The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. announced the appointment of Liam McGee as chairman of the board of directors and CEO, effective Oct. 1, 2009. McGee comes to the insurer from Bank of America Corp., where he was president of the Consumer and Small Business Bank.

McGee succeeds life-long Hartford employee Ramani Ayer, who announced his intention to retire in June. Ayer will resign as chairman and CEO effective Oct.1, 2009 and will retire on Nov. 1, 2009, following a brief transition period. Ayer has served as chairman and CEO of The Hartford since February 1997.

"Liam's strong track record of success in leading large, complex financial services organizations makes him the ideal person to build on The Hartford's strong foundation," said Michael Morris, The Hartford's presiding director. "He has an outstanding combination of leadership skills, financial acumen and operational and technology experience, along with a demonstrated ability to evolve and profitably grow businesses in response to changing business environments and customer needs."

McGee stated, "The Hartford has a strong brand that has been associated with trust and integrity for 200 years, great business franchises, a talented team of employees and enduring relationships with distribution partners. In an environment of intense competition, technological innovation and changing consumer and business behavior, there are clear opportunities to create competitive advantages. By leveraging and building on The Hartford's strengths, we will enter our third century as an industry leader, well positioned to achieve the expectations of our customers, shareholders, partners and employees."

"Liam is a proven leader in the financial services industry with an outstanding set of skills, a deep appreciation of balancing risk and return, and broad experience in a variety of financial businesses,” Ayer said of his successor. “He also shares The Hartford's values, including product and customer service excellence, integrity, and a commitment to giving back to the communities in which we operate. I look forward to working with Liam to ensure a smooth transition."

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