The Hartford

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The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
Type Public
Traded as NYSEHIG
S&P 500 Component
Founded 1810
Headquarters Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
Key people Liam E. McGee, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Revenue Increase$26.2 billion USD (2013) [1]
Net income Increase$ 176 million USD (2013)
Employees 18,800 (2013)
Website www.thehartford.com

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., usually known as The Hartford, is an American investment and insurance company. It is a is a Fortune 500 company and based on 2013 figures, revenues were $26.2 billion. The company’s earnings are divided between property-and-casualty operations and group benefits and mutual funds.[2]

The Hartford sells its products primarily through a network of independent agents and brokers,[3] and has been the direct auto and home insurance writer for AARP’s members for more than 25 years.[4]

History[edit]

The Hartford was originally founded in 1810 in Hartford, Connecticut. A group of local merchants gathered in a Hartford inn and, with working capital of $15,000, founded the Hartford Fire Insurance Company. The company survived some of the greatest peacetime tragedies in America’s history. After a huge fire destroyed New York’s financial district in 1835, The Hartford’s president, Eliphalet Terry, used his personal wealth to cover all of the company’s damage claims. Other catastrophic events included the Chicago fire of 1871 and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.

Over the years, the company expanded its business and in 1913, the company formed The Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company to provide a wide variety of insurance coverage, including accident, automobile-liability, personal-damage, business-interruption and more. In 1959, the company expanded into the life-insurance business by acquiring The Columbian National Life Insurance Company in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1970, The Hartford was acquired by ITT Corporation for $1.4 billion,[5] at the time the largest corporate takeover in American history. The combined company was renamed ITT-Hartford Group, Inc. In 1995, ITT decided to streamline its operations and release some of its subsidiaries, and The Hartford became an independent entity once again, trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "HIG." Two years later, the company changed its name from ITT-Hartford Group, Inc. to The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., and also issued an IPO for its Hartford Life business under the ticker symbol “HLI.” In 2000, The Hartford reacquired all the shares of Hartford Life, and HLI was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in 2006.

In 2004, The Hartford purchased the Group Benefits Division of CNA Financial. The division was based in Chicago, Illinois.[citation needed]

On June 29, 2005, Hartford Financial Services Group said it was subpoenaed by the New York attorney general's office to provide records on its sale of the investment to that state's senior citizens.[6] On December 12, 2005, the company released its 2006 earnings guidance at an Investor Day in Boston.[7] On December 20, 2005, the company celebrated its 10-year anniversary as a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.[8] On December 22, 2005, the company commended Congress and President Bush for enacting critical legislation which would extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (TRIA).[9] On December 28, 2005, The Hartford's free 'Surviving Beyond Disaster' online webinar was available 24/7 to help mitigate loss and speed recovery. [10]

In 2008, the Ethisphere Institute named The Hartford one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the first time.[11] The Hartford subsequently was recognized in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.[12]

In September 2009, Liam E. McGee was named chairman, president and CEO of the company, replacing Ramani Ayer.[13] McGee joined The Hartford from Bank of America.[14] The Hartford celebrated its bicentennial in May 2010 with employees ringing the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange.[15]

In March 2012, the company announced that going forward it would focus on property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds, and would sell its wealth management businesses.[16] Within a year, the company sold its life insurance business to Prudential, retirement plans to MassMutual, and a broker-dealer to AIG.[17]

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