HARTFORD, Conn., Dec. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: HIG), one of the nation's largest financial services and insurance companies, today celebrates its 10-year anniversary as a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange. The Hartford regained its independence one decade ago, on December 20, 1995, and began trading on the NYSE under the "HIG" symbol after former parent company ITT Corp. ended 25 years of ownership. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20051208/HARTFORDLOGO ) Over the last 10 years, The Hartford, which today has a workforce of approximately 30,000 employees worldwide, has produced consistent and solid growth across its businesses, delivering a 16 percent annualized total return to shareholders. Since going public, The Hartford has outperformed the Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500 and its peer group averages. Adjusted for a stock split in 1998, The Hartford went public at a price of $24.88 a share and closed last night at $85.57, more than tripling in value. In 1995, when The Hartford regained its independence, it was still primarily known to the public as a property-casualty insurer. Even then, The Hartford's life operations were quickly gaining in size and strength. Today, both the property-casualty and life operations are thriving and the company's products are helping individuals and businesses protect their property and assets and achieve their goals. Today, The Hartford's life products are offered both domestically and abroad in markets including Japan, the United Kingdom and Brazil. Ramani Ayer, chairman, president and CEO of The Hartford since 1997, has spent his entire career with the company and noted that this anniversary is one of the most exciting chapters in a long and distinguished history. "This milestone is significant because it illustrates The Hartford's ability to continue delivering on its nearly 200-year-old promise to each of our customers," Ayer said. "Our ability to sustain profitable growth with disciplined risk management will only further strengthen our position to provide customers with financial stability and trusted service in the years ahead." Coincidentally, 170 years ago today, The Hartford was put to its first major test as a fire insurance company. On Dec. 16, 1835, much of New York City's financial district was destroyed by a massive fire, causing an estimated $15 to $26 million in damages (over $350 million today). Four days later, on Dec. 20, then-Hartford President Eliphalet Terry made a 125-mile sleigh ride in sub-zero temperatures from Hartford to New York City to pay claims on the spot, using his personal estate as collateral. That act has come to personify The Hartford's trustworthiness and stability, a reputation that still lives on today. The 10-year anniversary marks another chapter in The Hartford's deep history and illustrates the company's ability to always think ahead. As one of the country's oldest insurance companies, The Hartford has played a key role in shaping both the insurance industry and helping strengthen the nation's economy. For example: * The Hartford has provided financial security to its customers during nearly every major American catastrophe, including the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the September 11 terrorist attack and, most recently, the powerful 2005 hurricane season. * The Hartford has bonded a number of major construction projects, helping to create many of our national landmarks, such as the Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the St. Lawrence Seaway. * Many notable Americans have insured their assets with The Hartford, including Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, Robert E. Lee and Babe Ruth. This rich history has built The Hartford's Stag into one of the most enduring and familiar brands in America, a symbol known and respected by millions. Although the date of its debut as the company's logo is not known, its oldest recorded use is on the 1861 Hartford policy issued to Abraham Lincoln. In it, a stag (or hart deer) is fording a stream, a natural symbol for a company named The Hartford. By 1875, The Hartford Stag had evolved to resemble the stag from "The Monarch of the Glen," the enormously popular painting by Sir Edwin Landseer. The company later commissioned a large steel engraving of Landseer's painting and distributed prints to agencies across the country. In recent years, The Hartford's brand has become more prominent than ever through a national advertising campaign in which the iconic stag was brought to life with Hollywood-style special effects. In the spots, the stag can be seen walking among traders across the floor of the New York Stock Exchange or onto a championship basketball court. The cutting-edge ads are a dramatic departure from prior decades when the company used a live stag, which followed the commands of his trainer and roamed through sets designed to depict insurance at work in everyday life. This evolution, and the 21st century technology that brought it to life, is a reminder that for nearly 200 years the stag has remained a symbol of strength, stability and integrity. The Hartford is one of the nation's largest financial services and insurance companies, with 2004 revenues of $22.7 billion. As of September 30, 2005, The Hartford had total assets of $280.5 billion and stockholders' equity of $15.3 billion. The Hartford is a leading provider of investment products, life insurance and group benefits; automobile and homeowners products; and business property-casualty insurance. International operations are located in Japan, Brazil and the United Kingdom. The Hartford's Internet address is http://www.thehartford.com. Some of the statements in this release may be considered forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We caution investors that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results may differ materially. Investors should consider the important risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ. These important risks and uncertainties include those discussed in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, our 2004 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We assume no obligation to update this release, which speaks as of the date issued. Contacts: Victoria O'Brien 860-547-4938 firstname.lastname@example.org Debora Raymond 860-547-9613 email@example.com
SOURCE The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.