Hartford Hires Goldman’s Melvin for Investment Management

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Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. hired John Melvin as managing director and head of portfolio management at the insurer’s investing subsidiary.

Melvin, 46, joins from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and will report to Brion Johnson, president of Hartford Investment Management Co., or Himco, the company said in a statement Tuesday. He was managing director at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, or GSAM, and chief investment officer of the global insurance asset-management operation, according to Hartford, which is based in the Connecticut city of the same name.

Melvin joins ex-Goldman Sachs money managers in leaving for insurers that are seeking to add expertise for running their own portfolios or for overseeing third-party funds. Aflac Inc. hired Eric Kirsch as CIO in 2011 and Lincoln National Corp. named Ellen Cooper to a similar post in 2012. Prudential Financial Inc. in 2013 hired Robert Cignarella for global leveraged finance.

“John is a strong leader and a seasoned investor,” Johnson said in the statement. He will help the company by “extending the scope of our portfolio management capability – driving collaboration, communication and efficiency across the firm.”

Himco oversees funds for Hartford Financial and manages money for clients including foundations, employee-benefit plans and other insurers. The unit had more than $105 billion in assets under management as of June 30, according to Thomas Hambrick, a spokesman for the insurer.

Melvin previously worked in insurance asset management for Deutsche Bank AG and and has an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business, Hartford said. He is replacing Mark Niland, who retired this year, although Melvin has an expanded role, Hambrick said.

“We wish John well and look forward to continuing to serve GSAM insurance clients with Matt Armas as the global head of GSAM insurance fixed income,” Goldman Sachs’s Michael Siegel, global head of insurance asset management, said in an e-mailed statement.

Swift, Tooker

Hartford Financial’s Chris Swift has been bolstering staff since taking over as chief executive officer last year. The insurer in July hired Morris Tooker, previously an executive at the General Re unit of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., as chief underwriting officer for property-casualty operations.

Swift’s company climbed 2.6 percent to $45.90 at 4:15 p.m. in New York. The insurer has advanced 10 percent this year, beating the 4.4 percent decline of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

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