The Hartford is executing on its strategic plan to transform into an insurance underwriting company and deliver greater shareholder value, The Hartford's Chairman, President and CEO Liam E. McGee said at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders.
"We have made substantial progress on The Hartford's strategy to create greater shareholder value by profitably growing our P&C, Group Benefits and Mutual Funds businesses, reducing the size and risk of the company's annuity runoff operation, and increasing operating effectiveness and efficiency," McGee said.
According to a release, building on a successful 2013, The Hartford reported core earnings growth of 23 percent in the first quarter, with core earnings in P&C, Group Benefits and Mutual Funds also growing 23 percent year-over-year. Over the next few years, the company is investing in new systems, applications and business platforms to drive continued growth and margin expansion in these businesses. In addition, the sale of the Japan annuity business announced in April substantially reduces the company's risk profile by permanently eliminating its Japan variable annuity risk.
"The transaction we announced to sell our Japan annuity company will generate an estimated $1.4 billion capital benefit," McGee told shareholders. "The successful execution of the company's strategy has resulted in financial strength and flexibility, which has enabled us to increase the dividend, pay down debt and repurchase equity."
"I am grateful to all of The Hartford's dedicated employees who have made these achievements possible. We will continue to execute our strategy to drive profitable growth and deliver greater value to shareholders," McGee said.
During the business portion of the annual meeting, The Hartford's shareholders voted on the following actions:
-All of The Hartford's directors were reelected to the Board;
-Shareholders ratified the selection of Deloitte & Touche as the company's independent registered public accounting firm;
-Shareholders approved the compensation of the company's named executive officers through an advisory vote;
-Shareholders approved The Hartford's 2014 Incentive Stock Plan; and
-Shareholders also approved the material terms of the annual executive bonus program.
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