Yanela Frias has a right to feel confident about her new post as vice president of finance for the Individual Life Insurance division of Prudential Financial. After all, her last promotion, in the summer of 2008, was to the post of assistant treasurer for the same division, where her responsibility for capital, liquidity and borrowing placed her right at the epicenter of the financial crisis for her company.

"There was a lot of pressure on myself and my team," Frias recalls. "Those were very uncertain times. I had to make the right recommendations to senior management to get through the crisis and have the company come out stronger, as we did."

Frias also had to prepare a June 2009 equity issuance, a secondary offering that raised $1.25 billion to help pay down Prudential's debt and add to its capital. A little over a year later, she oversaw preparations for a second $2.8-billion offering that help finance the insurance company's $4.8-billion acquisition of two AIG spinoffs, AIG Star Life Insurance Co. and AIG Edison Life Insurance Co.

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