The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. has appointed Juan Andrade, 43, president and chief operating officer of its Property and Casualty Operations, effective immediately. Andrade will continue to report directly to the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, Ramani Ayer, and will serve as a member of the Office of the Chairman.
Andrade has been serving as the interim P&C co-leader of The Hartford’s Property and Casualty Operations since February 2009. He plans to continue the work “we have already begun, with a focus on product development, technology and service,” he said. “I’ve had a hand in the strategy development since then (February) so this should be a pretty seamless transition,” he said.
As far Andrade’s priorities, he hopes to position the company well for changing market conditions in the P&C industry and economy. To accomplish this, he says it will take “a combination of continuing to invest in new products, technologies and to continue to maintain the world-class service that we already have.”
Andrade is no stranger to The Hartford organization. He joined the insurer in 2006, assuming leadership of the P&C claims organization. In that role, he transitioned the claims unit into a more focused and disciplined group, emphasizing enhanced customer service, greater employee engagement and increased efficiency. He was soon appointed to executive vice president for sales and distribution in 2008, where he expanded and enhanced the company’s relationships with its agents.
Prior to joining The Hartford, Andrade held several leadership positions with The Progressive Corporation, serving as general manager of the company’s Gulf Coast Region and, prior to that, the company’s Southern California, Colorado and Wyoming business units. He also held management positions with American International Group (AIG), working with worldwide consumer lines operations and holding responsibility for personal lines operations and multi-line business development in the Caribbean. Andrade began his career as a presidential management intern and went on to work on national security and foreign policy issues within the executive branch and the Executive Office of The President.
Andrade says under his leadership, he envisions an enterprise focused on execution and winning in the marketplace. “I think you’ll see a lot of creativity being displayed as far as the segments that we operate in and the products we put out in the marketplace,” he said. “And you are certainly going to see a tremendous amount of discipline in underwriting and focus on service.”
Despite challenging times and economic conditions, Andrade sees opportunities for The Hartford and the agents who work with the insurer.
“Even with the unprecedented economic conditions that we are all living in right now, there is opportunity,” Andrade said. He sees opportunity to take market share from competitors as more and more consumers display active “shopping behavior.”
“There is a lot more shopping behavior right now whether in the personal lines or commercial lines, and this is an area that we do feel we are properly placed from a product, rating and appetite standpoint to be able to take advantage of that,” he noted.
The Hartford Financial Services Group’s acceptance of federal bailout funds from the Capital Purchase Program (CPP) has only helped the insurer to position itself going forward, according to Andrade.
“Considering the volatility of the economy right now we felt it was a prudent thing to do,” he said. “From our perspective it’s just good to have a very solid capital cushion.”
He doesn’t believe that accepting the federal funds has in any way hurt the insurer either. “For the P&C company, our agents and employees continue to be phenomenally loyal to the company,” he said. And while The Hartford’s second quarter data has yet to be released, he said the company’s first quarter data shows business continues to be good. “If you look at our first quarter data, our new business was very good, account retention was very strong; I think that’s a very positive sign.”
What to Expect
Andrade describes himself as a “very hands-on leader” — someone that loves people. “I like to be outside, with our customers and employees,” he said. “I like to communicate with them.” He believes in transparency, accountability, and most importantly in getting great results with a strong focus on the customer.
“One of the things the industry will see from me is a focus on listening to our producers, and listening to our end customers to continue to improve,” he said.
One message he wants to reveal to The Hartford’s independent agency force is simple. “I would say thank you for your support and commitment to The Hartford,” especially over the last nine to 10 months. He also wants agents to know the insurer remains “financially strong and in a very good place.” He said, “we are competing very aggressively in the market everyday and look forward to growing our business.”
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