How Travelers Got Moving Again

At yearend 1992, Travelers Inc. was in deep trouble. Hurricane Andrew had torn a $400 million hole in the venerable insurer's balance sheet. More than $5 billion in bum real estate sat on its books. It lacked focus and was only a bit player in the emerging managed-health-care business. It was listing under a huge overhead. To the rescue came the acquisitive Sanford I. Weill, a man with a well-deserved reputation for finding hidden value in underperforming companies. He took a 27% stake first, then gobbled up the rest a year later.

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