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Prudential Financial's Social Investment Program Celebrates $1 Billion Milestone

Published 02-07-05

Submitted by Prudential Financial, Inc.

Newark, NJ - In 1986, a minority business-owner wanted to build middle-income housing in the heart of Newark. Only one financier was willing to back the then-risky proposition. That 40-unit townhouse project became the precursor to what is currently the K. Hovnanian Society Hill development - a major commercial success in Newark's revitalization. That financier was Prudential Financial, Inc., who, through its Social Investment Program, today celebrated an historic milestone - more than $1 billion invested to address critical social issues in some of the nation's neediest communities.

In a neighborhood that had a shortage of preschool openings, a $1.2 million mortgage to Newark's Smith Street Preschool in 2004 resulted in six new preschool classrooms serving 90 children and a therapeutic nursery that services up to seven children.

And when the North Star Academy Charter School, the premier charter school in Newark's downtown, needed financing, it received an $800,000 mortgage. North Star is now renowned across the state for the high quality educational experience it provides and for achieving 100 percent college attendance rate in 2004.

These success stories are all woven together by one common thread - Prudential Financial, Inc. A leader in the arena of socially responsible investing, the Prudential Social Investment program has provided more than $1 billion in the kind of complex, risky, socially-driven investments that help to make projects like this happen.

The Prudential Social Investment Program makes socially responsible investments in affordable housing, job creation and education. Through hundreds of partnerships across the country, the program has financed more than $228 million in affordable housing; 48 charter schools across the country, including roughly half of New Jersey's approximately 50 charter schools; 12 inner-city supermarkets; and nearly $30 million in minority entrepreneurship.

"This landmark achievement reinforces Prudential's position in the forefront among our peers in the financial services industry who engage in similar philanthropic activities," said Gabriella Morris, president of The Prudential Foundation and vice president of Community Resources. "Whether it was our first inner city supermarket loan in 1978, or our first charter school loan in 1997, the social purpose that drives our activities is what continues to separate us from other seemingly similar programs."

In commemoration of the milestone Prudential recently hosted a special celebration - "Investing in Social Change: One Billion Reasons to Celebrate" - that featured keynote speaker Robert E. Rubin, member of the Office of the Chairman of Citigroup and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

"Prudential's social investment activities have encouraged partnering between private and public funders. I know that Prudential is also focused on broadening the use of credit enhancement and the possibility of applying asset securitization to community development," Rubin noted. "All of this could offer great promise for expanding the capital available for community development."

Formally created in 1976, Prudential's Social Investment Program was created to provide "the encouragement of affirmative investments done for the public good," with only a secondary focus on financial considerations. The program targets investments that provide the greatest social impact for individuals and communities in those locations where Prudential has its most significant business presence.

"Social Investments allows Prudential to help close capital gaps and provide much-needed resources to launch landmark projects that can, and often do, change the face of a community," Morris continued. "By combining the willingness to creatively address tough challenges, with the innovative use of financial tools, Prudential has been involved with helping to enhance community capacity long before it was the popular thing to do.

"I am personally proud of our sustained social investment, which has helped us accomplish our initial mission to reinvigorate neighborhoods, provide affordable housing and ultimately, sustain the renaissance of some the nation's most disadvantaged cities," Morris said.

With a willingness to take informed risks, Prudential's Social Investment Program makes socially responsible investments for community development and education initiatives, including inner-city supermarkets, minority businesses, affordable housing and charter schools and finances borrowers that do not have access to traditional capital sources. The program originates investments for Prudential Financial, Inc. and The Prudential Foundation.

Prudential's social investments strive to build the self-sufficiency and quality of life for children and their families. Community Resources facilitates diverse market development and outreach for Prudential's businesses and is a strategic combination of four units: The Foundation, Social Investments, Local Initiatives and Business Diversity Outreach.

Prudential Financial companies, with approximately $470 billion in total assets under management as of September 30, 2004, serve individual and institutional customers worldwide and include The Prudential Insurance Company of America, one of the largest life insurance companies in the United States. These companies offer a variety of products and services, including life insurance, mutual funds, annuities, pension and retirement related services and administration, asset management, securities brokerage, banking and trust services, real estate brokerage franchises and relocation services. For more information, visit www.prudential.com.

Prudential Financial, Inc. logo

Prudential Financial, Inc.

Prudential Financial, Inc.

Prudential Financial companies, with approximately $568 billion in total assets under management as of June 30, 2006, serve individual and institutional customers worldwide and include The Prudential Insurance Company of America, one of the largest life insurance companies in the United States. These companies offer a variety of products and services, including life insurance, mutual funds, annuities, pension and retirement-related services and administration, asset management, banking and trust services, real estate brokerage franchises, relocation services and, through a joint venture, retail securities brokerage services.

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