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Rating:Hartford Hires Wachovia Vet to Head Mutual Fund and 529 Business Not Rated 2.3 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, November 05, 2007

Hartford Hires Wachovia Vet to Head Mutual Fund and 529 Business

News summary by MFWire's editors

The Hartford is getting serious about its mutual fund business. Keith Sloane has been hired for the newly created position of senior vice president where he will lead the company’s mutual fund and 529 college savings businesses. Sloane was previously at Wachovia Securities where he was most recently managing director of product marketing. This follows comments made today at the Reuters' Finance Summit by Hartford chief executive Ramani Ayer that he would like to see the company's mutual fund AUM double in the near future. Also Ayer hinted that Hartford may be looking at acquisitions for future growth.

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: HIG) mutual fund family has surpassed $50 billion in assets under management as of October 1, 2007, doubling in less than three years and up 38% from just one year ago. Retail mutual fund sales for the company are at an all-time high, reaching $10.8 billion through the third quarter of 2007, up 35% from the same period in 2006. The Hartford’s mutual fund family was recently ranked as the fastest growing non-proprietary fund family to reach $50 billion in assets1.

The continued growth of The Hartford’s funds and other investment products brings with it a major appointment: Keith Sloane, a 23-year investment industry veteran, will assume the newly created position of senior vice president to lead the company’s mutual fund and 529 college savings businesses.

“Hitting these new asset and sales milestones and welcoming Keith to our powerful team mark two very important developments for our growing mutual fund business,” said Rob Arena, senior vice president for the Retail Products Group at The Hartford. “We have great ambitions for our mutual fund business and believe we have the momentum, products, and talent to continue to expand our position in the industry.”

The Hartford has seen substantial investor interest in an array of its mutual funds this year. In particular, The Hartford Capital Appreciation II Fund and The Hartford Growth Opportunities Fund have seen significant growth in net flows this year, while The Hartford Checks and Balances Fund, launched in June of this year, is off to a strong start in its first four months with net flows of $167 million through September 30, 2007. Investment performance has also been solid. All of The Hartford’s Morningstar-rated mutual funds have a rating of average or above, while close to half (47%) have a 4 or 5 star rating (on a load-waived basis). In addition, The Hartford’s fund family consistently outperforms its peer group, with 82% of funds outperforming their respective Lipper peer group over a five year period2. The company’s funds are sub-advised by two highly regarded institutional money managers – Wellington Management Company, LLP and Hartford Investment Management Company. The addition of Keith Sloane will help The Hartford drive continued growth, senior executives say. Sloane has spent his entire career in a variety of retail investment product and marketing roles. He joins The Hartford’s Retail Products Group team after spending 12 years at Wachovia Securities where he was most recently Managing Director of Product Marketing. At Wachovia, Sloane led the mutual fund business as well as marketing and product efforts for a wide range of financial products, including 529 college savings plans. Prior to joining Wachovia Securities, Sloane held leadership positions at PaineWebber for eleven years and played a significant role in growing the proprietary asset management and mutual fund businesses. At The Hartford, Sloane will work to grow the mutual fund and 529 businesses as well as to drive the innovation that has been a hallmark of the company. “This is a very exciting time to join Hartford’s mutual fund and 529 businesses,” said Sloane. “I believe we have tremendous opportunity to accelerate our growth with such outstanding performance across the fund line-up and a strong and well-respected brand backing us up. With a suite of high-quality products, The Hartford is positioned to be a leader in helping investors meet their many financial goals and income needs.” From the introduction of seven mutual funds in 1996, The Hartford’s mutual fund line-up expanded to 54 funds this year. In 2007, the fund line-up added an asset allocation fund – The Hartford Checks and Balances Fund – and two fixed income funds – The Hartford Strategic Income Fund and The Hartford High Yield Municipal Bond Fund. These funds tap the research strength and expertise of Hartford Investment Management Company, which is focused on developing strategies that help investors plan for retirement and build sources of income in retirement. “The Hartford’s fund family is in the midst of a tremendous growth phase,” said Arena. “Through a focus on performance, people and product, we intend to continue to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations.” The Hartford, a Fortune 100 company, is one of the nation's largest financial services and insurance companies, with 2006 revenues of $26.5 billion. The Hartford is a leading provider of investment products, life insurance and group benefits; automobile and homeowners products; and business property and casualty insurance. International operations are located in Japan, Brazil and the United Kingdom. The Hartford's Internet address is www.thehartford.com.  

Edited by: Erin Kello

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