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July 10, 2024

The Hartford announces leadership changes

Contributed Michael Fish, left, and H. Clay Bassett Jr.

The Hartford on Wednesday named successors for two executives who will retire at the end of the year.

The Hartford-based property and casualty insurer said it has appointed Michael Fish as head of Group Benefits. He will succeed Jonathan Bennett, who will retire at the end of 2024 after 25 years with the company. 

Fish, who currently serves as chief operating officer for Group Benefits, will report directly to Christopher Swift, The Hartford’s chairman and CEO.

The company also said it has appointed H. Clay Bassett Jr. as global chief underwriting officer and head of reinsurance, succeeding M. Ross Fisher, who also will retire at the end of 2024 after more than two decades with the company. 

Bassett is currently deputy global chief underwriting officer and head of Navigators Reinsurance, a brand of The Hartford. He will report to Beth Costello, The Hartford’s CFO. 

Both Fish and Bassett will “complete the transition to their new roles” by Oct. 1, the company said.

“Mike and Clay are a testament to the exceptional bench of leadership talent at The Hartford,” Swift said. “Promoting strong, experienced internal leaders allows us to seamlessly continue with our strategic plans and positions us well for future growth.”

Fish joined The Hartford in 2004 and previously served as head of Group Benefits Product and Strategy. He also led the Group Benefits underwriting organization and was responsible for the integration following The Hartford’s 2017 acquisition of Aetna’s U.S. Group Life and Disability business. Before joining The Hartford, Fish held various leadership roles at Unum Group.

Bassett joined The Hartford in May 2019 after the company acquired The Navigators Group Inc., where he had served as chief underwriting officer since joining that organization in 2008. Before that, he served as chief underwriting officer for Folksamerica Reinsurance Co., and held various underwriting management positions with Swiss Re, AIG and National Reinsurance Corp.

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