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Aetna’s Headquarters May Leave Connecticut

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Officials in Connecticut believe executives at Aetna Inc. have already decided to move the company’s headquarters out of Hartford, to a larger city.

The life and health insurer was founded in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1853, and it now has about 5,800 employees in the Hartford area.

(Related: Aetna Foundation Backs Brookings Institution Project)

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said today in a statement that he believes, based on conversations with Aetna’s executives, that the executives decided to move the headquarters out of Hartford a long time ago.

“They have said that Aetna remains committed to its Connecticut workforce, and that the Hartford campus will continue to be a substantial employment base for thousands of Aetna employees,” Bronin said.

The Boston Business Journal reported in January, in an article that received little attention outside of Boston, that Aetna had been talking to Boston officials about the possibility of moving to the city since at least January 2016.

Aetna’s Statement

Aetna put out a statement confirming that the company has been looking into moving its headquarters.

“We are in negotiations with several states regarding a headquarters relocation, with the goal of broadening our access to innovation and the talent that will fill knowledge economy-type positions,” Aetna said in the statement, which was released today.

“We remain committed to our Connecticut-based employees and the Hartford campus, and hope to have a final resolution by early summer,” the company said.

Connecticut v. Boston

Gov. Dannel Malloy of Connecticut said in prepared remarks of his own, which he delivered today at a press conference in Hartford, that he believes Aetna’s executives are planning to move the company’s headquarters because they want company executives to “operate in a larger, more vibrant urban center than Connecticut can currently offer.”

Connecticut as a whole is in head-to-head competition with Boston and New York City, Malloy said.

Connecticut has tried to meet Aetna’s needs by offering proposals to strengthen the city of Hartford, improve the region’s workforce and improve the region’s transportation system, Malloy said.

“To date, while we have continued to have conversations, we have not been taken up on these offers,” Malloy said.

Malloy said his main focus will be keeping Aetna workers in Hartford.

“Keeping those employees in Connecticut is far more important than where Aetna plans its corporate flag,” Malloy said.

— Read 7th Circuit Panel Lets Part of Slave Suit Continue on ThinkAdvisor.