March 21, 2012 (PLANSPONSOSR.com) – The Hartford is pursuing the sale of, or other strategic alternatives, for its Retirement Plans business.
The Hartford decided to focus on its property and casualty, group benefits and mutual funds businesses, each of which has a competitive market position, strong capital generating ability and lower sensitivity to capital markets. As a result, the company is placing its Individual Annuity business into runoff and is pursuing sales or other strategic alternatives for Individual Life, Woodbury Financial Services and Retirement Plans.
“This work began in mid-2011 as part of strategy discussions. In our work we consider a broad range of factors, market dynamics, returns, capital markets sensitivity, competitive positions and The Hartford’s capital requirements,” said Liam E. McGee, chairman, president and CEO, The Hartford, during a press call. “The objective was to find the right path to deliver superior performance and greater shareholder value.”
According to a timeline provided by the company, The Hartford will conduct the sales process for Individual Life, Woodbury Financial Services and Retirement Plans during the next six months, and plans to close transactions within 12 months. During the six-month sales process, the company will continue to write new business. Individual annuity will be closed to new sales effective April 27.
Proceeds from any transactions will give The Hartford additional financial flexibility, providing opportunities to deleverage, de-risk the legacy annuity blocks, invest in the business and potentially take other capital management actions.