Paulson Pushes Hartford Breakup

Feb 9 2012 | 3:55am ET

John Paulson yesterday launched a blistering attack on one of the country's largest insurers, calling on it to "do something drastic."

During a conference call for analysts and investors, Hartford Financial Services Group CEO Liam McGee said the firm was looking into splitting its life insurance and property-casualty businesses, but warned that such a move would present "significant challenges."

Those planned did not at all appease Paulson, whose Paulson & Co. is the Hartford's largest shareholder with an 8.7% stake and who just suffered the worst year, performance-wise, of his career.

"Hartford needs to do something drastic because the stock is the lowest valuation relative to book value of any major insurance company," Paulson said. "What I'd like to see you do is not merely come back and say, 'Yes, we're looking at strategic options but there's challenges.' How long do we have to wait to hear if there's going to be a positive recommendation to separate these two businesses?"

"What we need you to do is overcome the obstacles… not merely to point out that there's obstacles," Paulson continued. "You need a better explanation of what you're going to do to enhance shareholder value."

McGee told Paulson that he and his team share the hedge fund honcho's "sense of urgency about realizing greater value for shareholders." He added that he did not say that the obstacles to a split "were not surmountable," only that "we do not believe that splitting them in the current environment… will create shareholder value."


In Depth

Fitch Says Alternative Asset Managers 'Stable' Despite Dry Powder

Nov 20 2014 | 9:30am ET

Ratings agency Fitch says the outlook for seven publicly traded alternative asset...

Lifestyle

Cohen Buys $101 Million Sculpture

Nov 12 2014 | 9:17am ET

Steven Cohen was the sole bidder for a rare Alberto Giacometti sculpture at Sotheby...

Guest Contributor

Why The Big Money Is Going To Europe

Nov 14 2014 | 6:03am ET

Peer-to-peer lending was invented with the individual investor in mind. But despite...

 

Sponsored Content

    For Hedge Funds, Mastering Data Is Key To Success

    Nov 4 2014 | 9:45am ET

    Data management is important to every business, but for hedge funds, it is critical. FINalternatives recently asked Peter Sanchez, CEO of Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services, how fund managers can deal with the demands of managing data while at the same time remain transparent and abide by operational best practices. Read more…

Editor's Note

    Guidelines for Guest Articles

    Oct 22 2014 | 9:46am ET

    We are always looking for guest articles from hedge fund managers and buy-side firms.

    If you are interested in submitting a contributed piece for possible publication on FINalternatives, please take a look at the specs. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

November 2014 Cover

Building a better market

Reg NMS created a huge bifurcation in equity markets and while much of what has followed has been positive, in terms of lower fees and greater liquidity, many traders would like to see the market come...

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.