NU Online News Service, Dec. 5, 8:40 a.m. – CNA Financial Corp., Chicago, today announced it will reduce its staff by about 1,850 positions, to 16,500; eliminate 101 of its 169 offices; and cut its variable life and annuity business.

CNA estimates the changes will cost it between $114 million and $124 million after taxes. Of that amount, approximately 40% will be spent on human resources costs, 35% on real estate and 25% on asset write-offs, CNA says.

The largest number of layoffs will occur at the Chicago headquarters, CNA says.

The new CNA organization consists of three major businesses: Life/Group; Property/Casualty; and Reinsurance Operations.

CNA plans to consolidate its offices during the first half of 2002. It will maintain its presence in its current markets serving agents and brokers.

“By creating a simplified and leaner organization for our customers and partners that is more focused on underwriting excellence, we position CNA for improved financial performance,” Bernard Hengesbaugh, chairman of CNA, said in a statement about the changes.

CNA says it will report on the financial performance of the new segments in the year-end earnings release, scheduled for Feb. 14, and the 2001 annual report, which will come out in March.