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Amy Kessler

Amy Kessler

Amy Kessler
Senior vice president and head of longevity reinsurance
Prudential Retirement
Woodbridge, New Jersey
Age: 47

For Amy Kessler, the most interesting and fun part of her job is teaching others, something that she has been able to do in her role in working out pension plan risk transfer arrangements.

“I love to teach, and I want to be a professor later in life,” she said. “Since my job involves transforming the pension risk transfer industry and talking to people about pension risk and how to manage or transfer it, I have the opportunity to teach all the time. I am passionate about teaching this because the retirement security of real people depends on getting this right.”

At Prudential Retirement, Ms. Kessler has been part of a team that has worked out deals in which such well-known corporations as General Motors Co., Verizon Communications Inc., Motorola Solutions Inc. and, most recently, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., shifted billions of dollars in pension plan liabilities to Prudential through the purchase of giant group annuities from the insurer. Designing those de-risking deals, Ms. Kessler said, has been immensely satisfying.

“Our work increases the retirement security of the pensioners whose liabilities we cover. We are here to pay their pension benefits for as long as they live, no matter how long that may be,” she said.

Ms. Kessler has a “real dedicated focus and passion to really dig in and do things brightly and thoroughly. She is fluent in so many technical techniques and has great communications skills,” said Phil Waldeck, senior vice president and head of pension and structured solutions at Prudential Re-tirement in Hartford, Connecticut.

By Jerry Geisel