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Prudential names new CFO, reports profit growth

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© Reuters. Prudential Financial Inc logo is seen displayed in this illustration taken, April 10, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Reuters) -Prudential Financial on Tuesday named company veteran Yanela Frias as chief financial officer, succeeding Ken Tanji, and said higher net investment returns in its U.S. unit helped drive a rise in fourth-quarter profit.

The CFO change comes as Prudential shifts its business focus to more stable and recurring sources of income such as underwriting from market-sensitive revenue segments.

“Yanela’s extensive finance, operations and leadership experience will serve us well as we execute on our strategy to become a higher-growth, less market-sensitive and more nimble company,” Prudential CEO Charles Lowrey said.

Tanji will leave Prudential in September after 35 years with the company, during which he held a number of senior leadership positions and was responsible for directing the company’s financial strategy as its finance chief.

Frias, who has also been with the company for nearly three decades, was most recently president of its group insurance business.

For the latest quarter, Prudential’s adjusted profit rose 1.2%, with its U.S. businesses reporting adjusted operating income of $988 million, compared with $710 million a year earlier.

Investment returns at major insurers rebounded after firming bets of a soft landing for the U.S. economy sparked a Wall Street rally at the end of the year.

Prudential reported assets under management and administration of $1.63 trillion in the fourth quarter, compared with $1.53 trillion a year earlier.

“In 2023, we successfully reduced our market sensitivity and increased capital flexibility through multiple strategic transactions,” CEO Lowrey said.

The company’s after-tax adjusted operating income came in at $943 million, or $2.58 per common share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with $932 million, or $2.49 per common share, a year earlier.

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