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Hartford Tells Employees It Will Maintain U.S. Property, Life Units

Posted on 18 May 2009

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Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., which had its worst year in two centuries in 2008, said it will keep its U.S. property-casualty and life businesses.

The insurer announced the decision not to break up the company in a memo to employees today.

Chief Executive Officer Ramani Ayer was under pressure to dismantle the company by separating the money-losing life unit from the profitable business covering cars, homes and businesses. The insurer has posted three straight quarterly losses, including two in the last half of 2008, which Ayer called the most difficult year in the firm’s history.

“The best way to deliver long-term value to our shareholders is to return to our historical strengths as a U.S.- centric insurance company, with a focus on our strong portfolio of protection businesses, primarily property and casualty, group benefits and life,” said Hartford, based in the Connecticut city of the same name, in the memo. The insurer previously said it would scale back operations in Japan and the Europe.