About three weeks after it agreed to buy American Skandia Life Assurance Co., Prudential Financial Inc. has expanded its own product offerings to include a third fixed annuity.

The new Strategic Partners Horizon Annuity, like Pru's seven other annuities, is not being marketed through banks. The insurance giant sells its five variable and two fixed products predominantly through Prudential Securities agents and a few independent broker/dealers.

But that could change once the purchase of variable annuity expert American Skandia is closed. American Skandia, the Shelton, Conn., subsidiary of the Swedish firm Skandia Insurance Co. Ltd., is a player in the bank channel with variable annuities, and once the companies are brought together, Prudential expects to use American Skandia's distribution system to expand its reach.

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