The Hartford's CEO Attributes Company's Success to Well-Executed Strategies

Ayer Reflects on Accomplishments and Goals at Annual Shareholders' Meeting



Apr 19, 2001, 01:00 ET from The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.

    ATLANTA, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The year 2000 was a great one for The
 Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE:   HIG), its shareholders,
 business partners and employees -- a result of well-executed business
 strategies that enabled the company to once again deliver quality, consistent
 earnings.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19990824/HIGLOGO )
     Speaking to shareholders at the company's annual meeting here, Ramani
 Ayer, The Hartford's chairman and CEO, said the company exceeded its
 double-digit ROE target, earnings growth surpassed those of nearly 60 percent
 of the S & P 500, and total assets under management climbed to $183 billion.
 In addition, The Hartford's stock price nearly doubled.
     "These results reflect continued strong performances by our life company,
 complemented by improved results in property casualty operations."
     A highlight of the year was the buyback of the publicly held shares of
 Hartford Life, today the third-largest life insurance group based on statutory
 assets.  Hartford Life has been the leading writer of individual variable
 annuity products for the last eight years.
     "The Hartford Life transaction illustrates a key strategy of aggressive,
 yet opportunistic, capital allocation," Ayer said.
     Additionally, The Hartford:
     * Signed a multi-year agreement with Sears to offer auto, homeowners and
       other personal insurance products to 60 million Sears customers;
     * Formed an exclusive alliance with USAA to offer small business insurance
       to its members, a target market of nearly 400,000 business owners; and
     * Completed the purchase of the financial products and the majority of the
       excess and surplus lines of Reliance Group Holdings, Inc., making The
       Hartford the third-largest domestic writer of directors and officers
       liability products. The acquisition also expanded the company's errors
       and omissions coverages for business customers.
 
     "During the year we realigned the use of capital in our international
 businesses to focus on investment and asset accumulation products in high-
 growth markets," said Ayer, noting that the company "shifted capital to Japan,
 taking advantage of that country's demographic trends" and penetrated the
 underserved market for retirement savings products through a powerful platform
 for annuity sales.
     "We also have used capital to build technology platforms and systems that
 will keep us ahead of the competition," Ayer added.
     The company is seizing marketplace opportunities by aligning with current
 trends, said Ayer.  "Our range of life products covers the protection, wealth
 accumulation and asset-transfer needs of the nation's older -- and generally
 more affluent -- population.  And our leadership in providing insurance for
 the fast-growing small business segment shows that we are able to focus and
 succeed in growing markets."
     This year promises to be equally exciting.  Earlier this month The
 Hartford completed the acquisition of the individual life insurance, annuity
 and mutual fund businesses of Fortis, Inc. for $1.12 billion.  "Fortis adds
 approximately $11 billion in assets under management (as of December 31, 2000)
 and increases our scale in three strategically important segments of Hartford
 Life," said Ayer.
     In the variable life arena, the acquisition:
     * Nearly doubles the number of life policies and broadens the company's
       reach among the emerging affluent market;
     * Adds product manufacturing capacity and complements The Hartford's
       distribution clout with a new platform of independent producers; and
     * Moves the company up to number three in variable life sales.
 
     In annuities, the acquisition:
     * Leverages The Hartford's low-cost operating platform, resulting in
       significant cost savings; and
     * Strengthens the company's first-place position in individual variable
       annuity sales.
 
     In mutual funds, Fortis
     * Adds $4 billion in mutual fund assets;
     * Expands the company's product offerings;
     * Contributes a valuable transfer agent capability; and
     * Broadens The Hartford's distribution network with approximately 2,400
       independent producers.
 
     "I believe our shareholders and employees should be proud of the progress
 we've made and look to the future, as I do, with excitement and enthusiasm,"
 said Ayer.
     The Hartford (NYSE:   HIG) is one of the nation's largest insurance and
 financial services companies, with 2000 revenues of $14.7 billion.  As of
 December 31, 2000, The Hartford had assets of $171.5 billion and shareholders'
 equity of $7.5 billion.  The company is a leading provider of investment
 products, individual life insurance and group benefits; automobile and
 homeowners products; commercial property and casualty insurance; and
 reinsurance.
     The Hartford's Internet address is www.thehartford.com.
 
     Certain statements made in this release should be considered forward
 looking information as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
 of 1995.  The Hartford cautions investors that any such forward-looking
 statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results may
 differ materially.  Investors are directed to consider the risks and
 uncertainties in our business that may affect future performance and that are
 discussed in readily available documents, including the company's annual
 report and other documents filed by The Hartford with the Securities and
 Exchange Commission.  These uncertainties include the possibility of general
 economic and business conditions that are less favorable than anticipated,
 changes in interest rates or the stock markets, stronger than anticipated
 competitive activity, and more frequent or severe natural catastrophes than
 anticipated.
 
 

SOURCE The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
    ATLANTA, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The year 2000 was a great one for The
 Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE:   HIG), its shareholders,
 business partners and employees -- a result of well-executed business
 strategies that enabled the company to once again deliver quality, consistent
 earnings.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19990824/HIGLOGO )
     Speaking to shareholders at the company's annual meeting here, Ramani
 Ayer, The Hartford's chairman and CEO, said the company exceeded its
 double-digit ROE target, earnings growth surpassed those of nearly 60 percent
 of the S & P 500, and total assets under management climbed to $183 billion.
 In addition, The Hartford's stock price nearly doubled.
     "These results reflect continued strong performances by our life company,
 complemented by improved results in property casualty operations."
     A highlight of the year was the buyback of the publicly held shares of
 Hartford Life, today the third-largest life insurance group based on statutory
 assets.  Hartford Life has been the leading writer of individual variable
 annuity products for the last eight years.
     "The Hartford Life transaction illustrates a key strategy of aggressive,
 yet opportunistic, capital allocation," Ayer said.
     Additionally, The Hartford:
     * Signed a multi-year agreement with Sears to offer auto, homeowners and
       other personal insurance products to 60 million Sears customers;
     * Formed an exclusive alliance with USAA to offer small business insurance
       to its members, a target market of nearly 400,000 business owners; and
     * Completed the purchase of the financial products and the majority of the
       excess and surplus lines of Reliance Group Holdings, Inc., making The
       Hartford the third-largest domestic writer of directors and officers
       liability products. The acquisition also expanded the company's errors
       and omissions coverages for business customers.
 
     "During the year we realigned the use of capital in our international
 businesses to focus on investment and asset accumulation products in high-
 growth markets," said Ayer, noting that the company "shifted capital to Japan,
 taking advantage of that country's demographic trends" and penetrated the
 underserved market for retirement savings products through a powerful platform
 for annuity sales.
     "We also have used capital to build technology platforms and systems that
 will keep us ahead of the competition," Ayer added.
     The company is seizing marketplace opportunities by aligning with current
 trends, said Ayer.  "Our range of life products covers the protection, wealth
 accumulation and asset-transfer needs of the nation's older -- and generally
 more affluent -- population.  And our leadership in providing insurance for
 the fast-growing small business segment shows that we are able to focus and
 succeed in growing markets."
     This year promises to be equally exciting.  Earlier this month The
 Hartford completed the acquisition of the individual life insurance, annuity
 and mutual fund businesses of Fortis, Inc. for $1.12 billion.  "Fortis adds
 approximately $11 billion in assets under management (as of December 31, 2000)
 and increases our scale in three strategically important segments of Hartford
 Life," said Ayer.
     In the variable life arena, the acquisition:
     * Nearly doubles the number of life policies and broadens the company's
       reach among the emerging affluent market;
     * Adds product manufacturing capacity and complements The Hartford's
       distribution clout with a new platform of independent producers; and
     * Moves the company up to number three in variable life sales.
 
     In annuities, the acquisition:
     * Leverages The Hartford's low-cost operating platform, resulting in
       significant cost savings; and
     * Strengthens the company's first-place position in individual variable
       annuity sales.
 
     In mutual funds, Fortis
     * Adds $4 billion in mutual fund assets;
     * Expands the company's product offerings;
     * Contributes a valuable transfer agent capability; and
     * Broadens The Hartford's distribution network with approximately 2,400
       independent producers.
 
     "I believe our shareholders and employees should be proud of the progress
 we've made and look to the future, as I do, with excitement and enthusiasm,"
 said Ayer.
     The Hartford (NYSE:   HIG) is one of the nation's largest insurance and
 financial services companies, with 2000 revenues of $14.7 billion.  As of
 December 31, 2000, The Hartford had assets of $171.5 billion and shareholders'
 equity of $7.5 billion.  The company is a leading provider of investment
 products, individual life insurance and group benefits; automobile and
 homeowners products; commercial property and casualty insurance; and
 reinsurance.
     The Hartford's Internet address is www.thehartford.com.
 
     Certain statements made in this release should be considered forward
 looking information as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
 of 1995.  The Hartford cautions investors that any such forward-looking
 statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results may
 differ materially.  Investors are directed to consider the risks and
 uncertainties in our business that may affect future performance and that are
 discussed in readily available documents, including the company's annual
 report and other documents filed by The Hartford with the Securities and
 Exchange Commission.  These uncertainties include the possibility of general
 economic and business conditions that are less favorable than anticipated,
 changes in interest rates or the stock markets, stronger than anticipated
 competitive activity, and more frequent or severe natural catastrophes than
 anticipated.
 
 SOURCE  The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.