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Prudential Financial names Lori Fouche to head annuities unit

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(Bloomberg) — Prudential Financial Inc., the second- largest U.S. life insurer, named Lori Fouche to lead an annuities operation that has been working to limit risk on the retirement products.

Fouche, head of the group insurance unit, will take over the annuities unit Dec. 7 from Bob O’Donnell, who will lead a new venture focusing on innovation and growth across the company’s U.S. operations, Newark, New Jersey-based Prudential said Wednesday in a statement. Andrew Sullivan, chief operations officer at the group insurance operation, will succeed Fouche.

Prudential is among annuity sellers that have raised prices, reshaped the offerings or limited benefits after being burned by the contracts in the financial crisis. Some annuities offer guaranteed minimum returns on equity investments, and liabilities can swell when markets fall.

“Lori has brought a disciplined focus on business fundamentals to our Group operation and established a strong foundation for future growth,” Stephen Pelletier, chief operating officer of Prudential’s U.S. businesses, said in the statement. “She will bring the same sharp focus and insight to annuities and help to position that unit for even greater success.”

Fouche joined in 2013 from Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co., where she was chief executive officer. She received her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

O’Donnell joined the insurer in 2003, after it acquired American Skandia, where he had served in the product development department. Before that, he worked for Travelers and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Fairfield University and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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NY Life, Pru to stay out of 401(k) annuities