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Prudential Plans 275 New Jobs In City

By DIANE LEVICK, Courant Staff Writer

March 20, 2008

Prudential Retirement is adding 275 jobs in Hartford over five years and is expected to get a $4.6 million, 10-year state loan to help improve its downtown offices, the governor's office said Wednesday.

In addition, the Connecticut Development Authority's board approved a $900,000 exemption from the state's sales and use tax Wednesday to offset some of the cost of the construction work.

Prudential signed a new 10-year lease a year ago to stay at 280 Trumbull St., which came as welcome news to Hartford while MetLife was deciding to move 1,300 employees from the city to Bloomfield.

Now Prudential is investing $10 million in improving its space in the office tower and will lease two more floors, about 25,000 square feet as previously reported. The company currently occupies 10 floors in the 28-story tower.

Prudential Retirement currently has 778 employees in Hartford, and that includes some of the 275 new positions it's supposed to create as a condition of the state loan, said Bob DeFillippo, chief communications officer for parent Prudential Financial Inc.

Under the loan agreement, Prudential Retirement is supposed to maintain an annual average of 713 employees and add 275 positions. Those numbers are "full-time equivalents" so, for instance, two part-time positions could add up to one full-time equivalent.

To avoid penalties, the company must have 988 full-time equivalents in Hartford by Dec. 31, 2012, and must have sustained an average of 988 for 12 consecutive months before that date, said Peter Lent, assistant executive director of the Office of Business and Industry Development. That's part of the state Department of Economic and Community Development.

If Prudential fails to meet the employment obligation, the penalty would be based on how many employees short of the goal the company is about $4,655 per employee, Lent said.

If Prudential meets the employment goal, the state will forgive $2 million of the loan.

The new jobs will include sales positions and a variety of others, DeFillippo said.

The loan, which was in the works even before Prudential signed a new lease last year, will have a 1 percent interest rate. The loan is subject to approval by the State Bond Commission on March 28.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell said Wednesday the loan and tax exemption were arranged for Prudential because the state is doing everything it can to "attract, keep and nurture" companies in Connecticut.

"Connecticut's insurance and financial services sector, much like Prudential's iconic rock, has stood the test of time and endures as a cornerstone of our state's economy," Rell said.

Prudential's improvements at 280 Trumbull St. will include creating a new training facility and a client sales presentation center. A new cafeteria and cubicles are also part of the project, DeFillippo said.

Prudential Retirement, headquartered in Hartford, is part of Newark, N.J.-based Prudential Financial Inc. and sells retirement plans and services to employers. Prudential Retirement includes the retirement operations of CIGNA Corp., which Prudential Financial acquired in 2004.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
     
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