Hartford CEO: 'Good' Market For 1-2 Years

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By Michael Ha

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NU Online News Service, Aug. 8, 2:55 p.m.EDT?Ramani Ayer, chief executive officer at HartfordFinancial Services Group Inc., told analysts that he expects a"good" insurance market for one to two more years.

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"As I look forward to the next one-to-two years in the p-cindustry, I am comfortable stating that the market should be a goodone," Mr. Ayer predicted.

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His comments on the industry outlook came during a conferencecall to discuss Hartford's second-quarter financial figures.

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Mr. Ayer observed that there is now "some increase incompetitive activity today among the more disciplined companies inthe industry." But he added, "At the same time, the favorablefactors that we have highlighted in previous calls are still inplace. Pricing and loss cost spreads remain positive. Reinsurancemarkets remain disciplined."

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This week, Hartford posted a $507 million second-quarter profit,nearly tripling the $185 million in income recorded one year ago(see NU, Hot News, Aug. 7). The company attributed theimprovement to investment gains and continuing rate hikes.

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