Prudential Financial, Inc.
products to maximize economic value. This strategy has produced significant realized investment gains over the years; however, the reinvestment of sales proceeds in lower yielding assets has resulted in marginally profitable adjusted operating income on these products for the three years ended December 31, 2001.
2000 to 1999 Annual Comparison. Assets under management in our full service defined contribution business were relatively unchanged at December 31, 2000 from a year earlier. Net sales benefited from increased participant contributions, reflecting an increased participant base. However, the $1.5 billion net sales in 2000 were largely offset by negative changes in market value of $1.2 billion resulting from poor performance in the equity markets.
Assets under management for guaranteed products at December 31, 2000 were also relatively unchanged from a year earlier. Although assets related to our general account GIC business continued to decline, reflecting the scheduled runoff of that business, this decrease was largely offset by an increase in our separate account annuity assets resulting primarily from market appreciation and interest income on fixed income investments. Withdrawals and benefits from guaranteed products for 2000 totaled $5.3 billion, $2.0 billion less than those of 1999, reflecting the declining volume of general account GIC contracts. Sales of guaranteed products increased $73 million over 1999, as an increase in separate account GICs and funding agreements more than offset a decline in traditional GICs.
International Division The International division generates revenues from premiums and investment income through our International Insurance segment and from commissions, asset management fees and investment income from the international securities and futures brokerage and trading operations that comprise our International Securities and Investments segment. We include the asset management fees and commissions from these operations in the line captioned “Commissions and other income” in our consolidated statements of operations.
The International Insurance and International Securities and Investments segments pay the expenses of their own proprietary sales forces, consisting of Life Planners, Life Advisors and Financial Advisors, for distribution of products.
Our international operations conduct their business primarily in local currencies and, accordingly, fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, net of the impact of our hedging strategies, affect the profitability of these operations in our Consolidated Financial Statements. For a discussion of our currency hedging strategies, see “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk—Risk Management, Market Risk and Derivative Instruments—Other Than Trading Activities—Market Risk Related to Foreign Currency Exchange Rates.”
In addition, we must manage our risk in connection with principal transactions associated with the international and futures operations of the International Securities and Investments segment. The liquidity of markets and transactional volume, the level and volatility of interest rates, security and currency valuations, competitive conditions and other factors also affect our revenues and profitability. See “—Overview—Profitability.”
Division Results The following table and discussion present the International 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.
Prudential Financial 2001 Annual Report