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Hartford Announces Job Cuts

The company, which reported a $2.63 billion third-quarter loss last week, says it plans to cut 500 jobs to lower its costs.

November 5, 2008
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The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., which reported a $2.63 billion third-quarter loss last week, said it planned to cut 500 jobs, or about 1.6 percent of its workforce, in an effort to trim costs.

A spokeswoman said the job cuts, as well as other expense reductions, are intended to cut $250 million in expenses. She said she did not have a figure for how much the job cuts alone would reduce expenses.

All 500 jobs will be eliminated this month, the spokeswoman said. No additional cuts will be announced in December, she said, but "we may have some additional reductions in 2009, and those would be part of the … $250 million we talked about."

The spokeswoman said that about 125 of the cut positions will be in the greater Hartford, Connecticut, area, where Hartford is based, and the remaining 375 in other locations throughout the company.

In a statement issued Monday, November 3, Hartford chairman and CEO Ramani Ayer said, "The Hartford remains well capitalized." The statement was issued in response to New York-based Moody's Investors Service's downgrading Hartford's senior unsecured debt rating to A3 from A2 and its short-term debt rating to Prime-2 from Prime-1, with a stable outlook.

Moody's also affirmed the Aa3 insurance financial-strength ratings of the company's lead property and casualty and life insurance operating companies. It affirmed a stable outlook on the property/casualty business and a negative outlook on the life insurance business.

Filed by Judy Greenwald of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.

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