Prudential Unit Isn't Likely to Be Spun Off
Wall Street Journal (10/09/00) Vol. 104, No. 40 p.C1; Gasparino, Charles; Smith, Randall

Specualtion over whether Prudential Life Insurance Co. of America would spin off its Prudential Securities brokerage division ended on Friday with the sudden departure of the unit's chief executive. Last week, Hardwick Simmons, who had supported the sell of Prudential Securities, shocked industry observers when he stepped down from his post without warning. Simmons' departure all but guarantees that Prudential will not proceed with the sale of Prudential Securities. The decision effectively ends nearly a year of conjecture and internal upheaval within the firm, all taking place as Prudential prepares to go public. Simmons is rumored to have been increasingly agitated with the company's marginal position on Wall Street, and lobbied the parent company to spin off Prudential Securities. Simmons also wanted to take Prudential Securities beyond retail brokerage into capital markets and investment banking. But Prudential CEO Arthur Ryan soundly rejected the proposal. Simmons is expected to be replaced by John Strangfeld.


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