Stephen Pelletier and Andrew Sullivan discuss Prudential's leadership transition, our U.S. Businesses financial wellness strategy, the needs of the market and what we are doing to meet them.
Prudential Financial, Inc. today announced that Andrew (Andy) Sullivan will succeed Stephen (Steve) Pelletier as executive vice president and head of U.S. Businesses, reporting to Chairman and CEO Charles Lowrey, effective December 1. Pelletier will retire following a distinguished 27-year career with the company.
We sat down with both executives to discuss the leadership transition and what it means for Prudential.
Q1: Like so many industries, it’s a time of great change in financial services. How is Prudential evolving its business to keep up with the pace of change?
Pelletier: This is an exciting time for Prudential. We’re well along the path to serve a broadening range of customers as the leading provider of integrated financial wellness solutions and as a premier active global investment manager. Our stability, expertise and position in our chosen lines of business give us the opportunity to show up differently and engage more deeply with our customers.
We’re continuously looking at the ways we relate to and serve our customers. We have a consistent strategy focused on financial wellness and a differentiated business mix, but we can only succeed if we enhance—further and faster—the value we deliver to our customers and our shareholders.
Andy’s appointment fast-tracks the momentum and work that’s already begun in those areas. He’ll lead a customer-focused executive team to bring a broader set of financial wellness solutions to more people in new ways.
Sullivan: Our mission is front and center: to make lives better by solving the financial challenges of our changing world. The opportunity is big and the need is deep. Under Steve’s leadership, we’ve made great progress in building the foundational capabilities needed for a truly customer-centric approach in our evolving marketplace. And we’re ready to accelerate on our path with energy and purpose.
Andy Sullivan (top), currently head of Workplace Solutions, will succeed Steve Pelletier as head of the U.S. Businesses, effective Dec. 1, 2019.
Q2: Prudential is doubling down on financial wellness. What does financial wellness mean to the company and its customers?
Pelletier: We have a long-standing tradition of creating financial opportunities to improve the quality of life for people. We aim to be the company that individuals, families, organizations and communities look to for their financial futures. We offer multiple pathways to help people make smarter decisions and achieve their financial wellness on their own terms. We meet and serve people where they want to be met, whether it’s through the workplace, through financial professionals or direct to consumers via digital platforms.
Sullivan: We believe financial wellness is about much more than money. It’s about enabling people to make the choices that matter in their lives—that impact their financial wellness most. We understand the interconnectedness of financial wellness and physical and mental health, so we help people make smart choices and develop habits that enable them to improve their overall well-being at every stage.
Q3: What needs to happen in the short term to accelerate Prudential’s strategy?
Sullivan: We’ve done the foundational work to organize our businesses around customers. Now we must lean in to deploy data and digital capabilities to reach more customers, better understand their needs and more rapidly deliver seamless experiences that delight. We have to be agile and tech-forward to deliver a broad range of solutions to individuals and employers—and meet our customers where, when and how they want.
Q4: Why is this the right time for a leadership transition?
Pelletier: Our future is now. We have an enormous opportunity to deliver financial wellness to more people. Andy’s focus has always been customer-first. As part of the transformation we began in 2017, he was instrumental in the formation of Prudential’s Workplace Solutions Group. He led the alignment of our well-established Retirement and Group Insurance businesses around a common purpose: to partner with employers to evolve places of work into centers of wellness. He’ll lead a growth-oriented and purpose-driven executive team of proven innovators and market builders. I have the highest confidence that Andy, our team of next-generation leaders and all of Prudential’s employees will deepen our customer relationships and capture the market opportunity before us.