Prudential Financial has appointed Michele Meyer-Shipp as the new vice president and chief diversity officer to oversee all diversity and inclusion initiatives for the company.

In this role, she will also maintain ongoing compliance with federal and state equal employment opportunity/affirmative action laws and requirements, the firm said.

Commenting on new appointment, Prudential senior vice president human resources Sharon Taylor said, "She has a unique blend of experience in the diversity and inclusion and EEO/affirmative action space, as well as a recognized passion for this work."

Meyer-Shipp joined Prudential in April 2010 as vice president and counsellor in the employment and labor law group and offered legal advice, counsel, training and investigative support to several lines of business.

Before Prudential, she worked as general counsel of the New York Harbor, an Instrumentality of the States of New York and New Jersey and spent four years with Merrill Lynch, managing the diversity and inclusion efforts of the global wealth management business.

Prior to Merrill Lynch, she acted as director of the State of New Jersey’s Division of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action.

As of 30 June 2012, Prudential Financial had nearly $961bn of assets under management and trades in the US, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.

The company offers a number of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management.