On March 21, The Hartford announced it would be exiting the variable annuity and life insurance businesses to focus on its property and casualty insurance business. In addition, The Hartford said it would sell its independent broker-dealer, Woodbury Financial Services, in what is the latest in a string of cases where an insurance company parent has sold, or said it intended to sell, a subsidiary independent broker-dealer.
Since that time the leadership of The Hartford and of Woodbury (a 2011 Broker-Dealer of the Year) has not spoken to us about the parent firm’s decision or how the BD and its reps are responding to its proposed sale. However, Patrick McEvoy (left), president and CEO of Woodbury Financial, did respond to written questions in an e-mail exchange. Below are the questions and his responses to those questions that were received today.
Q. What are you telling current reps about how the business will operate during the next 6-12 months? In the Broker-Dealer of the Year roundtable last year [in the September 2011 issue of Investment Advisor], you talked about the importance of rep retention.
Patrick McEvoy: We have been conducting conference calls with our reps continuously to communicate with them and answer their questions. Our focus continues to be business as usual and we will continue to operate with open communication on the process in front of us.
We are a successful company with a unique brand, which holds strong relationships with our reps. We believe that we can create the greatest value for our reps and our future parent by continuing to focus on our growth strategy.
Q. What happens to your recruiting efforts in the light of the uncertainty surrounding the future of Woodbury?