NU Online News Service, Sept. 17, 2003, 6:57 p.m. EDT – The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, has opened a group benefits operations center in Dallas.

The center, which employs 50 people, will support the efforts of Hartford sales representatives located in markets throughout the United States, according to Ron Bighinatti, director of the group benefits initiative.

“We believe that the local presence of our sales force is a key advantage for us in the marketplace,” Bighinatti says. “Our goal is to enhance that position by allowing our sales representatives to focus on building and strengthening relationships within the broker community.”

The center will start out supporting sales to group sales offices that target employers with fewer than 500 employees, Hartford says.

The center will process requests for proposals, generate proposals and help set up plans for new clients.

Hartford will follow up by adopting new technology in the operations center and regional group sales offices in early 2004, the company says.