Prudential Financial, Inc.
January 1, 2000, of an equity-market-linked, voluntary long-term deferred compensation plan, and our introduction of an aggressive recruiting effort targeting experienced Financial Advisors, including recruiting and retention incentives. We expect that these programs will contribute to improvement of our turnover rates over time, although there can be no assurance of this.
We have taken actions to reduce the operating cost structures and overhead levels of the businesses of the U.S. Consumer division. In the Individual Life Insurance segment, a program to restructure our field management and agency structure resulted in a reduction in the number of sales territories, establishing a smaller number of larger field offices, and eliminated approximately 1,700 management and non-agent positions. In the Private Client Group segment, we have taken actions in 2001 to reduce staffing levels, occupancy costs, and other overhead costs. We have also taken actions in the Property and Casualty Insurance segment to reduce staffing levels and overhead costs. While there can be no assurance that our anticipated cost reductions will be fully achieved, we believe that these initiatives will reduce operating expenses, excluding certain non-interest expenses in the Private Client Group segment, below 2000 levels by more than $320 million on an annual basis in 2002, and that reduced expenses resulting from these initiatives will benefit results thereafter. Adjusted operating income of the U.S. Consumer division benefited in 2001 from a reduction in operating expenses, associated with these initiatives, of approximately $170 million as compared to 2000, primarily in the Individual Life Insurance segment. We believe that the remainder of the anticipated reduction in operating expenses will benefit adjusted operating income of the U.S. Consumer division in 2002 as compared to 2001. Expenses incurred to achieve these reductions were about $175 million in 2001.
Most of our variable life insurance, variable annuity and wrap-fee products include investment alternatives that are managed by third parties. The Individual Life Insurance and Retail Investments segments pay investment management fees to the third-party managers for the funds invested through these non-proprietary options. We also sponsor mutual funds that have third-party advisors. Because of these arrangements, our assets under management and administration that are invested through non-proprietary options and our proprietary funds that are managed by third parties may offer lower profitability than the assets we manage directly.
Division Results The following table and discussion present the U.S. Consumer division’s results based on our definition of adjusted operating income, which is a non-GAAP measure, as well as income from continuing operations before income taxes, which is prepared in accordance with GAAP. As shown below, adjusted operating income excludes realized investment gains, net of losses and related charges. The excluded items are important to an understanding of our overall results of operations. You should not view adjusted operating income as a substitute for income from continuing operations determined in accordance with GAAP, and you should note that our definition of adjusted operating income may differ from that used by other companies. However, we believe that the presentation of adjusted operating income as we measure it for management purposes enhances the understanding of our results of operations by highlighting the results from ongoing operations and the underlying profitability factors of our businesses. We exclude realized investment gains, net of losses and related charges, from adjusted operating income because the timing of transactions resulting in recognition of gains or losses is largely at our discretion and the amount of these gains or losses is heavily influenced by and fluctuates in part according to the availability of market opportunities. Including the fluctuating effects of these transactions could distort trends in the underlying profitability of our businesses.