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Rating:Reorg Done, Hartford Hungers for Retail Growth Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, October 5, 2012

Reorg Done, Hartford Hungers for Retail Growth

Reported by Tommy Fernandez

With the reorganization of its operations largely completed, the mutual fund business of The Hartford [profile] is looking to grow in income-generating and alpha products.

"As our population continues to age, there is going to be a greater need for products that provide income," says Jeff Reiss, Hartford Mutual's senior vice president and head of national retail sales. "As they approach retirement age, people don't have a lot of options to find income without heavy risk."

That means over the next couple of months, Hartford and the portfolio managers at Wellington Management Co., which now serves as the sole subadvisor to The Hartford's nearly 60 mutual funds, will be on the drawing board drafting new ideas for income products.

Meanwhile, Reiss's firm is prepping to launch two funds: a quality bond fund and one focused on generating global alpha.

He is careful not to overuse the term alternatives.

"What is the best solution for income, actually it could be a wide variety of things," he says. "But at the end of the day that's what you have to provide."

A big part of The Hartford's strategy is to leverage Wellington's experience in managing a range of asset classes for institutional clients and grow these products in retail.

This follows through on the parent company's decision to realign some of the Hartford's mutual fund operations, strengthening the business' ties with Wellington. That reorganization, for example, included moving the mutual fund headquarters to Radnor, Pennsylvania, just a stone's throw from Wellington's office in Waggoner. This area is also where a majority of the business's sales employees live.

"A decision was made that for us to move forward, we needed to achieve synchronization, and tell one asset management story, with Wellington," Reiss said. "We needed to take advantage of Wellington's global capabilities and size."


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