(CBS/AP) HARTFORD, Conn. - Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG) is exiting the annuity business so it can focus on its property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds businesses.
Its shares rose 3 percent in premarket trading.
The announcement on Wednesday comes a little over a month after hedge fund manager John Paulson urged Hartford to spin off its property and casualty insurance business.
Paulson's hedge fund, Paulson & Co. Inc., owns an 8.4 percent stake in Hartford.
Hartford says it will stop new annuity sales on April 27 and anticipates taking a $15 million to $20 million after-tax charge in the second quarter. Annual run-rate expenses are expected to decline by about $100 million, before taxes, starting next year.
The Hartford, Conn., company says it is looking to sell its individual life, Woodbury Financial Services and retirement plans.