The wealthy in the U.S. have been riding a steadily and swiftly rising star. While the high-net-worth segment of the population–usually defined as those having $1 million or more in liquid assets–is growing at a faster rate than the overall population, the number of those in the ultra-high-net-worth market–with more than $5 million in liquid assets–is growing even more rapidly. According to a report issued in 2006 by the Spectrem Group consulting firm, the UHNW segment has nearly doubled in size over the past three years to about 930,000 families by year-end 2005.
Now The Hartford has created a specialized team specifically to address the insurance needs of this highly desirable demographic group, by providing life insurance planning and underwriting that serves their unique needs. The new group, labeled as the Private Wealth Management initiative, made its debut in mid-2006. Its team members are private wealth management consultants, underwriters, and service people, according to Patti Hausherr, director of special markets for The Hartford’s individual life division. She also spearheads this UHNW initiative.
While The Hartford has “always focused on serving the life insurance needs of the top two percent of America’s wealthiest families,” says Hausherr, “now we’re creating special services for families in the uppermost layer of this group.”
The Hartford began its new unit in response to the fact that many of the broker/dealer firms and banks it works with–and by extension, their advisors–have also been focusing on the ultra-high-net-worth market. The PWM team’s efforts are supported by the company’s Estate and Business Planning Department.