St. Paul Tightens Belt; Dumps Medical Malpractice

The St. Paul Companies last week announced fourth-quarter actions to improve profitability that include exiting medical malpractice, shedding unprofitable segments in its international unit, leaving some reinsurance lines and reducing corporate overhead by eliminating about 750 staff positions worldwide.

Jay S. Fishman, St. Paul's chairman and chief executive officer of eight weeks, said the actions are "economically rather than emotionally" driven. He said through its due diligence efforts, the company recognized that the core of the company, "where it should be directing resources, is a remarkably strong U.S. franchise with agents."

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