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Hartford’s McGee Says Capital, Investments Improved in Past Year

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., the life and property-casualty insurer, said investments gained this year after stock and bond markets advanced.

“Our capital position is strong and has improved in 2010,” Chief Executive Officer Liam McGee said today at a conference hosted by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

McGee, hired last year to halt losses that Hartford accumulated during the financial crisis, posted its biggest net income in three years in the third quarter. Results at Hartford, which is based in the Connecticut city of the same name, have been helped by the 10 percent rally in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index this year.

Hartford has gained about 5 percent since Dec. 31, less than the 18 percent gain in the 24-company KBW Insurance Index.

Hartford has scaled back business outside the U.S. and curbed the sale of variable annuities, the equity-based retirement products that produced losses when stock markets fell in 2008 and early 2009. In March, McGee sold stock and debt to repay a $3.4 billion U.S. bailout that his predecessor Ramani Ayer took last year.

The insurer, which lost more than $4 billion in Ayer’s last five quarters as CEO, reported net income of $666 million in the three months ended Sept. 30.

To contact the reporter 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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