Reinforcing its commitment to innovation and leadership in the guaranteed retirement income market, Prudential Annuities, the domestic annuity business for Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU), today announced the addition of two new investment options from world-class money managers to its leading lineup of asset allocation offerings. The first company to offer an alternative investment asset allocation portfolio in a variable annuity, Prudential Annuities today added AST BlackRock Global Strategies Portfolio and AST Wellington Management Hedged Equity Portfolio. These two additions bring the number of alternative strategies to six and the total number of asset allocation portfolios that investors can combine to diversify among asset classes, investment styles and exposure to alternative investments to 18. “We remain focused on expanding our investment options to provide broad flexibility and unparalleled choice that can work in tandem with our guarantees, to help annuity investors increase their retirement income,” said Douglas McIntosh, vice president of Investment Management for Prudential Annuities. “We believe expanding our offering to include six portfolios that provide exposure to alternative investment strategies strengthens the focus we initiated in 2006, and will help to further enhance the daily step-up component of our industry-leading guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit.” AST BlackRock Global Strategies Portfolio delivers a flexible, broad-ranging mandate that is designed specifically for use with Prudential Annuities’ products. "BlackRock is thrilled to be partnering with Prudential on the launch of the AST BlackRock Global Strategies Portfolio," said Mike Saliba, managing director and head of BlackRock's Strategic Alliances Group. "This portfolio is tailored specifically for Prudential Annuities’ investors and taps into some of our strongest talent and leading-edge risk management capabilities. We believe that the combination of a unique strategy offering a range of diversified investment strategies from our deep bench and Prudential Annuities will be a compelling proposition for financial professionals and the clients they serve."