INSURANCE: Divide & Multiply

Last week Chicago was promised its first skyscraper in nearly 20 years. As part of its decentralization program, the $9 billion Prudential Insurance Co. of America, third largest U.S. company,* announced that it will establish an independent home office in Chicago, house it in a 35-story building over the Illinois Central's tracks on the downtown lake front. Estimated cost: $30 million.

To Prudential's President Carrol Mcteer Shanks, 52, this seemed like a fair price to pay for a new office in the Midwest, where Prudential hopes to tap the area's one-third of all U.S. farm incomes, the $30 to $50...

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