Prudential’s Sullivan Exits $652 Billion Bond Unit He Built

  • Lillard has been adding duties at Prudential Fixed Income
  • Assets under management climbed from $100 billion in 1999

Prudential Financial Inc. said James Sullivan is stepping down as executive chairman of the $652 billion fixed-income, asset-management unit after a 35-year career with the insurer.

The retirement is effective at the end of his year, according to a statement Wednesday from the Newark, New Jersey-based insurer. Sullivan built assets under management from about $100 billion in 1999, according to Prudential Fixed Income, which has offices in Newark, with affiliates in London, Tokyo and Singapore. The number of client relationships climbed tenfold in that period.

Prudential Financial Vice Chairman Mark Grier said last month that bonds are a “hot spot” for asset management as clients shift from active equities strategies. The fixed-income business announced a leadership transition last year when Sullivan took the chairman post, to focus on strategy and governance. He ceded the role as head of the unit to Mike Lillard, who is also chief investment officer of the operation.

“Jim has tirelessly developed a truly global organization with a formidable leadership team,” David Hunt, chief executive officer of Prudential’s PGIM asset-management business, said in the statement. “Mike will carry on in this tradition as our business grows and evolves.”

NieuweWeme’s Role

Sullivan also led a PGIM group that worked to build relationships with CIOs of major financial institutions, according to Mayura Hooper, a spokeswoman for Prudential. That role shifts to Bas NieuweWeme, who was hired this year from Voya Financial Inc. to join the fixed-income unit, she said.

The largest allocation among the $652 billion was to corporate debt, accounting for more than $250 billion as of June 30, according to a presentation on the company’s website. Other top holdings include government bonds and structured products. The operation oversees funds for corporations and also retail clients.

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