Athletic Chief For Property-Casualty; The Hartford
July 17, 2009
Juan Andrade, a triathlete, sky diver and pilot, sprinted to the top of The Hartford's property and casualty insurance operations Thursday as he was promoted to president and chief operating officer of the massive business.
He succeeds Neal Wolin, who left The Hartford Financial Services Group in February for a White House position and is now deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Andrade, 43, a native of Colombia who came to the United States in 1975 and became a citizen in 1985, had been interim co-leader of the property-casualty operations with Jonathan Bennett since Wolin left.
The Hartford hired Andrade away from Progressive Insurance in 2006 and named him head of the property-casualty claims operation. He was named executive vice president for sales and distribution in 2008.
For years, he has been getting up at 4 a.m. to run, swim and bike and hopes to compete in two triathlons in August. Being so busy at a company with financial problems, he had to scale back in recent months.
"I still love to keep fit," he said in an interview Thursday. "It's the best way to keep my sanity and manage stress levels, frankly."
Ramani Ayer, The Hartford's chairman and chief executive officer, praised Andrade's role in the property-casualty unit's strong performance and said, "As a triathlete and a marathon runner, he has an innate competitive nature and an unmatched passion to win."
The business Andrade now heads, which has about 18,000 employees companywide, brought in $10.2 billion of revenue last year and $189 million of net income from ongoing operations. The Hartford, suffering from investment losses and lowered financial ratings, had considered selling the property-casualty unit this spring but decided to remain a property-casualty and life insurer.
Andrade, of Avon, takes the reins at a time commercial insurers are grappling with the recession and price wars, and competition remains stiff in the personal auto and homeowners business.
"Out of chaos, there's opportunity," Andrade said. "We're trying to do everything possible to position the company for the current circumstances but also for the turn in the market" for business insurance.
The Hartford, for instance, has heavily invested in new product development over the last 18 months and is expanding commercial insurance sales to more kinds of businesses, such as small and medium-sized hospitals, he said. The company is also now targeting sales of workers compensation, property and general liability insurance to solar and wind power businesses.
Andrade was Progressive's general manager for the Gulf region and national catastrophe leader, and held management positions at American International Group earlier in his career.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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