Hartford Eyes $2.5B Increase In Hedge Fund, Private Equity Investments

Sep 23 2011 | 11:21am ET

A major insurer is turning to alternative investments to do what bonds can't in this low interest-rate environment: boost returns.

The Hartford Financial Services Group plans to double its hedge fund and private equity investments, Bloomberg News reports. The firm will increase its alternative investments allocation from 2% to 4% over time, a jump of more than $2.5 billion based on the Hartford's $132 billion portfolio.

"We're taking cash and maturing bonds and we're starting to move those selectively into a variety of different alternative-asset vehicles," Gregory McGreevy, chief investment officer, said.

"We're attempting to put together a portfolio that's going to provide very solid returns under a variety of different market conditions."

McGreevy added that the Hartford may increase its alternatives bets even further that the planned doubling, depending on market conditions.

The insurer said it favors discretionary global and long/short hedge funds. On the private equity side, McGreevy said the Hartford would shy away from the largest funds in the industry, favoring middle-market funds.

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