Wealth management will continue to be a prime business for Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., the company’s new chief executive officer says.
Liam E. McGee, who is taking over as Hartford’s CEO today, says that, despite a decline in the company’s variable annuities sales, variable annuities will continue to be part of its wealth management business.
Hartford has taken steps “to align risk and reward more appropriately” in its VA operations, McGee said in an interview.
“Annuity products would have to be part of our offerings, so you can expect to see new and innovative product in our annuities,” he said. “They won’t be as big as they had been, but to be in wealth management, you have to offer them.”
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McGee said one of his biggest priorities is to use Hartford’s “iconic” brand image to help the company rise above the financial troubles it has faced in the past year.
Hartford reported a $1.2 billion net loss for the first half of the year on $13 billion in revenue, and it has had to accept federal bailout funds.
“Like many financial services firms, Hartford has had its challenges recently, but it reacted very strongly to them,” McGee said.
McGee said it was too early for him to spell out his plans in detail, but he said he expects to spend much of the first couple of months in his new position looking at improving the ways the company allocates capital.