Aetna has announced that it has started negotiations with a view to moving its headquarters to the capital of Connecticut where it has been based for close to two centuries. The insurance giant’s chief executive officer, Mark Bertolini, disclosed that the firm was negotiating with a couple of states before deciding where to relocate. According to Bertolini, the goal is to broaden access to talent and innovation.
“We remain committed to our Connecticut-based employees and the Hartford campus, and hope to have a final resolution by early summer,” read a statement from Bertolini.
Aetna is the third-biggest health insurer in the United States and employs close to 50,000 people, of which 6,000 are based in Connecticut. It has been present in Hartford, Connecticut since 1819.
Dannel Malloy, the governor of Connecticut, has admitted that he has made efforts to ensure Aetna remains in the state. The governor revealed that he had offered incentives which included matching those presented by competing states with a view to ensuring the jobs and the headquarters remained in Connecticut. Malloy also added that he was willing to bolster the development of the workforce in line with the needs of Aetna besides improving transportation infrastructure.
The governor of Connecticut, however, acknowledged that he was yet to get a response from the health insurer and that most likely the company would be relocating its headquarters and moving jobs to a big urban center since Hartford could never compete with Boston or New York.
Besides Aetna, another big corporation that is moving out of Connecticut is General Electric. The conglomerate was headquartered in Fairfield but earlier last month broke ground at its designated new corporate headquarters which will be in Boston, Massachusetts. General Electric was lured to the state of Massachusetts with state incentives amounting to $120 million and a property tax relief of $25 million.
At the time of its founding, the insurer was known as Aetna Fire Insurance Co. The annuity department was split from the fire insurance business in 1853 and Aetna Life Insurance Co was born. When its current Hartford headquarters were opened in 1930, they were touted as Connecticut’s largest office building. The departure will be a big blow for Hartford as it is engulfed in a fiscal crisis. Earlier last month the city started soliciting attorneys just in case it was forced to file for bankruptcy.