The Hartford and The Phoenix Cos. have laid off another 285 Connecticut employees in cost-cutting efforts, bringing the total for the two insurers to 685 since late last year.
Both companies have suffered major investment losses, problems in their variable annuity businesses and multiple downgrades of their financial ratings.
The Hartford Financial Services Group said Friday it has cut 475 jobs in Connecticut since late 2008 and that more layoffs are likely this year. The company had previously reported about 125 job cuts late last year and said in May that another 200 local employees had been laid off this year.
The cuts announced so far will leave The Hartford with roughly 12,000 employees in Connecticut, said company spokeswoman Shannon Lapierre.
Phoenix said Friday that by late July or early August, it will have eliminated 210 jobs in Hartford, including 75 it had confirmed in April. The tally companywide will be 380 positions, or 35 percent of the 1,100 employees it had at the end of 2008, Phoenix said.
The actions will leave Phoenix with about 720 employees, including roughly 400 in Hartford.
Phoenix was originally expected to cut about 25 percent of its work force and slash expenses by $65 million a year. However, company spokeswoman Alice Ericson said Phoenix, which lost its major distributors and saw sales plummet, is aiming at greater expense savings.
Lapierre, commenting on The Hartford's layoffs, said Friday, "We have significantly reduced expenses related to travel, outside consultants and other non-salary areas, but have also unfortunately had some work force reductions as a result of our efforts."
The layoffs are part of The Hartford's efforts to reduce annual expenses by $250 million a year by the end of 2009.
The company has taken other steps to preserve and boost its capital, including getting $3.4 billion in federal bailout funds.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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