Prudential is recognized for its innovative approach to investment in economically diverse communities.
By Adam Hunter
Neighborhood by neighborhood, block by block, you can see the change. Thriving, economically diverse communities where aging buildings and neglected lots once stood. Local residents, workers, business owners enjoying access to new services and opportunities. Places once overlooked, now revitalized.
It’s the kind of inclusive prosperity Prudential envisioned when it launched one of the country’s first impact investing programs, a groundbreaking model of real estate investment that continues to breathe new life into communities around the world.
Prudential’s innovative approach has earned the company a coveted spot for the second straight year on Fortune magazine’s Change the World list, which recognizes companies that have made a meaningful and lasting impact on the human condition through their core business strategy on a global scale. In addition, Prudential was number 8 among the top ten companies named to Fortune’s Change the World Sustainability All-Stars list for combating climate change and pollution through environmentally sustainable investing.
“When we direct Prudential’s full scale and capabilities to address unmet needs, we can solve complex problems and make a lasting, positive difference for people, institutions and societies.”
“With this approach, Prudential demonstrates how the right business model can reach and serve people across the entire socio-economic spectrum,” said Chairman and CEO Charles Lowrey. “When we direct Prudential’s full scale and capabilities to address unmet needs, we can solve complex problems and make a lasting, positive difference for people, institutions and societies.”
In ranking Prudential number 30 on this year’s Change the World list, four spots higher than last year, Fortune cited $5.6 billion in investments (since 2010) specifically targeting affordable housing. Over the past 40 years, Prudential has committed more than $11 billion to projects that have sparked positive social change in communities through transformative infrastructure, organizational partnerships and talent development. That total includes the work of Prudential’s Impact and Responsible Investing group, PGIM Real Estate’s investments in properties with impact characteristics, PGIM Real Estate Finance’s affordable lending program, and the company’s $180 million investment in opportunity youth. The investments also support tenant programs focused on personal and career development, health and nutrition, neighborhood building and social services. And the work extends overseas—approximately 20% of Prudential’s impact investments are currently in emerging markets around the globe.
You can see the results simply walking around some of the neighborhoods impacted by Prudential:
- Prudential’s revitalized hometown of Newark, New Jersey—from the restoration of the Hahne Building downtown, to quality-of-life improvements for the over 500 residents of Georgia King Village.
- East Baltimore, where a brownfield is being transformed into a mixed-use development with a community health center.
- The Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, where existing affordable and elderly housing will be renovated with new amenities and services for residents.
- San Antonio, Texas, where a workforce housing project will provide 165 high-quality affordable housing units as part of a master-planned community on the grounds of the historic Red Berry Mansion.
- Washington, D.C., where ground has broken on The Vale, a 301-unit multifamily project with 100% workforce and affordable housing units, to be built on the site of the decommissioned Walter Reed Medical Center—a property abandoned for nearly a decade. The development includes a day care, international language school and grocery store.
The Vale is the first project from PGIM Real Estate’s own impact investment strategy launched in 2018, which comes with stringent requirements for measuring social progress.
“Our strategy is a natural extension of Prudential’s decades of real estate impact investment and of PGIM Real Estate’s years of experience investing in real estate with impact characteristics,” says Lisa Davis, executive director at PGIM Real Estate and portfolio manager of impact investing, who has a unique background in improving housing and economic conditions in low-income communities. “We have long recognized that real estate investments can simultaneously generate financial returns while creating positive social impact. These investments not only improve outcomes for residents and communities, they aid us in fulfilling our fiduciary responsibility to clients.”
In the U.S., where you live can play a major role in determining your economic mobility and life outcomes. Reuben Teague, vice president in Prudential’s Impact and Responsible Investing group and leader of its real assets investing team, says that the company’s impact investments are addressing this inequity.
“For example, we are upending the traditional model of building affordable housing projects where barriers to construction are lowest,” Teague says. “Instead, we deploy capital to economically diverse neighborhoods, promoting economic mobility and providing better access for residents to quality schools, jobs and services. In areas that suffer from low mobility, we use our investments to catalyze economic growth, community vibrancy and needed services.”
Fortune noted the substantial impact the company’s investments have had in more than 30 cities. The magazine quotes Newark mayor Ras Baraka as saying Prudential "stands out for their leadership in keeping Newark affordable."
Learn more about Prudential’s inclusion on Fortune’s 2019 Change the World list.
This article has been prepared solely for informational purposes and is not to be construed as investment advice or an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument, property or investment. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. The information contained herein reflects the views of the authors at the time the article was prepared and will not be updated or otherwise revised to reflect information that subsequently becomes available, or circumstances existing or changes occurring after the date the article was prepared.
© 2019 PGIM is the primary asset management business of Prudential Financial, Inc. (PFI). PGIM Real Estate is PGIM’s real estate investment advisory business and operates through PGIM, Inc., a registered investment advisor. Prudential, Pramerica, PGIM, their respective logos as well as the Rock symbol are service marks of PFI and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. PFI of the United States is not affiliated with Prudential plc, a company headquartered in the United Kingdom.