The company said on Tuesday that it planned either to float Jackson, the US operation, in the first half of next year or demerge it if market conditions did not allow for an initial public offering.
Last year Prudential demerged M&G, its UK business, and since then it has been under pressure from activist investor Third Point to spin off the US as well. In June the company sold an 11 per cent stake in Jackson to Athene Holdings for $500m in a deal that valued the unit at $4.5bn.
The split will leave Prudential as a London-headquartered, UK-listed company with operations in Asia and Africa.
“Our differentiated product and geographic portfolio is well positioned to meet the health, protection and savings needs in these regions, where insurance penetration is low and demand for savings solutions is rapidly developing,” said chief executive Mike Wells.
Prudential has also changed its dividend policy to free up funds to invest in Africa and Asia. It intends to pay 16.1 cents in dividends this year. Analysts had previously expected a payout of around 40 cents per share.