Once, the Man from the Pru was the face of an organisation synonymous with sensible saving and security. Today, that face is far more complex, with call centres throughout the British Isles and India, and technology as the driving force in handling ever more complex issues of administration.
With offices in Stirling, Reading, Belfast and Mumbai, the Prudential's customer services division employs some 3,500 people, looking after customers from the moment they buy a policy until its maturity or surrender. When customers contact the firm, it is likely to be significant - perhaps when somebody has been made redundant, has retired, divorced or died. And with 8.9 million of them, staff deal with 300,000 calls and 450,000 paper transactions every month.
Prudential has embarked on a far-reaching transformation in the past three years, launched as part of a 1,000-day plan intended to change the business to meet the needs of customers and the market. It has seen some dramatic steps: setting up the operation in Mumbai; migrating work across three UK sites; and introducing a new administration system - 4Front - to simplify its view of customers and their policies by providing one platform for more than 1,000 products.