The chief executive of Connecticut says she wants to restore the state’s reputation for being the nation’s leading insurance center.[@@]

Gov. M. Jodi Rell has announced the establishment of a new agency that will try to retain and attract insurance and financial services jobs.

The new insurance and financial services business development office is part of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.

Rell recently held a financial services “summit” meeting at her official residence in Hartford.

“I asked for this summit for the express purpose of hearing from industry leaders,” Rell says. “I wanted to know the market issues they face and how the state of Connecticut can help them compete in the global marketplace so we can retain and grow jobs.”

Rell recently clashed with MetLife Inc., New York, after the company announced it was cutting jobs at Travelers Life & Annuity, Hartford. MetLife, which has agreed to acquire Travelers Life from Citigroup Inc., New York, eventually agreed to reduce its planned cutbacks.