Citigroup Inc. has named Conning Asset Management to handle the investment portfolios of its remaining insurance units. The deal became effective Jan. 1.

Citigroup, New York, sold Travelers Life Insurance Company to MetLife Inc. last year but still has several other insurance affiliates: Primerica Life Insurance Company, American Health & Life Insurance Company and CitiFinancial International, which sells credit-related policies in addition to loans.

The investment management end of these businesses represents combined assets of about $8 billion, according to Conning Asset Management, a unit of Conning Co., Hartford.

Conning says it has hired 20 new employees to accommodate the added business, including some former Citigroup and Travelers Life staff who had worked in Hartford. Among them is David Miller, who had headed portfolio management at Citigroup Insurance Investments. Miller is now a Conning managing director responsible for managing Citigroup assets.

In addition, John Calcagni, former head of investment accounting and reporting for Citigroup Insurance Investments, now holds that same position with Conning.

These and other former Citigroup employees will increase Conning’s expertise in high yield, emerging market and private placement bonds, says Sal Correnti, Conning’s CEO.

With Citigroup’s insurance portfolio, Conning now manages $62 billion in assets, almost all of it belonging to insurers, Correnti says. Conning’s assets under management totaled just $23 billion in 2001, when it was acquired by Swiss Re, Zurich.

In December, Citigroup sold most of its asset-management business to Legg Mason Inc., Baltimore.