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The Hartford sells its individual annuity business
By Insure.com staff

The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. is selling its individual annuity business to Forethought Financial Group Inc., a Houston-based financial services company.

Forethought will purchase The Hartford's new business capabilities, including product management, distribution and marketing units, as well as the suite of individual annuity products currently sold.

The companies did not disclose financial terms of the agreement.

The agreement follows an announcement earlier this year that The Hartford would get out of the annuity business to focus on property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. At the time, the company said it also would look for alternatives for its individual life, Woodbury Financial Services and retirement plans businesses.

"Over the last 12 months, our individual annuity team has done a tremendous job rebuilding our market presence through differentiated products and best-in-class distribution," David Levenson, president of The Hartford's wealth management division, said in a press release. "Building on this track record, I am confident the business will thrive under Forethought's ownership."

Most of the employees who now support The Hartford's individual annuity new business capabilities will be offered positions with Forethought. As part of the agreement, The Hartford will continue to write new annuity products during a transition period, and Forethought will assume all expenses and risk for the sales through a reinsurance arrangement.

The agreement does not include The Hartford's in-force annuity book of business.

"Forethought is excited to expand further into the annuity business, given the growing demand for income products in retirement and the demographic trends unfolding in the United States," John Graf, Forethought chairman, president and CEO, said in a press statement.

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