Chairman and CEO Ramani Ayer of The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. today announced he will retire at the end of this year. He's spent the past 12 years in the position.

Ayer wrote in a letter to stakeholders that even though he plans to retire by year's end, he will stay on until a replacement is found.

"It has been an extraordinary privilege to serve at The Hartford and lead this venerable, trusted organization," Ayer wrote. "For nearly 36 years, I have been honored to call The Hartford my home and I am proud of the culture of integrity, trust and service that is woven into the fabric of this outstanding organization. It has been a great honor to work with so many outstanding individuals and I want to thank you for your continued support and partnership."

Cathy Weatherford, CEO and president of NAVA, believes Ayer was instrumental in leaving the insurer well-position to deal with road ahead.
“The Hartford, like all institutions tied in some way to the financial sector, has suffered recently," she said in a statement. "With Ramani Ayer’s help, however, The Hartford is well-positioned to thrive in the future. I look forward to a new, dynamic head of The Hartford to take the helm next year and a smooth transition to take place. Americans rely on companies like The Hartford to bolster their retirement security through insured retirement solutions. And they’ll continue to count on them even more in the coming years as they look for flexibility and guarantees in these turbulent economic times.”

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