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Categorized | Business, Neighborhood

Hartford Mayor Reacts to Aetna’s Move

HARTFORD — Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin released a statement Wednesday in response that Aetna is leaving the city and will move to another state

“Based on multiple conversations with Aetna’s senior leadership, I think it is clear that Aetna decided a long time ago to relocate their corporate headquarters out of Connecticut,” Bronin said. “They have said that Aetna remains committed to its Connecticut work force, and that the Hartford campus will continue to be a substantial employment base for thousands of Aetna employees. But losing Aetna’s flag is a hard blow for the state and for the greater Hartford region.”

Aetna’s potential plans were all the buzz around Hartford Wednesday after former politician-turned-commentator Kevin Rennie wrote in his blog that “New York is far ahead of Boston in the competition for Hartford-based Aetna’s new headquarters … After 164 years in Hartford, the insurance giant invited proposals from Boston and New York. The city that never sleeps is soon expected to win a public acknowledgement of its victory.”

Added Bronin, “As a state, we need to act boldly to change the things that need to change. Across the country, companies are locating in places where they can recruit top talent. We don’t have to be New York or Boston to be competitive, but we have to recognize that strong, fiscally-sound, culturally-vibrant metropolitan areas are key to economic growth. Connecticut has the opportunity to be one of those places, but we need to marshal the full strength of our region and our State to invest in a strong, vibrant Capital City – not at the expense of our suburbs and small towns, but for the sake of Connecticut’s economic future, because we’re all tied together.”

Aetna communications officials shared a statement regarding the insurance giant,a pillar of business in Hartford since 1853.

“We are in negotiations with several states regarding a headquarters relocation, with the goal of broadening our access to innovation and the talent that will fill knowledge economy-type positions,” the statement read. “We remain committed to our Connecticut-based employees and the Hartford campus, and hope to have a final resolution by early summer.”

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a news briefing on Wednesday that the state is prepared to match “every incentive offered by as competing state.”

He said Hartford will “never be a New York or a Boston … and that is fine,” while pointing to urban renewal efforts like expanding the University of Connecticut’s presence and increasing housing options.

He said he is prepared to offer tax and regulatory incentives and still believes Aetna will maintain a presence in the state. In all, Aetna offers 5,800 jobs, he said.

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