Hartford Offers Levenson $2 Million Bonus to Stay

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG), the insurer scaling back amid investor demands for a breakup, offered as much as $2 million in a retention bonus to David Levenson, president of wealth management.

Levenson must remain “actively employed by the company in the performance of his duties on certain specified payment dates through February 28, 2013,” Hartford, based in the Connecticut city of the same name, said today in a regulatory filing. Levenson, who reports to Chief Executive Officer Liam McGee, joined Hartford in 1995 from Fidelity Investments,

Hartford is seeking buyers for businesses that sell individual life-insurance policies and 401(k) retirement accounts, the company said this week. It will also halt sales of variable annuities, the equity-based savings products that contributed to losses during the market slump of 2008 and early 2009. Levenson told investors at a December conference he was prepared to reshape his businesses to improve results.

“I am comfortable making tough decisions,” Levenson said on Dec. 8. “These may range from personnel changes to cutting expenses to shutting down or selling businesses that are not profitable or core.”

The company is responding to calls from billionaire John Paulson, who controls the biggest stake in Hartford, to split its life-insurance and retirement businesses from its property- casualty unit.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew Frye in New York at afrye@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net

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