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Hartford hires ex-Buffett deputy Tooker as underwriting head

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(Bloomberg) — Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., the insurer that has been selling life units to focus on property-casualty coverage, hired Morris Tooker as chief underwriting officer for P&C operations.

Tooker, who worked previously as president of General Re at Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., will report to President Doug Elliot, according to a statement Monday from Hartford, which is based in the Connecticut city of the same name.

Hartford’s Chris Swift has been bolstering staff since taking over as chief executive officer last year. The insurer hired Mary Boyd and Casey Campbell last week to help oversee insurance that is sold to individuals, both through agents and direct channels. Tooker will focus on those segments and coverage to commercial clients.

“Mo is a recognized and admired leader,” Elliot said in the statement. “His deep knowledge of the international, property and specialty insurance markets will be instrumental in driving our expanded risk appetite as we pursue growth opportunities.”

Tooker was named president of Stamford, Connecticut-based General Re in 2013. Buffett’s reinsurer promoted Robert M. Jones and Carole M. Ferrero to lead direct sales of P&C insurance when Tooker departed in January.

Tooker spent more than two decades at General Re, which was purchased in 1998 by Berkshire in one of Buffett’s largest deals. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics and environmental studies from Middlebury College, according to the statement.