Hartford Expands Professional Liability to London; Best, S&P Rate New Unit

November 7, 2007

The Hartford Financial Services Group announced that it is expanding its existing international professional liability underwriting capabilities with the opening of a new office in London.

Following the success of its U.S. professional liability program, launched in 2001, Hartford sought and received approval from the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority to establish a subsidiary operation in London.

The new company, Hartford Financial Products International Ltd. (HFPI), began underwriting through broker channels on November 1, 2007. “It is also the company’ s intention to exercise passport rights under the EU directives, subject to completion of the associated regulatory requirements,” the bulletin added.

Hartford’s London unit will benefit from the backing of its U.S. parent. In assigning HFPI a financial strength rating (FSR) of ‘A+’ (Superior) and an issuer credit rating (ICR) of “aa-” A.M. Best noted: “The ratings of HFPI reflect the implementation of an inter-company quota share reinsurance agreement (retroactive to July 1, 2007), whereby HFPI cedes 80 percent of its net retained liability to Hartford Fire Insurance Company (Hartford, CT), a member of the Hartford Insurance Pool.”

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services assigned HFPI its ‘AA-‘ financial strength rating, noting that it is a “U.K.-domiciled insurance company wholly owned by Nutmeg Insurance Co. (Nutmeg; AA-/Stable), a U.S. insurance company and a member of the Hartford Fire Intercompany Pool.” Both rating agencies also assigned a stable outlook.

S&P credit analyst John Iten noted that the “rating is based on the strong business rationale for creating this company; the experience Hartford has in the business to be written by HFPI, which is international directors and officers insurance; the historically strong profitability of this book of business; strong stand-alone capitalization; and the strong explicit support provided by Hartford in the form of quota share reinsurance.”

David McElroy, head of Hartford Financial Products, the Group’s management liability underwriting unit noted that the “extension of our current underwriting capabilities will better position us with our international customers and worldwide distributors. Over the past five years we have successfully underwritten international professional liability insurance under the leadership of Anthony Zinicola, a vice president of HFP. This move will allow us to more effectively grow and diversify the company’ s overall international portfolio by being situated in London and closer to historically important markets.”

The new office will be located in The Corn Exchange, at 55 Mark Lane, London EC3R 7NE, and will be headed by Stephen P. Minihan, managing director. Christopher G. Magee will be the chief underwriting officer. Mr. Minihan can be reached at 44 207 481 7764 or via email at sminihan@thehartford.com. Mr. Magee can be reached at 44 207 481 7760 or via email at chris.magee@thehartford.com.

Source: The Hartford – www.thehartford.com

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