(Bloomberg) — Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Christopher Swift was named to the additional post of chairman in a transition that occurred earlier than the insurer had initially planned.

Swift, 53, replaces former CEO Liam McGee, 60, as chairman, according to a statement today from Hartford, the insurer based in the Connecticut city of the same name. The company said in June that McGee would serve as chairman until the 2015 shareholders' meeting. The annual gatherings are usually held in May.

"Over the past six months, the Hartford has executed a seamless and highly successful leadership transition," Thomas A. Renyi, independent presiding director for Hartford, said in the statement. "This is the optimal governance structure for the organization to continue to deliver against its business strategy."

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