Arthur F. Ryan is an American businessman that came to prominence during the 1990s, when he was the first outsider to become CEO of Prudential Insurance.
Arthur Ryan was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised on Long Island. He attended Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School. He went on to attend Providence College in 1963, where he received his BA in mathematics. During college, Ryan sold magazines to earn extra money; this was Ryan’s first sales experience job. Ryan also served in the U.S. Army and was stationed outside of Washington D.C. While being in D.C., Ryan decided to take extra classes at American University. In 1965, Ryan was discharged from the Army and went to work as a computer system designer at Control Data Corporation. From 1972 to December 1994, Ryan worked with Chase Manhattan Bank. In 1976, Ryan became head of the entire securities processing business for Chase. In 1978, Ryan hit his big break when Thomas G. Labrecque saw potential in Ryan and gave him the responsibility to oversee the bank’s domestic wholesale operations like check processing, wire transfers and securities services. By 1984, Ryan was appointed to an executive vice president for Chase and received a chairman position on the board. In the same year, Labrecque succeeded the former CEO and Ryan realized that his career at Chase hit a plateau.
At 52 years in old, Ryan was offered CEO and chairman position at Prudential Insurance, a life insurance company. He was the first outsider to become CEO of the company. He changed the whole system that Prudential operated on and the environment the Prudential grew a reputation for. In the news, Prudential was covered with scandals, so he asked New Jersey to launch a full investigation against the company. New Jersey came up with $35 million in fines and $410 million to $1 billion for victimized policy holders. During this time, Prudential slowly slipped down to 5th in assets. Ryan had no political agenda, he was there solely to create a better company. Ryan also launched an $800 million cost-cutting program. He fired hundreds of agents and managers. He improved the technology keeping Prudential competitive. Ryan’s greatest success was bringing the company from a mutual to a stock company (a private company to public). The new company, Prudential Financial, took control of Prudential Insurance’s assets while Ryan remained CEO.
He retired from Prudential in 2008 and now lives in Florida but remains on the Board of biopharmaceutical company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.