When Prudential Financial Inc. recently shopped for a bank to provide financing for one of its operating units, it turned tradition on its head. The Prudential treasury structured the deal itself and then asked institutions to bid for the business. As a result, says Prudential treasurer Bernie Jacob, Prudential pocketed the structuring fee and made sure it got the best possible deal.

Jacob likes to shake things up. In the eight months since becoming treasurer, he has managed to change the way the company does business with its banking partners and expand upon the already visionary strategy in business unit partnering implemented by his predecessor Chuck Chaplin. "I took a foundation that Chuck laid before he left and built out a business system," says the 51-year-old Jacob.

Business unit partnering at Prudential's treasury involves the appointment of corporate treasury members as de facto treasurers for the insurance giant's business divisions. They would answer to the corporate treasurer and the vice presidents of finance at the various units. When the program was initiated, Jacob was VP finance at Prudential's domestic individual life and annuities business.

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