Big-Money, Low-Profile Asset Management

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- David Hunt, this week’s guest on Masters in Business, faced a quandary when he became president and chief executive officer of Prudential Financial Inc.’s global investment-management business seven years ago: what to do about the division’s name.

The firm’s background dated back more than 100 years, but the business had no rights to the Prudential name outside of the U.S. and Japan. An even older and unrelated multinational life insurance and financial services firm, Prudential Plc, had owned the name in the U.K. and Europe since 1848.

The result may not be elegant, but it is memorable — PGIM, the world’s 10th-largest money manager, with more than $1.2 trillion under management.

PGIM manages several large and distinct classes of assets, including more than $700 billion in fixed income — its largest pool of capital. It also was a pioneer in quantitative investing, managing $127 billion in one of the oldest quant funds, which launched in 1975. Among other things, it is the third-largest manager of commercial real estate in the world. It also has a substantial private-debt unit.

Before joining Prudential, Hunt spent 22 years at McKinsey & Co., where he worked with financial-services companies.

Some of his favorite books are cited here; the interview transcript is here.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras, on iTunesBloombergOvercast and Stitcher. Our earlier podcasts can all be found at iTunesStitcherOvercast and Bloomberg.

Next week, we speak with Wharton School professor and Federal Reserve expert Peter Conti-Brown.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”

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