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Hartford frustrated in bid to acquire

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc, the fourth-largest US insurer by assets, told Reuters it would like to acquire companies in North America but is finding it hard to identify willing sellers.

Hartford’s chief executive Ramani Ayer told the Reuters Finance Summit in New York on Monday that his firm is keen to buy in several product areas including the 401(k) retirement and group benefit sectors. Ayer said Hartford and other big insurers are keen to buy, but smaller players are reluctant to sell up.

„Partly, it is a willingness of sub-scale players to want to say ‘its time we rethought our long term strategy’,” said Ayer at the Reuters Summit. „It’s less (about) price - willingness is really the issue.” Ayer added: „People like their independence. They believe that they can acquire themselves.” (The full text at Reuters)