Liam E. McGee, The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.

Liam E. McGee

Trustworthiness, Stability, and Integrity

Editors’ Note

Liam McGee joined The Hartford in September 2009. Prior to this, he spent more than three decades as a business leader, most recently serving as president of the Consumer and Small Business Banking for Bank of America Corporation. Before joining Bank of America in 1990, he held several senior positions at Wells Fargo. McGee is a member of the Business Roundtable and The Geneva Association, and serves on the board of Catalyst, the American Insurance Association, The Financial Services Roundtable, and the University of San Diego. He has acted as Chairman of the United Way of Greater Los Angeles and served two terms as a director of the Los Angeles branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. A native of County Donegal, Ireland, McGee grew up in Southern California and is a graduate of the University of San Diego. He earned an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University and holds a J.D. from Loyola Law School.

Company Brief

The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (www.thehartford.com) was founded in 1810 and is based in the U.S. A leading provider of insurance and wealth management services for millions of consumers and businesses worldwide, the company is consistently recognized for its superior service, its sustainability efforts, and as one of the world’s most ethical companies.

What makes The Hartford brand so special?

At The Hartford, we measure success and longevity in centuries. During our 202-year history, The Hartford has insured several of the nation’s most famous construction projects, among them the Golden Gate Bridge and the Hoover Dam. We have paid claims related to some of the nation’s largest disasters, such as the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, and more recently, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina. Abraham Lincoln, Buffalo Bill Cody, Babe Ruth, and Dwight D. Eisenhower were among the notable Hartford policyholders.

The Hartford is both an iconic and a contemporary company. Customers know The Hartford will deliver on its promises and that will never change. To fully understand and respond to customers’ and partners’ changing needs, we are striving to build a workforce that mirrors the marketplace and our local communities. For The Hartford, the pursuit of diversity and inclusion is a business imperative.

How challenging is it to differentiate in such a competitive industry?

One of The Hartford’s points of differentiation is our brand, which stands above all for trustworthiness, stability, and integrity. The company’s stag logo is one of the most recognized symbols in the financial services industry. The integrity of our brand is supported by the recognition we have received from the Ethisphere Institute, which recently named The Hartford one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies”, for the fifth year in a row, citing our commitment to ethical practices, environmental stewardship, and community involvement.

Doing what is right also extends to the environment. By integrating sound environmental practices into our operations, our goal is to reduce energy use and contribute to a cleaner environment. In 2011, Newsweek ranked The Hartford 12th in its Green Rankings.

Would you highlight the importance of corporate responsibility efforts to the company and where you focus your support?

Our support of the communities where we live and work is central to our corporate social responsibility efforts. Hartford’s Asylum Hill neighborhood has been home to our company’s headquarters for more than 90 years. We strive to make a lasting difference by partnering with community leaders to focus resources on revitalizing the neighborhood, educating children, and developing outreach programs.

Is it important that your corporate social responsibility efforts align with the business?

The Hartford’s corporate social responsibility efforts are shaped by our core values and our belief that everyone should have the opportunity to live rich, productive lives. Underscoring this belief is our commitment to the U.S. Paralympics as a Founding Partner.

Other CSR examples include our support of emergency preparedness projects like Junior Fire Marshall and the American Red Cross’ “Ready When the Time Comes”, as well as educational programs like Teach for America and Junior Achievement (JA). It’s important to support initiatives that help develop a talented, qualified, and diverse work force.

Junior Achievement also has a connection to The Hartford’s small commercial business. We have hosted several JA “Be Entrepreneurial” symposiums to help local high school students develop their financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills. The Hartford, which works with more than 1.2 million small businesses, is committed to helping entrepreneurs succeed, which can begin in the classroom.

In addition, The Hartford is committed to helping customers support the environment. We have been insuring renewable energy risks (including solar, wind, and geothermal) for more than 20 years. Customers with hybrid or electric vehicles can receive a five percent auto insurance discount, and we have expanded insurance coverage to include green building initiatives and home-based electric-vehicle chargers. We also installed electric-vehicle chargers at our Connecticut offices.

You are headquartered in Connecticut. What are the key advantages that the state offers for businesses?

The state’s long history of ingenuity, innovation, and entrepreneurship has spurred the growth of many world-class businesses in a variety of industries, including insurance, financial services, manufacturing, and biopharmaceuticals. This culture of innovation continues to keep Connecticut on the cutting edge of new ideas and technologies.

Connecticut is also close to the financial markets of New York and Boston, and is known for the quality of its workforce and excellent academic institutions that produce highly skilled graduates. In addition, Connecticut is a beautiful and culturally rich place in which to live, work, and raise a family.

Governor Malloy has emphasized the importance of a strong public/private partnership. Are you happy with how this relationship has progressed?

The Hartford enjoys an excellent working relationship with Governor Malloy and his Administration. We applaud the Governor for taking on tough problems like the state’s finances, job growth, and education reform. The Hartford has been supportive of the Administration’s goals as they have addressed these issues.

In June, we partnered with the Connecticut Business & Industry Association and the MetroHartford Alliance to present a conference for entrepreneurs and small business owners. We want to make sure Connecticut’s entrepreneurs have the tools to grow and provide a long-lasting boost to economic recovery. Another proud accomplishment is the demolition of the blighted Capitol West building in Hartford’s Asylum Hill neighborhood. We are proud to partner with the city of Hartford to help raze the building and replace it with an inviting green space.•