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Prudential Taps Sleyster to Manage $330 Billion Portfolio

Prudential Names Sleyster Investment Head
The headquarters building of Prudential Financial Inc. stands in Newark, New Jersey. Photographer: Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg

Prudential Financial Inc., the second-largest U.S. life insurer, named Scott Sleyster to the new position of chief investment officer, where he will be responsible for about $330 billion in assets.

Sleyster was CIO for the U.S. operations, a post that will be filled by Tim Schmidt, who joined the company in 2010 as managing director and oversaw asset-liability management for the retirement and group-insurance business, the Newark, New Jersey-based company said in a statement today.

Prudential’s portfolio includes more than $250 billion in fixed-income assets, led by holdings of corporate debt, foreign-government bonds and mortgage-backed securities. Steve Napoli, who was head of international portfolio management, was named CIO for international insurance. Napoli and Schmidt will report to Sleyster, according to Scot Hoffman, a spokesman for the company. Vice Chairman Mark Grier will oversee Sleyster.

“We are fortunate to have a deep pool of management talent,” Grier said in the statement. “All of these executives are well suited for their new roles.”

Life insurers including Aflac Inc. and No. 1 MetLife Inc., hired CIOs in 2011 as near record-low interest rates pressured returns on bonds. Insurers hold the securities to back obligations to policyholders and generate profits.

Takehiko Fukuda, who was CIO for international insurance, becomes deputy president of Japan’s Gibraltar Life Insurance. He joined Prudential in 2005 and served as CIO of Gibraltar before taking the international post. Sleyster joined Prudential in 1987 in the private placement sector of Prudential Capital.

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