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Prudential Financial, Inc. - Analyst/Investor Day

Stocks in this article: PRU

So let me start by taking you back, if you will, 25 years ago to understand exactly what the strategic thinking was in creating the POJ Life Planner model. At that time, 14 people, led by Kiyo Sakaguchi, met here to start this business. They saw an opportunity which I think was not at all obvious, and that opportunity was to come to a country, which was already the most heavily insured country in the world on a per-capita basis, and start an insurance company, in spite of the fact that it had some of the largest insurance companies with some of the largest sales forces in the world. That took a certain degree of strategic insight and courage, and it leads to one of the first principles upon which POJ was founded and which we have carried into all of our subsequent businesses, and that was a recognition that to even get started, let alone survive and succeed, they would have to create a business model that was fundamentally different and better. In order to translate that, he had to come up with a value proposition that would make that a reality. And he built it around 3 concepts: quality products, quality people, quality service. Those are very simple concepts. Virtually any company can say it and indeed many do say it. But he actually made it happen in ways that many of you are familiar with. So the particular features he focused on in terms of the quality people was he looked at the nature of the market here and determined what would he need to do to be meaningfully different and better around people? So he hired people who had never been in the business, who were exclusively college graduates, only males to differentiate from the marketplace which was largely part-time females selling to friends and neighbors. And he focused on needs-based analysis because he recognized that in this country, while it clearly wasn't underinsured, it was under-serviced. And so if he was going to deliver superior service, he would need superior people to do that. So it was quality people delivering quality service and with a quality product.

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