To tap into the Asian and European markets, Prudential Financial launched a new private wealth management firm Wednesday called Dryden Financial, Reuters reports.

Individuals with between $500,000 and $3 million, who the new firm’s CEO and Chairman Carol Robbins called "underserviced’ at this time," will be the primary focus of Dryden.

"We are planning to develop this as a high-growth business," Robbins told Reuters. "There are a lot of companies in this market, but there are a lot of opportunities for companies like Dryden to differentiate themselves." Traditionally, Prudential has followed a strategy of investing in U.S. retail stocks in its international arm – until now. Offshore services will be available to Dryden’s non-U.S. clients, and private banking will be handled in Geneva. The new firm will also serve clients through its affiliate offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Britain, among others. The equity market slump has caused many private wealth firms to suffer lately, along with the overall asset management industry. Between 1999 and 2002, total assets under management at firms serving the high-net-worth market fell 14% drop, according to a July survey by Boston Consulting. For all types of investment firms, however, the industry average was a 25% decrease.

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