After months of rumors, Aetna announced Thursday it will move its corporate headquarters out of Hartford and to New York City late next year.
The insurance industry leader had been in Connecticut's capital city since 1853.
"The decision is a meaningful investment in Aetna’s future, and a key step in evolving from an insurer to a health company focused on consumers and their communities," Aetna said in a statement Thursday.
“New York City is a knowledge economy hub, and a driver of the innovations that will play a significant part in our ongoing transformation,” said Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark T. Bertolini. “Many of the roles in our new office will be filled by innovators from the area’s deep talent pool, which will be an invaluable resource as we consider additional investments in the city going forward.”
The loss of Aetna's headquarters is another blow to the corporate community in Connecticut. General Electric recently vacated its headquarters in Fairfield and moved to Boston in a similar bid for new employee talent.
But the move will have minimal impact on Aetna’s Connecticut-based associates.
"The company remains committed to its Hartford campus and the thousands of associates based there, in addition to other established locations throughout the country and around the globe," Aetna said. "Several of Aetna’s key businesses will remain primarily based in Hartford."
"Connecticut has a long history with Aetna and we appreciate that thousands of their employees will continue to work and live here in the state," Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement. "While Hartford may not be New York City,we are proud of the city's revitalization. Hartford provides a strong foundation for any company in the insurance sector, large or small."
Beginning in late 2018, Aetna will be moving to its new corporate headquarters at 61 Ninth Ave. in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood.
Aetna already has an established presence in the city, including operations in Harlem.
Aetna also said long-term commitment to Connecticut will be based on the state’s economic health.
"The company remains hopeful that lawmakers will come to an agreement that puts Connecticut on sound financial footing, and that the state will support needed reforms to make Hartford a vibrant city once again," Aetna said.
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