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Friday, August 1, 2014
Hartford Executive Dismissed for Comments on Herbalife
William Kelly Jr., a former vice president in the directors and officers group at insurer Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.HIG -1.07%, said he was fired last week for comments he made to MoneyBeat about the insurer’s deliberations on Herbalife Ltd.HLF -6.14% as a potential client.
Last week, Mr. Kelly told MoneyBeat that Herbalife had approached Hartford about purchasing a so-called directors-and-officers insurance policy, a type of insurance that covers legal costs when board members and senior executives get sued. Mr. Kelly said Hartford had ultimately decided not to provide Herbalife with that insurance.
Mr. Kelly made these comments on the sidelines of a presentation that short seller Bill Ackman gave about Herbalife. Mr. Ackman was attempting to cast further doubts on the company’s business model.
Mr. Kelly said that Hartford terminated him two days after he made these statements. He said the company said the information he provided to MoneyBeat was in violation of Hartford’s media policy.
Shannon Lapierre, a spokesperson for Hartford, declined to comment, noting that Hartford does not comment on personnel matters.
“The Hartford takes very seriously its obligations to protect The Hartford’s business information including that related to its customers and potential customers. We have a number of policies and procedures in place that address the protection of company information,” the company said in a statement.
Herbalife is a current client of Hartford for other types of insurances, a person familiar with Herbalife said.