Planning Strategic Direction for Global Operations

For more than two decades, Michele Alcazar has been involved in the development of a financial services company that today is a Fortune 500 company with operations in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America and more than $1 trillion of assets under management.

Alcazar is vice president, Operations & Strategy in the Global Business & Technology Solutions organization at Prudential Financial, Inc. She is responsible for leading Prudential’s Office of the CIO, which provides human resources, communications, technology planning, and learning and development oversight for the chief information officer and her leadership team. She’s also the Human Resources leader for Prudential’s Customer Office and its Center for Next Generation Growth.

Alcazar joined Prudential back in 1993 as part of its Corporate Employee Benefits Department. Since then, she has held various human resources positions supporting domestic and international employees, including Prudential Investment Management, the Policy Owner Relations Department, Corporate Centers Human Resources, and most recently Corporate Technology Management.

Over the years, she has been instrumental in growing the company’s infrastructure. About seven years ago, Alcazar spearheaded the development of a human resources infrastructure for a new technology entity in Japan, Prudential Systems Japan, Limited, which included staffing, compensation and benefits plan design, work rules, policies, HR recordkeeping, and systems training and development.

She plays an integral role in Prudential’s sponsorship of Workforce Opportunity Services, a program that provides education, on–the-job training and career opportunities to high-potential high school graduates in the Newark, N.J. area. This program has recently been expanded to include enlisted veterans as part of Prudential’s veteran’s initiatives.

Alcazar lives by the words “feel the fear and do it anyway.” Those words are the title of a book by Susan Jeffers she read about 15 years ago that has a tremendous impact on her. She says her biggest career leap was transitioning from the Human Resources Department to the technology organization at Prudential. She had initially been intimidated by technology. “I got over that fear, and today I have a huge passion and respect for IT. My job now is to help our Global Chief Information Officer plan the strategic direction for technology for Prudential’s global operations,” she said.

She realized her present career path was exactly what she wanted after she received a handwritten card from a colleague thanking her for helping her through a difficult time in her career and personal life. “Her expression of appreciation made me proud of the kind of company Prudential is. Her card made me know that my job does matter. It gave me sense of validation to know that my career makes an impact not just on the bottom line but also on how individual people are able to live, grow and enjoy their lives,” she said.

Alcazar is a member of the international think-tank Research Board.  She holds a B.A. in management from Richard Stockton State College, and Professional in Human Resources certification from the Society of Human Resources Management.