1998. The Company disagrees with the IRS’s position and intends to defend its position. If the Company is ultimately not successful, it will not be able to claim a U.S. tax credit for the Brazil taxes in excess of the U.S. tax rate, and thus will have a higher tax expense over time. For additional information on the 952 Election, see Note 16 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

The Company has a number of subsidiaries incorporated under the laws of non-U.S. jurisdictions. Those non-U.S. subsidiaries intend to operate in a manner that will not cause any to be treated as being engaged in a trade or business within the U.S. or subject to current U.S. federal income taxation on their net income. However, because there is uncertainty as to when a foreign corporation is engaged in a trade or business within the United States, as the determination is highly factual and must be made annually, there can be no assurance that the IRS will not assert that a non-U.S. Company is engaged in a trade or business in the U.S. If a non-U.S. Company were considered to be engaged in a trade or business in the U.S., it could be subject to U.S. federal income taxation and possible state taxation on a net basis on its income that is effectively connected with such U.S. trade or business (including branch profits tax on the portion of its earnings and profits that is attributable to such income). Any such taxation could result in substantial tax liabilities.


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U.S. federal tax law generally permits tax deferral on the inside build-up of investment value of certain retirement savings, annuities and life insurance products until there is a contract distribution and, in general, excludes from taxation the death benefit paid under a life insurance contract. The Tax Act of 2017 did not change these rules, though it is possible that some individuals with overall lower effective tax rates could be less attracted to the tax deferral aspect of the Company’s products. The general reduction in individual tax rates and elimination of certain individual deductions may also impact the Company depending on whether current and potential customers have more or less after-tax income to save for retirement and manage their mortality and longevity risk through the purchase of the Company’s products. Congress from time to time may enact other changes to the tax law that could make our products less attractive to consumers, including legislation that would modify the tax favored treatment of retirement savings, life insurance and annuities products.

The products we sell have different tax characteristics and, in some cases, generate tax deductions and credits for the Company. Changes in either the U.S. or foreign tax laws may negatively impact the deductions and credits available to the Company, including the ability of the Company to claim foreign tax credits with respect to taxes withheld on our investments supporting separate account products. These changes would increase the Company’s actual tax expense and reduce its consolidated net income.

The profitability of certain products is significantly dependent on these characteristics and our ability to continue to generate taxable income, which is taken into consideration when pricing products and is a component of our capital management strategies. Accordingly, changes in tax law, our ability to generate taxable income, or other factors impacting the availability or value of the tax characteristics generated by our products, could impact product pricing, increase our tax expense or require us to reduce our sales of these products or implement other actions that could be disruptive to our businesses.

International Taxation

Our international businesses are subject to the tax laws and regulations of the countries in which they are organized and in which they operate. Foreign governments from time to time consider legislation that could impact the amount of taxes that we pay or impact the sales of our products. For example, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”) continues to study model global base erosion tax options that may be considered and adopted by foreign governments. Among the possible recommendations being considered by the OECD is a global minimum tax and the disallowance of a tax deduction for certain payments made to affiliates. Such changes could negatively impact sales of our products or reduce our profits if those items are adopted by countries in which our international businesses operate.

On December 19, 2017, South Korea enacted a 2018 tax reform bill that adds a new 25% corporate income tax bracket for taxable income in excess of ₩300 billion for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2018. Taxable income in excess of ₩20 billion but less than ₩300 billion continues to be subject to a 22% corporate income tax. In addition, corporations continue to be subject to a local income surtax of 10% of the computed corporate income tax (e.g., 2.5% for the tax base in excess of ₩300 billion, 2.2% for the tax base between ₩20 billion and ₩300 billion). After taking into account this 10% local income tax surcharge on corporate tax, the 2018 tax reform bill increased the top corporate income tax rate in South Korea from 24.2% to 27.5%.

The Japan national corporate tax rate is 23.4% for tax years beginning on or after April 1, 2016, and 23.2% for tax years beginning on or after April 1, 2018. In addition, there are local income taxes that are applied to our income earned in Japan. The Japanese consumption tax rate was increased from 8% to 10% on October 1, 2019. Insurance commissions paid to our Life Planners and Life Consultants are subject to consumption tax for individuals exceeding certain earnings thresholds; however, the tax is not charged on employee compensation (other than commissions) or insurance premiums.

In July 2019, the Japan National Tax Authority issued rules limiting policyholders’ tax deductions for premiums paid on certain corporate insurance products. For information on sales of corporate insurance products within our international insurance operations, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Results of Operations by Segment—International Businesses.”
 
International and Global Regulatory Initiatives
 
In addition to the adoption of Dodd-Frank in the United States, lawmakers around the world are actively exploring steps to avoid future financial crises. In many respects, this work is being led by the Financial Stability Board (“FSB”), which consists of representatives of national financial authorities of the G20 nations. The G20, the FSB and related bodies have developed proposals to address such issues as financial group supervision, capital and solvency standards, systemic economic risk, corporate governance including executive compensation, and a host of related issues.

In July 2013, we along with eight other global insurers, were designated by the FSB as a global systemically important insurer (“G-SII”) through a quantitative methodology developed and implemented by the IAIS. We remained designated as a G-

34


SII until November 2018, at which point the FSB announced that it would not engage in an identification of G-SIIs based on the IAIS’ progress with development of the Holistic Framework for Systemic Risk in the Insurance Sector (“Holistic Framework”). The Holistic Framework, which was adopted by the IAIS in November 2019, focuses on employing an Activities Based approach (“ABA”) to assessing and managing potential sources of systemic risk through enhancements to IAIS policy measures pertaining to macroprudential surveillance, enterprise risk management, liquidity management, crisis management and recovery planning. In addition to the ABA elements, the Holistic Framework preserves the IAIS’ annual data collection and monitoring process. Upon the IAIS’ adoption of the Holistic Framework, the FSB announced that it has suspended the annual identification of G-SIIs until November 2022, when it will review the need to either discontinue or re-establish the annual process based on the initial years of implementation of the Holistic Framework.

In addition to its post financial crisis work on systemic risk, the IAIS developed the Common Framework for the Supervision of Internationally Active Insurance Groups (“ComFrame”). Through ComFrame, the IAIS seeks to promote effective and globally consistent supervision of the insurance industry through uniform standards for insurer corporate governance, enterprise risk management and other control functions, group-wide supervision and group capital adequacy. The non-capital related components of ComFrame were adopted by the IAIS in November 2019. Development of the ICS, which is the capital adequacy component of ComFrame, remains underway and will enter a five-year monitoring phase beginning in 2020. During the monitoring phase, IAIGs are encouraged to report ICS results to their group supervisory authorities to support the IAIS’ efforts to obtain feedback on the appropriateness of the framework. The IAIS will use input from supervisory authorities and IAIGs as well as stakeholder feedback on a public consultation and the results of an economic impact assessment to further improve the ICS. The IAIS is scheduled to adopt a final version of the ICS, which it expects its member supervisory authorities to implement, in 2025.

As a standard setting body, the IAIS does not have direct authority to require insurance companies to comply with the policy measures it develops, including the ICS and proposed policy measures within the Holistic Framework. However, we could become subject to these policy measures if they were adopted by either our group supervisor or supervisors of our international operations or companies, which could impact the manner in which we deploy our capital, structure and manage our businesses, and otherwise operate both within the U.S. and abroad.
 
Employees
 
As of December 31, 2019, we had 51,511 employees and sales associates, including 30,412 located outside of the United States. We believe our relations with our employees and sales associates are satisfactory.
 
Available Information
 
Prudential Financial files periodic and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. Such reports, proxy statements and other information may be obtained through the SEC’s website (www.sec.gov).
 
You may also access our press releases, financial information and reports filed with the SEC (for example, our Annual Report on Form 10-K, our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, our Current Reports on Form 8-K and any amendments to those Forms) online at www.investor.prudential.com. Copies of any documents on our website are available without charge, and reports filed with or furnished to the SEC will be available as soon as reasonably practicable after they are filed with or furnished to the SEC. The information found on our website is not part of this or any other report filed with or furnished to the SEC.
 
Information About our Executive Officers
 
The names of the executive officers of Prudential Financial and their respective ages and positions, as of February 14, 2020, were as follows:

35


Name
 
Age
 
Title
 
Other Public Directorships
Charles F. Lowrey
 
62
 
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President
 
None
Robert M. Falzon
 
60
 
Vice Chair
 
None
Timothy P. Harris
 
59
 
Executive Vice President and General Counsel
 
None
Kenneth Y. Tanji
 
53
 
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
 
None
Scott G. Sleyster
 
60
 
Executive Vice President and Head of International Businesses
 
None
Andrew F. Sullivan
 
49
 
Executive Vice President and Head of U.S. Businesses
 
None
Lucien A. Alziari
 
60
 
Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
 
C&J Clark
International Ltd.
Stacey Goodman
 
57
 
Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer
 
None
Candace J. Woods
 
59
 
Senior Vice President and Chief Actuary
 
None
Nicholas C. Silitch
 
58
 
Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer
 
None
Timothy L. Schmidt
 
61
 
Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer
 
None

Biographical information about Prudential Financial’s executive officers is as follows:

Charles F. Lowrey was elected Chairman of Prudential Financial in April 2019 and Chief Executive Officer, President and Director of Prudential Financial and PICA in December 2018. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, International Businesses, of Prudential Financial and PICA from March 2014 to November 2018. He served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Businesses, of Prudential Financial and PICA from February 2011 to March 2014. He also served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Prudential Investment Management, Inc. from January 2008 to February 2011, and as Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Real Estate Investors, our real estate investment management and advisory business from February 2002 to January 2008. He joined the Company in March 2001, after serving as a managing director and Head of the Americas for J.P. Morgan’s Real Estate and Lodging Investment Banking group, where he began his investment banking career in 1988. He also spent four years as a managing partner of an architecture and development firm he founded in New York City.
 
Robert M. Falzon was elected Director of Prudential Financial in August 2019 and has served as Vice Chair of Prudential Financial and PICA since December 2018. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Prudential Financial and PICA from March 2013 to November 2018. Mr. Falzon has been with Prudential since 1983, serving in various positions. He served as Senior Vice President and Treasurer of Prudential Financial and PICA from 2010 to 2013. Previously he had been a managing director at Prudential Real Estate Investors (“PREI”), Head of PREI’s Global Merchant Banking Group and Chief Executive Officer of its European business; a managing director at Prudential Securities; and regional vice president at Prudential Capital Group.
 
Timothy P. Harris was elected Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Prudential Financial and PICA in October 2015. He served as the Deputy General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer, U.S. Businesses, from 2008 to 2015. He has served in various supervisory positions since 1999, including Chief Investment Counsel from 2005 to 2008, Chief Legal Officer of Prudential Annuities and Chief Legal Officer for Retirement Services and Prudential Asia. Mr. Harris was the Chief Risk Officer for Prudential Investments from 1999 to 2003. Prior to joining Prudential, he was associated with Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in New York, where he provided transactional and regulatory advice to investment banks, broker-dealers, banks and commodities firms.
 
Kenneth Y. Tanji was elected Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Prudential Financial and PICA in December 2018. Prior to this role, he was Senior Vice President and Treasurer of Prudential Financial and PICA from March 2013 to November 2018. In 2013, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Prudential’s International Businesses. Previously, he was Senior Financial Officer of Prudential Annuities and was Prudential’s business representative for its retail brokerage joint venture with Wachovia Securities from 2003 through 2009. He also served as Vice President of Finance for Prudential’s asset management business and held various positions with Prudential Securities’ Private Client and Debt Capital Markets Groups. Mr. Tanji joined Prudential in 1988.
 
Scott G. Sleyster was elected Executive Vice President and Head of International Businesses of Prudential Financial and PICA in December 2018. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of PICA and Prudential Financial. Mr. Sleyster has been with Prudential since 1987, serving in a variety of positions, including Head of Prudential’s Full Service Retirement business, President of Prudential’s Guaranteed Products business, Chief Financial Officer for Prudential’s Employee Benefits Division, and has held roles in Prudential’s Treasury, Derivatives and Investment Management units.

Andrew F. Sullivan was elected Executive Vice President and Head of U.S. Businesses in December 2019. Previously, he served as CEO of Prudential’s Workplace Solutions Group, which consists of Prudential Retirement and Prudential Group Insurance.

36


Before joining Prudential in 2011, he served as Senior Vice President at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. Previously, he spent eight years at Cigna where he held of a number of senior leadership positions. He also held management roles at Diamond Technology Partners and DaimlerChrysler.
 
Lucien A. Alziari is Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Prudential Financial and PICA. Starting in June 2017, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Prudential Financial and PICA. From 2012 to 2017, Mr. Alziari served as Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of A.P. Moller-Maersk. From 2004 to 2012, he was the Chief Human Resources Officer and Head of Corporate Responsibility for Avon Products, Inc. Prior to Avon Products, Inc., Mr. Alziari held roles with Mars Confectionary in the United Kingdom and PepsiCo Inc. in New York, Vienna and Dubai.

Stacey Goodman was elected Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Prudential Financial and Prudential Insurance in July 2019. Previously, she served as the Chief Information Officer at Freddie Mac, where she was responsible for the technology division, and served as a member of the Senior Operating Committee. Prior to Freddie Mac, Ms. Goodman was Executive Vice President and Chief Information and Operations officer for CIT Group, Inc., where she was a member of the Executive Management Committee. Previously, Ms. Goodman was the Divisional Chief Information Officer of Global Technology and Operations at Bank of America. She also held global leadership positions at UBS and PaineWebber. Ms. Goodman began her career at Salomon Brothers.

Candace J. Woods was elected Senior Vice President and Chief Actuary of Prudential Financial and PICA in November 2017. Prior to her current role, Ms. Woods served as Vice President and Chief Actuary for the Actuarial Center of Excellence within PICA. Also, Ms. Woods served as Vice President and Actuary from 2012 to 2013 and Vice President and Chief Actuary from 2013 to 2017 for Prudential’s International Businesses.
 
Nicholas C. Silitch was elected Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer of Prudential Financial and PICA in May 2012. He joined Prudential in 2010 as Chief Credit Officer and Head of investment risk management. Prior to joining Prudential, Mr. Silitch held the position of Chief Risk Officer of the Alternative Investment Services, Broker Dealer Services and Pershing businesses within Bank of New York Mellon.

Timothy L. Schmidt was elected Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of Prudential Financial and PICA in December 2018. Previously, Mr. Schmidt was the Head of Global Portfolio Management for Prudential from 2012 to 2018 and he was responsible for the overall asset/liability management for Prudential’s Retirement and Group Insurance businesses from 2010 to 2012. Prior to joining Prudential in July 2010, he served as Chief Financial Officer for MetLife’s Individual Business and had headed MetLife’s Wealth Strategy Group. Earlier in his 25-year tenure at MetLife, Schmidt held various positions in the investment organization, including Head of MetLife’s Portfolio Management Unit, as well as its Structured Finance and Government Securities unit.

ITEM 1A.
RISK FACTORS
 
You should carefully consider the following risks. These risks are not exclusive, and additional risks to which we are subject include, but are not limited to, the factors mentioned under “Forward-Looking Statements” above and the risks of our businesses described elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Many of these risks are interrelated and could occur under similar business and economic conditions, and the occurrence of certain of them may in turn cause the emergence or exacerbate the effect of others. Such a combination could materially increase the severity of the impact of these risks on our businesses, results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.
 
Overview

The Company’s risk management framework documents the definition, potential manifestation, and management of its risks. The Company has categorized its risks into tactical and strategic risks. Tactical risks may cause damage to the Company, and the Company seeks to manage and mitigate them through models, metrics and the overall risk framework. The Company’s tactical risks include investment, insurance, market, liquidity, and operational risk. Strategic risks can cause the Company’s fundamental business model to change, either through a shift in the businesses in which it is engaged or a change in execution. The Company’s strategic risks include regulatory, technological changes and other external factors. These risks, as well as the sub-risks that may impact the Company, are discussed below. The Company’s risk management framework is described under “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Risk Management.”

Investment Risk

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Our investment portfolios are subject to the risk of loss due to default or deterioration in credit quality or value.

We are exposed to investment risk through our investments, which primarily consist of public and private fixed maturity securities, commercial mortgage and other loans, equity securities and alternative assets including private equity, hedge funds and real estate. For a discussion of our general account investments, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-General Account Investments.” We are also exposed to investment risk through a potential counterparty default.

Investment risk may result from (1) economic conditions, (2) adverse capital market conditions, including disruptions in individual market sectors or a lack of buyers in the marketplace, (3) volatility, (4) credit spread changes, (5) benchmark interest rate changes, (6) changes in foreign currency exchange rates and (7) declines in value of underlying collateral. These factors may impact the credit quality, liquidity and value of our investments and derivatives, potentially resulting in higher capital charges and unrealized or realized losses. Also, certain investments we hold, regardless of market conditions, are relatively illiquid and our ability to promptly sell these assets for their full value may be limited. Additionally, our valuation of investments may include methodologies, inputs and assumptions which are subject to change and different interpretation and could result in changes to investment valuations that may materially impact our results of operations or financial condition. For information about the valuation of our investments, see Note 6 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

Our investment portfolio is subject to credit risk, which is the risk that an obligor (or guarantor) is unable or unwilling to meet its contractual payment obligations on its fixed maturity security, loan or other obligations. Credit risk may manifest in an idiosyncratic manner (i.e., specific to an individual borrower or industry) or through market-wide credit cycles. Financial deterioration of the obligor increases the risk of default and may increase the capital charges required under such regimes as the NAIC RBC, the FSA SMR or other constructs to hold the investment and in turn, potentially limit our overall capital flexibility. Credit defaults (as well as credit impairments, realized losses on credit-related sales, and increases in credit related reserves) may result in losses which adversely impact earnings, capital and our ability to appropriately match our liabilities and meet future obligations.

Some of our insurance operations are in emerging markets where we may be required to hold capital in local sovereign obligations. Investment risk is heightened in these markets, in particular for obligations that are not denominated in the local currency. For example, during 2019 Argentina implemented currency controls and sought to restructure certain of its obligations, which adversely impacted our local sovereign investments.

Our Company is subject to counterparty risk, which is the risk that the counterparty to a transaction could default or deteriorate in creditworthiness before or at the final settlement of a transaction. In the normal course of business, we enter into financial contracts to manage risks (such as derivatives to manage market risk and reinsurance treaties to manage insurance risk), improve the return on investments (such as securities lending and repurchase transactions) and provide sources of liquidity or financing (such as credit agreements, securities lending agreements and repurchase agreements). These transactions expose the Company to counterparty risk. Counterparties include commercial banks, investment banks, broker-dealers and insurance and reinsurance companies. In the event of a counterparty deterioration or default, the magnitude of the losses will depend on then current market conditions and the length of time required to enter into a replacement transaction with a new counterparty. Losses are likely to be higher under stressed conditions.

Our investment portfolio is subject to equity risk, which is the risk of loss due to deterioration in market value of public equity or alternative assets. We include public equity and alternative assets (including private equity, hedge funds and real estate) in our portfolio constructions, as these asset classes can provide returns over longer periods of time, aligning with the long-term nature of certain of our liabilities. Public equity and alternative assets have varying degrees of price transparency. Equities traded on stock exchanges (public equities) have significant price transparency, as transactions are often required to be disclosed publicly. Assets for which price transparency is more opaque include private equity (joint ventures/limited partnerships) and direct real estate. As these investments typically do not trade on public markets and indications of realizable market value may not be readily available, valuations can be infrequent and/or more volatile. A sustained decline in public equity and alternative markets may reduce the returns earned by our investment portfolio through lower than expected dividend income, property operating income, and capital gains, thereby adversely impacting earnings, capital, and product pricing assumptions. These assets may also produce volatility in earnings as a result of uneven distributions on the underlying investments.

Insurance Risk


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We have significant liabilities for policyholders’ benefits which are subject to insurance risk. Insurance risk is the risk that actual experience deviates adversely from our insurance assumptions, including mortality, morbidity, and policyholder behavior assumptions.

We provide a variety of insurance products, on both an individual and group basis, that are designed to help customers protect against a variety of financial uncertainties. Our insurance products protect customers against their potential risk of loss by transferring those risks to the Company, where those risks can be managed more efficiently through pooling and diversification over a larger number of independent exposures. During this transfer process, we assume the risk that actual losses experienced in our insurance products deviates significantly from what we expect. More specifically, insurance risk is concerned with the deviations that impact our future liabilities. Our profitability may decline if mortality experience, morbidity experience or policyholder behavior experience differ significantly from our expectations when we price our products. In addition, if we experience higher than expected claims our liquidity position may be adversely impacted, and we may incur losses on investments if we are required to sell assets in order to pay claims. If it is necessary to sell assets at a loss, our results of operations and financial condition could be adversely impacted. For a discussion of the impact of changes in insurance assumptions on our financial condition, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Accounting Policies and Pronouncements—Application of Critical Accounting Estimates—Insurance Liabilities.”

Certain of our insurance products are subject to mortality risk, which is the risk that actual deaths experienced deviate adversely from our expectations. Mortality risk is a biometric risk that can manifest in the following ways:

Mortality calamity is the risk that mortality rates in a single year deviate adversely from what is expected as the result of pandemics, natural or man-made disasters, military actions or terrorism. A mortality calamity event will reduce our earnings and capital and we may be forced to liquidate assets before maturity in order to pay the excess claims. Mortality calamity risk is more pronounced in respect of specific geographic areas (including major metropolitan centers, where we have concentrations of customers, including under group and individual life insurance), concentrations of employees or significant operations, and in respect of countries and regions in which we operate that are subject to a greater potential threat of military action or conflict. Ultimate losses would depend on several factors, including the rates of mortality and morbidity among various segments of the insured population, the collectability of reinsurance, the possible macroeconomic effects on our investment portfolio, the effect on lapses and surrenders of existing policies, as well as sales of new policies and other variables.
Mortality trend is the risk that mortality improvements in the future deviate adversely from what is expected. Mortality trend is a long-term risk in that it can emerge gradually over time. Longevity products, such as annuities, pension risk transfer and long-term care, may experience adverse impacts due to higher-than-expected mortality improvement. Mortality products, such as life insurance, experience adverse impacts due to lower-than-expected mortality improvement. If this risk were to emerge, the Company would update assumptions used to calculate reserves for in-force business, which may result in additional assets needed to meet the higher expected annuity claims or earlier expected life claims. An increase in reserves due to revised assumptions has an immediate impact on our results of operations and financial condition; however, economically the impact is generally long term as the excess outflow is paid over time.
Mortality base is the risk that actual base mortality deviates adversely from what is expected in pricing and valuing our products. Base mortality risk can arise from a lack of credible data on which to base the assumptions.

We use a variety of strategies to manage our mortality risks, including the use of reinsurance and derivative instruments. These strategies, however, may not be fully effective and may lead to payments to counterparties in excess of recoveries depending on how actual mortality experience emerges. We may also benefit from offsetting impacts between our mortality and longevity products in adverse mortality or longevity scenarios, however the extent of this offset may vary.

Certain of our insurance products are subject to morbidity risk, which is the risk that either incidence or continuation experience deviates adversely from what is expected. Morbidity risk is a biometric risk that can manifest in the following ways:

Morbidity incidence is the risk that the rate at which policyholders become unhealthy (and qualify for benefits under insurance policies) deviates adversely from what is expected. We are primarily exposed to morbidity incidence risk through short-term disability products, long-term disability products, long-term care products, and the accident and health products we sell in Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
Morbidity continuation is the risk that the length of time for which policyholders remain unhealthy deviates adversely from what is expected. This risk is primarily in our disability and long-term care products.


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In each case, an increase in claims, or an increase in reserves due to revised morbidity assumptions can have an immediate impact on our results of operations and financial condition; however, economically the impact of morbidity risk for products that pay out for ongoing illness or disability generally emerges over the longer term as the morbidity claims are paid.

Certain of our insurance products are subject to policyholder behavior risk, which is the risk that actual policyholder behavior deviates adversely from what is expected. Policyholder behavior risk includes the following components:

Lapse calamity is the risk that lapse rates over the short-term deviate adversely from what is expected, for example, surrenders of certain insurance products may increase following a downgrade of our financial strength ratings or adverse publicity. Only certain products are exposed to this risk. Products that offer a cash surrender value that resides in the general account, such as general account stable value products, could pose a potential short-term lapse calamity risk. Surrender of these products can impact liquidity, and it may be necessary in certain market conditions to sell assets to meet surrender demands. Lapse calamity can also impact our earnings through its impact on estimated future profits.
Policyholder behavior efficiency is the risk that the behavior of our customers or policyholders deviates adversely from what is expected. Policyholder behavior efficiency risk arises through product features which provide some degree of choice or flexibility for the policyholder, which can impact the amount and/or timing of claims. Such choices include surrender, lapse, partial withdrawal, policy loan utilization, and premium payment rates for contracts with flexible premiums. While some behavior is driven by macro factors such as market movements, policyholder behavior at a fundamental level is driven primarily by policyholders’ individual needs, which may differ significantly from product to product depending on many factors including the features offered, the approach taken to market each product, and competitor pricing. For example, persistency (the probability that a policy or contract will remain in force) within our annuities business may be significantly impacted by the value of guaranteed minimum benefits contained in many of our variable annuity products being higher than current account values in light of poor market performance as well as other factors. Many of our products also provide our customers with wide flexibility with respect to the amount and timing of premium deposits and the amount and timing of withdrawals from the policy’s value. Results may vary based on differences between actual and expected premium deposits and withdrawals for these products, especially if these product features are relatively new to the marketplace. The pricing of certain of our variable annuity products that contain certain living benefit guarantees is also based on assumptions about utilization rates, or the percentage of contracts that will utilize the benefit during the contract duration, including the timing of the first withdrawal. Results may vary based on differences between actual and expected benefit utilization. We may also be impacted by customers seeking to sell their benefits. In particular, the development of a secondary market for life insurance, including life settlements or “viaticals” and investor owned life insurance, and third-party investor strategies in the annuities business, could adversely affect the profitability of existing business and our pricing assumptions for new business. Policyholder behavior efficiency is generally a long-term risk that emerges over time. An increase in reserves due to revised assumptions has an immediate impact on our results of operations and financial condition; however, from an economic or cash flow perspective, the impact is generally long term as the excess outflow is paid over time.

Our ability to reprice products is limited and may not compensate for deviations from our expected insurance assumptions. Although some of our products permit us to increase premiums or adjust other charges and credits during the life of the policy or contract, the adjustments permitted under the terms of the policies or contracts may not be sufficient to maintain profitability or may cause the policies or contracts to lapse. For example, for our long-term care insurance products, our assumptions for reserves for future policy benefits have factored in an estimate of the timing and amount of anticipated and yet-to-be-filed premium rate increases which will require state approval. Our actual experience obtaining pricing increases could be materially different than what we have assumed, resulting in further policy liability increases which could be material. Many of our products do not permit us to increase premiums or adjust other charges and credits or limit those adjustments during the life of the policy or contract. Even if permitted under the policy or contract, we may not be able or willing to raise premiums or adjust other charges sufficiently, or at all. Accordingly, significant deviations in actual experience from our pricing assumptions could have an adverse effect on the profitability of our products.

Market Risk

The profitability of many of our insurance and annuity products, as well as the fees we earn in our investment management business, are subject to market risk. Market risk is the risk of loss from changes in interest rates, equity prices and foreign currency exchange rates.

The profitability of many of our insurance and annuity products depends in part on the value of the separate accounts supporting these products, which can fluctuate substantially depending on market conditions. Market conditions resulting in

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reductions in the value of assets we manage has an adverse effect on the revenues and profitability of our investment management business, which depends on fees related primarily to the value of assets under management, and could decrease the value of our strategic investments.

Derivative instruments we use to hedge and manage foreign exchange, interest rate and equity market risks associated with our products and businesses, and other risks might not perform as intended or expected, resulting in higher than expected realized losses and stresses on liquidity. Market conditions can limit availability of hedging instruments, require us to post additional collateral, and further increase the cost of executing product related hedges and such costs may not be recovered in the pricing of the underlying products being hedged.

Market risk may limit opportunities for investment of available funds at appropriate returns, including due to the current low interest rate environment, or other factors, with possible negative impacts on our overall results. Limited opportunities for attractive investments may lead to holding cash for long periods of time and increased use of derivatives for duration management and other portfolio management purposes. The increased use of derivatives may increase the volatility of our U.S. GAAP results and our statutory capital.

Our investments, results of operations and financial condition may also be adversely affected by developments in the global economy, in the U.S. economy (including as a result of actions by the Federal Reserve with respect to monetary policy, and adverse political developments), and in the Japanese economy (including due to the effects of inflation or deflation, interest rate volatility, changes in the Japan sovereign credit rating, and material changes in the value of the Japanese yen relative to the U.S. dollar). Global, U.S. or Japanese economic activity and financial markets may in turn be negatively affected by adverse developments or conditions in specific geographical regions.

For a discussion of the impact of changes in market conditions on our financial condition see “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.”

Our insurance and annuity products and certain of our investment products, and our investment returns, are subject to interest rate risk, which is the risk of loss arising from asset/liability duration mismatches within our general account investments as well as invested assets of other entities and operations. The risk of mismatch in asset/liability duration is mainly driven by the specific dynamics of product liabilities. Some product liabilities are expected to have only modest risk related to interest rates because cash flows can be matched by available assets in the investable space. The interest rate risk emerges primarily from their tail cash flows (30 years or more), which cannot be matched by assets for sale in the marketplace, exposing the Company to future reinvestment risk. In addition, certain of our products provide for recurring premiums which may be invested at interest rates lower than the rates included in our pricing assumptions. Market-sensitive cash flows exist with other product liabilities including products whose cash flows can be linked to market performance through secondary guarantees, minimum crediting rates, and/or changes in insurance assumptions.

Our exposure to interest rates can manifest over years as in the case of earnings compression or in the short term by creating volatility in both earnings and capital. For example, some of our products expose us to the risk that changes in interest rates will reduce the spread between the amounts that we are required to pay under contracts and the rate of return we are able to earn on our general account investments supporting these contracts. When interest rates decline or remain low, as they have in recent years, we must invest in lower-yielding instruments, potentially reducing net investment income and constraining our ability to offer certain products. This risk is increased as more policyholders may retain their policies in a low rate environment. Since many of our policies and contracts have guaranteed minimum crediting rates or limit the resetting of crediting rates, the spreads could decrease or go negative.

Alternatively, when interest rates rise, we may not be able to replace the assets in our general account with the higher-yielding assets as quickly as needed to fund the higher crediting rates necessary to keep these products and contracts competitive. It is possible that fewer policyholders may retain their policies and annuity contracts as they pursue higher crediting rates, which could expose the Company to losses and liquidity stress. In addition, rising interest rates could cause a decline in the market value of fixed income assets the Company manages which in turn could result in lower asset management fees earned.

Our mitigation efforts with respect to interest rate risk are primarily focused on maintaining an investment portfolio with diversified maturities that has a key rate duration profile that is approximately equal to the key rate duration profile of our liability and surplus benchmarks; however, these benchmarks are based on estimates of the liability cash flow profiles which are complex and could turn out to be inaccurate, especially when markets are volatile. In addition, there are practical and capital market limitations on our ability to accomplish this matching. Due to these and other factors we may need to liquidate investments prior to maturity at a loss in order to satisfy liabilities or be forced to reinvest funds in a lower rate environment.


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Our significant business operations outside the U.S. subject us to foreign exchange risk, which is the risk of loss arising from assets that are invested in a different currency than the related liability, as well as the unhedged portion of the Company’s earnings from, and capital supporting, operations in a foreign currency. As a U.S.-based company with significant business operations outside of the U.S., particularly in Japan, we are exposed to foreign currency exchange rate risk related to these operations, as well as in our investment portfolio. Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates could adversely affect our profitability, financial condition and cash flows, as well as increase the volatility of our results of operations under U.S. GAAP. In the short-term, solvency margins in our Japan businesses can also be impacted by fluctuations in exchange rates.

For our International Businesses’ operations, our Retirement segment’s earnings on non-U.S. dollar-denominated longevity reinsurance contracts and PGIM’s investment activities based in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, changes in foreign currency exchange rates create risk that we may experience volatility in the U.S. dollar-equivalent earnings and equity of these operations. We seek to manage this risk through various hedging strategies, including the use of foreign currency hedges and through holding U.S. dollar-denominated securities in the investment portfolios of certain of these operations. Additionally, our Japanese insurance operations offer a variety of non-Japanese yen denominated products. We seek to mitigate this risk by holding investments in corresponding currencies. For certain of our international insurance operations outside of Japan, we elect to not hedge the risk of changes in our subsidiary equity investments due to foreign exchange rate movements.

For our domestic investment portfolios supporting our U.S. insurance operations and other proprietary investment portfolios, our foreign currency exchange rate risk arises primarily from investments that are denominated in foreign currencies. We manage this risk by hedging substantially all domestic foreign currency-denominated fixed-income investments into U.S. dollars. We generally do not hedge all of the foreign currency risk of our investments in equity securities of unaffiliated foreign entities. The value and liquidity of our foreign currency investments could be adversely affected by local market, economic and financial conditions. For example, our investments denominated in euro could be adversely affected by unfavorable economic conditions in Europe, including due to potential changes in the euro or to the structure or membership of the European Union, and in 2016 we experienced volatility in U.K. and other European Union related investments as a result of the U.K.’s referendum to exit the European Union. The outcome of the negotiations between the U.K. and the European Union on the terms of the exit will determine the ultimate impact of the exit on our European operations and investments in those jurisdictions and may lead to volatility in currency exchange rates and asset prices, as well as changes in regulation.

There can be no assurance that our hedging and other strategies will effectively mitigate foreign exchange risk. For a discussion of our hedging program and the impact of foreign currency exchange rates on our business, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Impact of Foreign Currency Exchange Rates.” For a discussion of the impact of the U.K.’s exit from the European Union on our operations, see “Business—Regulation—International Investment and Retirement Products and Investment Management Operations.”

Guarantees within certain of our products, in particular our variable annuities and to a lesser extent certain individual life and international insurance products, are market sensitive and may decrease our earnings or increase the volatility of our results of operations or financial position under U.S. GAAP. Certain of our products, particularly our variable annuity products and to a lesser extent certain individual life and international insurance products, include guarantees of minimum surrender values or income streams for stated periods or for life, which may be in excess of account values. Downturns in equity markets, increased equity volatility, increased credit spreads, or (as discussed above) reduced interest rates could result in an increase in the valuation of liabilities associated with such guarantees, resulting in increases in reserves and reductions in net income. We use a variety of hedging and risk management strategies, including product features, to mitigate these risks in part and we may periodically change our strategies over time. These strategies may, however, not be fully effective. In addition, we may be unable or may choose not to fully hedge these risks. Hedging instruments may not effectively offset the costs of guarantees or may otherwise be insufficient in relation to our obligations. Hedging instruments also may not change in value correspondingly with associated liabilities due to equity market or interest rate conditions, non-performance risk or other reasons. We may choose to hedge these risks on a basis that does not correspond to their anticipated or actual impact upon our results of operations or financial position under U.S. GAAP. Changes from period to period in the valuation of these policy benefits, and in the amount of our obligations effectively hedged, will result in volatility in our results of operations and financial position under U.S. GAAP and the statutory capital levels of our insurance subsidiaries. Estimates and assumptions we make in connection with hedging activities may fail to reflect or correspond to our actual long-term exposure from our guarantees. Further, the risk of increases in the costs of our guarantees not covered by our hedging and other capital and risk management strategies may become more significant due to changes in policyholder behavior driven by market conditions or other factors. The above factors, individually or collectively, may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition or liquidity.

Our valuation of the liabilities for the minimum benefits contained in many of our variable annuity products requires us to consider the market perception of our risk of non-performance, and a decrease in our own credit spreads resulting from ratings

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upgrades or other events or market conditions could cause the recorded value of these liabilities to increase, which in turn could adversely affect our results of operations and financial position.

Liquidity Risk

As a financial services company, we are exposed to liquidity risk, which is the risk that the Company is unable to meet near-term obligations as they come due.

Liquidity risk is a manifestation of events that are driven by other risk types (market, insurance, investment, operational). A liquidity shortfall may arise in the event of insufficient funding sources or an immediate and significant need for cash or collateral. In addition, it is possible that expected liquidity sources, such as our credit facilities, may be unavailable or inadequate to satisfy the liquidity demands described below.

The Company has four primary sources of liquidity exposure and associated drivers that trigger material liquidity demand. Those sources are:

Derivative collateral market exposure: Abrupt changes to interest rate, equity, and/or currency markets may increase collateral requirements to counterparties and create liquidity risk for the Company.
Asset liability mismatch: There are liquidity risks associated with liabilities coming due prior to the matching asset cash flows. Structural maturities mismatch can occur in activities such as securities lending, where the liabilities are effectively overnight open transactions used to fund longer term assets.
Wholesale funding: The Company depends upon the financial markets for funding (such as through the issuance of commercial paper, securities lending and repurchase arrangements and other forms of borrowings in the capital markets). These sources might not be available during times of stress, or may only be available on unfavorable terms, which can result in a decrease in our profitability and a significant reduction in our financial flexibility.
Insurance cash flows: The Company faces potential liquidity risks from unexpected cash demands due to severe mortality calamity, customer withdrawals or lapse events. If such events were to occur, the Company may face unexpectedly high levels of claim payments to policyholders.

For a discussion of the Company’s liquidity and sources and uses of liquidity, including information about legal and regulatory limits on the ability of our subsidiaries to pay dividends, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Liquidity.”

Operational Risk

Our operations are exposed to the risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed processes or systems, human error or misconduct, and as a result of external events.

An operational risk failure may result in one or more actual or potential impacts to the Company. Operational risk may be elevated as a result of organizational changes.

Operational Risk Types

Processes: Processing failure; failure to safeguard or retain documents/records; errors in valuation/pricing models and processes; project management or execution failures; improper sales practices; improper administration of our products; failure to adhere to clients’ investment guidelines.
Systems: Failures during the development and implementation of new systems; systems failures.
People: Internal fraud, breaches of employment law, unauthorized activities; loss or lack of key personnel, inadequate training; inadequate supervision.
External Events: External crime; cyber-attack, outsourcing risk; vendor risk; natural and other disasters; changes in laws/regulations.
Legal: Legal and regulatory compliance failures.

Potential Impacts

Financial losses: The Company experiences a financial loss. This loss may originate from various causes including, but not limited to, transaction processing errors and fraud.
Customer impacts: The Company may not be able to service customers. This may result if the Company is unable to continue operations during a business continuation event or if systems are compromised due to malware or virus.

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Regulatory fines or sanctions: When the Company fails to comply with applicable laws or regulations, regulatory fines or sanctions may be imposed. In addition, possible restrictions on business activities may result.
Legal actions: Failure to comply with laws and regulations also exposes the Company to litigation risk. This may also result in financial losses.

Liabilities we may incur as a result of operational failures are described further under “Contingent Liabilities” in Note 23 to the Consolidated Financial Statements. In addition, certain pending regulatory and litigation matters affecting us, and certain risks to our businesses presented by such matters, are discussed in Note 23 to the Consolidated Financial Statements. We may become subject to additional regulatory and legal actions in the future.

Key Enterprise Operational Risks - Key enterprise operational risks include the following:

We are subject to business continuation risk, which is the risk that our systems and data may be disrupted. We depend heavily on our telecommunication, information technology and other operational systems and on the integrity and timeliness of data we use to run our businesses and service our customers. These systems may fail to operate properly or become disabled as a result of events or circumstances wholly or partly beyond our control. Further, we face the risk of operational and technology failures by others, including clearing agents, exchanges and other financial intermediaries and of vendors and parties to which we outsource the provision of services or business operations. We may experience a business continuation event as a result of:

Severe pandemic, either naturally occurring or intentionally manipulated pathogens.
Geo-political risks, including armed conflict and civil unrest.
Terrorist events.
Significant natural or accidental disasters.
Cyber-attacks.

We are subject to the risk that we may not adequately maintain information security. There continues to be significant and organized cyber-attack activity against western organizations, including but not limited to the financial services sector and no organization is fully immune to cyber-attacks. Risks related to cyber-attack arise in the following areas:

Protecting both “structured” and “unstructured” sensitive information is a constant need. However, some risks cannot be fully mitigated using technology or otherwise.
Unsuspecting employees represent a primary avenue for external parties to gain access to our network and systems. Many attacks, even from sophisticated actors, include rudimentary techniques such as coaxing an internal user to click on a malicious attachment or link to introduce malware or steal their username and password.
Insurance and retirement services companies are increasingly being targeted by hackers and fraudulent actors seeking to monetize personally identifiable information or extort money.
Nation-state sponsored organizations are engaged in cyber-attacks but not only for monetization purposes. Nation states appear to be motivated by the desire to gain information about foreign citizens and governments or to influence or cause disruptions in commerce or political affairs.
We have also seen an increase in non-technical attempts to commit fraud or solicit information via call centers and interactive voice response systems, and we anticipate the attempts will become more common.
We rely on third-parties to provide services as described further below. While we maintain certain standards for all vendors that provide us services, our vendors, and in turn, their own service providers, may become subject to a security breach, including as a result of their failure to perform in accordance with contractual arrangements.

We may not adequately ensure the privacy of sensitive data. In the course of our ordinary business we collect, store and share with various third-parties (e.g., service providers, reinsurers, etc.) substantial amounts of private and confidential information, including in some instances sensitive health-related information. We are subject to the risk that the privacy of this information may be compromised, including as a result of an information security breach described above. Any compromise or perceived compromise of our security by us or by one of our vendors could damage our reputation, cause the termination of relationships with distributors, government-run health insurance exchanges, marketing partners and insurance carriers, reduce demand for our services and subject us to significant liability and expense as well as regulatory action and lawsuits, which would harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

Third-parties (outsourcing providers, vendors and suppliers and joint venture partners) present added operational risk to our enterprise. The Company's business model relies heavily on the use of third-parties to deliver contracted services in a broad range of areas. This presents the risk that the Company is unable to meet legal, regulatory, financial or customer obligations because third-parties fail to deliver contracted services, or that the Company is exposed to reputational damage because third-parties operate in a poorly controlled manner. We use affiliates and third-party vendors located outside the U.S. to provide certain services and

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functions, which also exposes us to business disruptions and political risks as a result of risks inherent in conducting business outside of the U.S. In our investments in which we hold a minority interest, or that are managed by third-parties, we lack management and operational control over operations, which may subject us to additional operational, compliance and legal risks and prevent us from taking or causing to be taken actions to protect or increase the value of those investments. In those jurisdictions where we are constrained by law from owning a majority interest in jointly owned operations, our remedies in the event of a breach by a joint venture partner may be limited (e.g., we may have no ability to exercise a “call” option).

Affiliate and third-party distributors of our products present added regulatory, competitive and other risks to our enterprise. Our products are sold primarily through our captive/affiliated distributors and third-party distributing firms. We also distribute third-parties’ products through our captive/affiliate distributors, including as part of our Assurance IQ business. Our captive/affiliated distributors are made up of large numbers of decentralized sales personnel who are compensated based on commissions. The third-party distributing firms generally are not dedicated to us exclusively and may frequently recommend and/or market products of our competitors. Accordingly, we must compete intensely for their services. Our sales could be adversely affected if we are unable to attract, retain or motivate third-party distributing firms or if we do not adequately provide support, training, compensation, and education to this sales network regarding our products, or if our products are not competitive and not appropriately aligned with consumer needs. While third-party distributing firms have an independent regulatory accountability, some regulators have been clear with expectations that product manufacturers retain significant sales risk accountability.

The Company and our distributors are subject to rules regarding the standard of care applicable to sales of our products and the provision of advice to our customers, and in recent years many of these rules have been revised or re-examined. In addition, there have been a number of investigations regarding the marketing practices of brokers and agents selling annuity and insurance products and the payments they receive. Furthermore, sales practices and investor protection have increasingly become areas of focus in regulatory examinations. These investigations and examinations have resulted in enforcement actions against companies in our industry and brokers and agents marketing and selling those companies’ products. Enforcement actions could result in penalties and the imposition of corrective action plans and/or changes to industry practices, which could adversely affect our ability to market our products. If our products are distributed in an inappropriate manner, or to customers for whom they are unsuitable, or distributors of our products otherwise engage in misconduct, we may suffer reputational and other harm to our business and be subject to regulatory action, penalties or damages. Our business may also be harmed if captive/affiliate distributors engage in inappropriate conduct in connection with the sale of third-party products.

Additionally, certain of our affiliated distributors engage in direct marketing to consumers through telemarketing, email marketing and other lead generation activities that subject us to various federal and state telemarketing regulations, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Violations of these regulations could subject our affiliated distributors to litigation and regulatory inquiries that result in penalties or damages.

Many of our distribution personnel are independent contractors or franchisees. From time to time, their status has been challenged in courts and by government agencies, and various legislative or regulatory proposals have been introduced addressing the criteria for determining the status of independent contractors’ classification as employees for, among other things, employment tax purposes or other employment benefits. The costs associated with potential changes with respect to these independent contractor and franchisee classifications have impacted our results previously and could have a material adverse effect on our business in the future.

Although we distribute our products through a wide variety of distribution channels, we do maintain relationships with certain key distributors. For example, a significant amount of our sales in Japan through banks is derived through a single major Japanese bank and a significant portion of our sales in Japan through Life Consultants is derived through a single association relationship. We periodically negotiate the terms of these relationships, and there can be no assurance that such terms will remain acceptable to us or such third-parties. An interruption in certain key relationships could materially affect our ability to market our products and could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition. Distributors may elect to reduce or terminate their distribution relationships with us, including for such reasons as adverse developments in our business, adverse rating agency actions or concerns about market-related risks. We are also at risk that key distribution partners may merge, change their business models in ways that affect how our products are sold, or terminate their distribution contracts with us, or that new distribution channels could emerge and adversely impact the effectiveness of our distribution efforts. An increase in bank and broker-dealer consolidation activity could increase competition for access to distributors, result in greater distribution expenses and impair our ability to market products through these channels. Consolidation of distributors and/or other industry changes may also increase the likelihood that distributors will try to renegotiate the terms of any existing selling agreements to terms less favorable to us. Finally, we also may be challenged by new technologies and marketplace entrants that could interfere with our existing relationships.


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As a financial services company, we are exposed to model risk, which is the risk of financial loss or reputational damage or adverse regulatory impacts caused by model errors or limitations, incorrect implementation of models, or misuse of or overreliance upon models. Models are utilized by our businesses and corporate areas primarily to project future cash flows associated with pricing products, calculating reserves and valuing assets, as well as in evaluating risk and determining capital requirements, among other uses. These models may not operate properly and may rely on assumptions and projections that are inherently uncertain. As our businesses continue to grow and evolve, the number and complexity of models we utilize expands, increasing our exposure to error in the design, implementation or use of models, including the associated input data and assumptions.

We may not be able to protect our intellectual property and may be subject to infringement claims. We rely on a combination of contractual rights with employees and third-parties and on copyright, trademark, patent and trade secret laws to establish and protect our intellectual property. Although we endeavor to protect our rights, third-parties may infringe or misappropriate our intellectual property. We may have to litigate to enforce and protect our copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets and know-how or to determine their scope, validity or enforceability. This would represent a diversion of resources that may be significant, and our efforts may not prove successful. The inability to secure or protect our intellectual property assets could have a material adverse effect on our business and our ability to compete.

We may be subject to claims by third-parties for (i) copyright, trademark or patent infringement; (ii) breach of copyright, trademark or license usage rights; or (iii) misappropriation of trade secrets. Any such claims and any resulting litigation could result in significant expense and liability for damages. If we were found to have infringed or misappropriated a third-party patent or other intellectual property right, we could in some circumstances be enjoined from providing certain products or services to our customers or from utilizing and benefiting from certain methods, processes, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets or licenses. Alternatively, we could be required to enter into costly licensing arrangements with third-parties or implement a costly work around. Any of these scenarios could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

Strategic Risk

We are subject to the risk of events that can cause our fundamental business model to change, either through a shift in the businesses in which we are engaged or a change in our execution.

In addition, tactical risks may become strategic risks. For example, we must consider the impact of the prolonged low interest rate environment on new product development and continued sales of interest sensitive products.

Changes in the regulatory landscape may be unsettling to our business model. New laws and regulations are being considered in the U.S. and our other countries of operation at an increasing pace, as there has been greater scrutiny on financial regulation over the past several years. Proposed or unforeseen changes in law or regulation may adversely impact our business. See “Business-Regulation” for a discussion of certain recently enacted and pending proposals by international, federal and state regulatory authorities and their potential impact on our business, including in the following areas:

Financial sector regulatory reform.
U.S. federal, state and local and non-U.S. tax laws, including BEAT and GILTI.
Fiduciary rules and other standards of care.
Our regulation under U.S. state insurance laws and developments regarding group-wide supervision and capital standards, accounting rules, RBC factors for invested assets and reserves for life insurance, variable annuities and other products.
Insurer capital standards in Japan, Korea and other non-U.S. jurisdictions.
Privacy and cybersecurity regulation.

Changes in accounting rules applicable to our business may also have an adverse impact on our results of operations or financial condition. For a discussion of accounting pronouncements and their potential impact on our business, including Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2018-12, Financial Services - Insurance (Topic 944): Targeted Improvements to the Accounting for Long-Duration Contracts, see Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

Changes in technology and other external factors may be unsettling to our business model. We believe the following aspects of technological and other changes would significantly impact our business model. There may be other unforeseen changes in technology and the external environment which may have a significant impact on our business model.


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Interaction with customers. Technology is moving rapidly and as it does, it puts pressure on existing business models. Some of the changes we can anticipate are increased choices about how customers want to interact with the Company or how they want the Company to interact with them. Evolving customer preferences may drive a need to redesign products. Our distribution channels may change to become more automated, at the place and time of the customer’s choosing. Such changes clearly have the potential to disrupt our business model.
Investment Portfolio. Technology may have a significant impact on the companies in which the Company invests. For example, environmental concerns spur scientific inquiry which may re-position the relative attractiveness of wind or sun power over oil and gas. The transportation industry may favor alternative modes of conveyance of goods which may shift trucking or air transport out of favor. Consumers may change their purchasing behavior to favor online activity which would change the role of malls and retail properties.
Medical Advances. The Company is exposed to the impact of medical advances in two major ways. Genetic testing and the availability of that information unequally to consumers and insurers can bring anti-selection risks. Specifically, data from genetic testing can give our prospective customers a clearer view into their future, allowing them to select products protecting them against likelihoods of mortality or longevity with more precision. Also, technologies that extend lives will challenge our actuarial assumptions especially in the annuity-based businesses.

The following items are examples of other factors which could have a meaningful impact on our business.

We may not realize or sustain the expected benefits from programs we have announced, and these efforts could have a materially adverse effect on our business, operations, financial condition, results of operations and competitive position. In 2019, we began implementing a multi-year plan of programs designed to accelerate margin growth. If we do not successfully manage and execute these programs, or if they are inadequate or ineffective, we may fail to meet our financial goals and achieve anticipated benefits, improvements may be delayed, not sustained or not realized and our business, operations and competitive position could be adversely affected. These programs could result in unintended consequences or unforeseen costs, including distraction of our management and employees, attrition, inability to attract or retain key personnel, and reduced employee productivity, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

We are subject to risks relating to the acquisition, and post-acquisition operations, of Assurance IQ, Inc. (“Assurance IQ”). In October 2019, we completed the acquisition of Assurance IQ (the “Acquisition”). For a description of Assurance IQ and the Acquisition, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Overview” and Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements. We are subject to certain risks relating to the Acquisition and the ongoing operations of Assurance IQ, and these risks could adversely affect, possibly materially, our business, results of operations, financial position or liquidity or prevent us from realizing the expected benefits from the Acquisition. These risks include the following:

We may not realize the growth, earnings, cost savings, efficiencies or synergies that we anticipate. This may result in the need to recognize an impairment of goodwill which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
There is the risk that we will be exposed to obligations and liabilities of Assurance IQ that are not adequately covered, in amount, scope or duration, by the indemnification provisions in the merger agreement or representation and warranty insurance policy, or reflected or reserved for in the financial statements of Assurance IQ.
There is the risk that Assurance IQ will lose key personnel or experience higher than expected employee attrition rates that would adversely affect the performance of the business. In addition, there is the risk that product manufacturers and independent agents on the Assurance IQ platform will choose to stop doing business with Assurance IQ.
Pursuant to the merger agreement, the Company has agreed to take, or refrain from taking, certain actions with respect to Assurance IQ prior to 2023, and a violation of this agreement may accelerate payment of the full amount of contingent payments.
We may experience difficulties in integrating Assurance IQ into our strategy and the process may take longer than expected. The integration will require the dedication of significant management resources, which may distract management’s attention from day-to-day business operations.


47


Changes to the policies and procedures the Company uses to locate guaranteed group annuity customers and establish related reserves may adversely impact our results of operations and financial position. The Company’s retirement business provides guaranteed group annuity benefits under group annuity and structured settlement contracts. In the normal course of business, at any given time, there are a small number of customers that we cannot locate. Under our policies and procedures, we use internal and external tools and resources to locate customers covered by our guaranteed group annuity benefits. We also have policies on the development of our reserve estimates, and we believe that we are complying with our policies and procedures and meeting our obligations to customers. In recent years the Company has reviewed this issue closely and made enhancements to its policies and procedures. In addition, the Company continues to regularly review, test and enhance the processes and tools used to locate customers, and over time, such processes and tools have continued to evolve. Ultimately, we could see greater standardization of what may currently be divergent practices across the industry. Further changes to the policies and procedures the Company uses to locate customers and establish related reserves may result in increased operational expenses and complexity, and increases in reserves, which could adversely impact our results of operations and financial position.

A downgrade in our financial strength or credit ratings could potentially, among other things, adversely impact our business prospects, results of operations, financial condition and liquidity. For a discussion of our ratings and the potential impact of a ratings downgrade on our business, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Liquidity and Capital Resources-Ratings.” We cannot predict what additional actions rating agencies may take, or what actions we may take in response to the actions of rating agencies, which could adversely affect our business. Our ratings could be downgraded at any time and without notice by any rating agency. In addition, a sovereign downgrade could result in a downgrade of our subsidiaries operating in that jurisdiction, and ultimately of Prudential Financial and our other subsidiaries. For example, in September 2015, S&P downgraded Japan's sovereign rating to A+ with a 'Stable' outlook citing uncertainties around the strength of economic growth and weak fiscal positions. As a result, S&P subsequently lowered the ratings of a number of institutions in Japan, including our Japanese insurance subsidiaries. It is possible that Japan’s sovereign rating could be subject to further downgrades, which would result in further downgrades of our insurance subsidiaries in Japan. Given the importance of our operations in Japan to our overall results, such downgrades could lead to a downgrade of Prudential Financial and our domestic insurance companies.

The elimination of London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) may adversely affect certain derivatives and floating rate securities we hold and floating rate securities we have issued, certain real estate lending and other activities conducted in PGIM, and any other assets or liabilities whose value is tied to LIBOR. Actions by regulators have resulted in the establishment of alternative reference rates to LIBOR in most major currencies. It is expected that the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority will stop persuading or compelling banks to submit LIBOR rates after 2021. However, it remains unclear if, how and in what form, LIBOR will continue to exist. The U.S. Federal Reserve, based on the recommendations of the New York Federal Reserve’s Alternative Reference Rate Committee (constituted of major derivative market participants and their regulators), has begun publishing a Secured Overnight Funding Rate (“SOFR”) which is intended to replace U.S. dollar LIBOR, and SOFR-based investment products have been issued in the U.S. Proposals for alternative reference rates for other currencies have also been announced or have already begun publication. Markets are slowly developing in response to these new rates and questions around liquidity in these rates and how to appropriately adjust these rates to eliminate any economic value transfer at the time of transition remain a significant concern for us and others in the marketplace. The effect of any changes or reforms to LIBOR or discontinuation of LIBOR on new or existing financial instruments to which we have exposure or the activities in our businesses will vary depending on (1) existing fallback provisions in individual contracts and (2) whether, how, and when industry participants develop and widely adopt new reference rates and fallbacks for both legacy and new products or instruments. Accordingly, it is difficult to predict the full impact of the transition away from LIBOR on certain derivatives and floating rate securities we hold, securities we have issued, real estate lending, and other activities we conduct in PGIM, and any other assets or liabilities, as well as contractual rights and obligations, whose value is tied to LIBOR. The value or profitability of these products and instruments may be adversely affected.


48


The changing competitive landscape may adversely affect the Company. In each of our businesses, we face intense competition from insurance companies, asset managers and diversified financial institutions, both for the ultimate customers for our products and, in many businesses, for distribution through non-affiliated distribution channels. Technological advances, changing customer expectations, including related to digital offerings, access to customer data, or other changes in the marketplace may present opportunities for new or smaller companies without established products or distribution channels to meet consumers’ increased expectations more efficiently than us. Fintech and insurtech companies and companies in other industries with greater access to customers and data have the potential to disrupt industries globally, and many participants have been partially funded by industry players. For example, in PGIM, we expect to see continued pressure on fees given the focus on passive investment and the growth of the robo-advice channel.

Climate change may increase the severity and frequency of calamities, or adversely affect our investment portfolio. Climate change may increase the frequency and severity of weather related disasters and pandemics. In addition, climate change regulation may affect the prospects of companies and other entities whose securities we hold, or our willingness to continue to hold their securities. It may also impact other counterparties, including reinsurers, and affect the value of investments, including real estate investments we hold or manage for others. We cannot predict the long-term impacts on us from climate change or related regulation.

Market conditions and other factors may adversely impact product sales or increase expenses. Examples include:
A change in market conditions, such as high inflation and high interest rates, could cause a change in consumer sentiment and behavior adversely affecting sales and persistency of our savings and protection products. Conversely, low inflation and low interest rates could cause persistency of these products to vary from that anticipated and adversely affect profitability. Similarly, changing economic conditions and unfavorable public perception of financial institutions can influence customer behavior, including increasing claims or surrenders in certain products.
Sales of our investment-based and asset management products and services may decline, and lapses and surrenders of certain insurance products and withdrawals of assets from investment products may increase if a market downturn, increased market volatility or other market conditions result in customers becoming dissatisfied with their investments or products.
Changes in our discount rate, expected rate of return, life expectancy, health care cost and assumptions regarding compensation increases for our pension and other postretirement benefit plans may result in increased expenses and reduce our profitability.

Our reputation may be adversely impacted if any of the risks described in this section are realized. Reputational risk could manifest from any of the risks as identified in the Company’s risk identification process. Failure to effectively manage risks across a broad range of risk issues exposes the Company to reputational harm. If the Company were to suffer a significant loss in reputation, both policyholders and counterparties could seek to exit existing relationships.  Additionally, large changes in credit worthiness, especially credit ratings, could impact access to funding markets while creating additional collateral requirements for existing relationships. The mismanagement of any such risks may potentially damage our reputational asset. Our business is anchored in the strength of our brand, our alignment to our values, and our proven commitment to keep our promises to our customers. Any negative public perception, founded or otherwise, can be widely and rapidly shared over social media or other means, and could cause damage to our reputation.

ITEM 1B.
UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
 
None.

ITEM 2.
PROPERTIES
 
We own our headquarters building located at 751 Broad Street, Newark, New Jersey. Excluding our headquarters building and properties used by our International Businesses and the international investment operations of PGIM, which are discussed below, as of December 31, 2019, we conduct our business and home office functions in both owned and leased locations throughout the U.S. We also conduct back-office functions in leased properties outside the U.S.
 

49


For our International Businesses, as of December 31, 2019, we own and lease home offices located in Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Korea, Mexico, Malaysia and Taiwan. We also conduct our business in owned and leased properties, primarily field offices, located throughout these same countries. For PGIM’s international investment operations, as of December 31, 2019, we lease home offices located in Japan and Taiwan. We also lease principal properties and other branch and field offices in other countries where PGIM does business.
 
We believe our properties are adequate and suitable for our business as currently conducted and are adequately maintained. The above properties do not include properties we own solely for investment purposes.

At our domestic home office properties, we are developing programs to reduce emissions. These programs include seeking ways to expand energy efficiency. For home office properties in the U.S., Brazil, Taiwan and Korea, we are also developing waste diversion measures including internal recycling and composting infrastructures and availing ourselves of third-party waste diversion programs. Our Prudential Tower home office property in Newark, New Jersey and our data center located in Plymouth, Minnesota have been awarded LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

ITEM 3.
LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
 
See Note 23 to the Consolidated Financial Statements under “—Litigation and Regulatory Matters” for a description of certain pending litigation and regulatory matters affecting us, and certain risks to our businesses presented by such matters.

 ITEM 4.
MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.

PART II

ITEM 5.
MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

General
 
Prudential Financial’s Common Stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PRU.” On January 31, 2020, there were 1,199,060 registered holders of record for the Common Stock and 397 million shares outstanding.
 
Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds

(a) Sale of securities by the Company during the year ended December 31, 2019 that were not registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”).

In August 2019, the Company issued approximately 6.2 million shares of its Common Stock in connection with the exchange of $500 million of exchangeable surplus notes due September 2019. The exchange was effected in accordance with the terms of the notes, which provides that the surplus notes be exchanged at the option of the holder, in whole but not in part, for shares of Prudential Financial’s Common Stock. The exchange rate for the surplus notes was 12.3877 shares of Common Stock per each $1,000 principal amount of surplus notes. The Company’s obligations under the surplus notes are now satisfied. The shares were issued in reliance upon the exemption from registration under Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act for an issuance not involving a public offering.

In October 2019, the Company issued approximately 5.5 million shares of restricted common stock to the selling shareholders as part of the consideration for the Assurance IQ acquisition. The shares were issued in reliance upon the exemption from registration under Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act and Regulation D promulgated thereunder for an issuance not involving a public offering. See Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information about the acquisition.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
 
(c) The following table provides information about purchases by the Company during the three months ended December 31, 2019, of its Common Stock.

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Period
 
Total Number of
Shares
Purchased(1)
 
Average
Price Paid
per Share
 
Total Number of
Shares Purchased
as Part of
Publicly Announced
Program(2)
 
Approximate Dollar Value of Shares that May Yet Be Purchased under the Program(2)
October 1, 2019 through October 31, 2019
 
1,868,914

 
$
89.32

 
1,865,952

 
 
November 1, 2019 through November 30, 2019
 
1,794,334

 
$
93.06

 
1,790,949

 
 
December 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019
 
1,786,545

 
$
93.37

 
1,785,026

 
 
Total
 
5,449,793

 
$
91.88

 
5,441,927

 
$
0

__________
(1)
Includes shares of Common Stock withheld from participants for income tax withholding purposes whose shares of restricted stock units vested during the period. Such restricted stock units were originally issued to participants pursuant to the Prudential Financial Inc. Omnibus Incentive Plan.
(2)
In December 2018, Prudential Financial’s Board of Directors authorized the Company to repurchase, at management’s discretion, up to $2.0 billion of its outstanding Common Stock during the period from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019. In September 2019, the Board of Directors authorized a $500 million increase to this authorization for calendar year 2019. As a result, the Company’s aggregate share repurchase authorization for calendar year 2019 is $2.5 billion.

In December 2019, Prudential Financial’s Board of Directors authorized the Company to repurchase, at management’s discretion, up to $2.0 billion of its outstanding Common Stock during the period from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

ITEM 6.
SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
 
We derived the selected consolidated income statement data for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 and the selected consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2019 and 2018, from the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere herein. We derived the selected consolidated income statement data for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, and the selected consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, from consolidated financial statements not included herein.
 
Prior to January 1, 2018, the Company’s Gibraltar Life Insurance Company, Ltd. (“Gibraltar Life”) consolidated operations used a November 30 fiscal year end for purposes of inclusion in the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements. The result of this reporting date difference was a one-month reporting lag for Gibraltar Life. As a result, the Company’s consolidated balance sheet as of December 31 previously included the assets and liabilities of Gibraltar Life as of November 30 for each respective year, and the Company’s consolidated income statement data for the years ended December 31 included Gibraltar Life’s results of operations for the twelve months ended November 30 for each respective year.

Effective January 1, 2018, the Company converted its Gibraltar Life operations to a December 31 fiscal year end. This action eliminated the one-month reporting lag so that the reporting dates and periods of financial balances and results of Gibraltar Life are consistent with those of the Company. The establishment of a new fiscal year end for Gibraltar Life is considered a change in accounting principle to a preferable method and requires retrospective application. The Company believes this change in accounting principle is preferable given that it aligns the reporting dates of Prudential Financial and its subsidiaries, which allows for a more timely and consistent basis of reporting the financial position and results of Gibraltar Life. In order to effect this elimination, the Company restated prior periods’ equity which increased “Retained Earnings” by approximately $167 million as of December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017. The impact to the Statements of Operations, Statements of Cash Flows, Statements of Comprehensive Income and other balance sheet captions, as a result of the elimination of the reporting lag, was not material for any of the periods presented.
 
This selected consolidated financial information should be read in conjunction with our MD&A and Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere herein.


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Year Ended December 31,
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
(in millions, except per share and ratio information)
Income Statement Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenues:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Premiums
$
34,202

 
$
35,779

 
$
32,091

 
$
30,964

 
$
28,521

Policy charges and fee income
5,978

 
6,002