NEWARK, N.J. — Prudential Life Insurance of America has filed an application with the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance to demutualize.

The company announced the filing Thursday and said it hopes to get approval by the fourth quarter.

Prudential joins MetLife, which made its initial public offering in April, and John Hancock Financial Services, which had its IPO in January 2000, among the large mutual insurers applying to change to stock ownership.

The plan is subject to a public hearing, a policyholder vote, and approval by New Jersey’s insurance commissioner.

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