Hartford CEO Chris Swift's Pay Nearly Doubles to $10 Million

  • Package included more than $6 million in stock, option awards
  • Insurer outpaced S&P 500 Index in 2015 as book value gained

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. said that Chief Executive Officer Chris Swift’s pay package nearly doubled to $10 million for last year as stock awards climbed.

The compensation included a $2.45 million bonus and more than $6 million in stock and option awards, up from $2.2 million a year earlier, Hartford said Thursday in a regulatory filing.

Swift took over in July 2014 and said he has worked to shift the insurer to be more “offensive-minded,” a change for the company which had been selling off life insurance units to simplify and focus on property-casualty coverage. Hartford said his pay was tied to improved financial performance, as the company beat the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and boosted book value per share by 7 percent, according to the regulatory filing.

The CEO “delivered strong financial performance and exceeded the annual operating plan,” the insurer said. He also “furthered external engagement with investors, government officials, and distribution partners.”

Hartford climbed 4.3 percent in 2015, compared with a 0.7 percent drop in the S&P 500. Swift boosted return on equity to 9.2 percent last year. He struck his first takeover deal as CEO this year, agreeing to buy a Georgia-based commercial insurer.

Swift’s pay is less than what was awarded to his predecessor Liam McGee, who led Hartford from October 2009 through the middle of 2014 and shored up the company’s finances after a taxpayer bailout. McGee’s compensation package was $17.7 million in his last full year as chief. He died last year at 60 after a two-year battle with cancer.

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