Prudential Financial Inc. is heading south of the border.

Prudential, Newark, N.J., has incorporated Prudential Seguros Mexico S.A., a new life insurance company.

Prudential is applying for the licenses it needs to put the new insurance company in a group that will include a new bank and an existing mutual fund company.

Prudential believes that Mexico is a good market for life insurance because the percentage of Mexicans who have life insurance is relatively low by world standards, according to Yuji Tanaka, the chief executive of Prudential Seguros.

The Prudential Seguros unit will focus on selling protection-oriented life insurance through “life planners,” Prudential says.

Prudential Seguros is recruiting 30 to 40 managers to build its sales team, and it expects to create a total of 80 home office and field office jobs this year.

Prudential’s Afore XXI pension management joint venture, its Mexican relocation service, and its Mexican real estate investors unit will not be part of the Prudential Seguros financial group, Prudential says.