Aetna's headquarters leaving CT to move to NYC - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Aetna's headquarters leaving CT to move to NYC

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Aetna is moving its headquarters from Connecticut to 61 Ninth Ave. in New York City. (Aetna website) Aetna is moving its headquarters from Connecticut to 61 Ninth Ave. in New York City. (Aetna website)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

The CEO of Aetna announced the company is moving its headquarters to New York.

Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark T. Bertolini announced the headquarters will be in New York City starting in late 2018.  

“New York City is a knowledge economy hub and a driver of the innovations that will play a significant part in our ongoing transformation. 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," Bertolini said in a post on its website. 

Aetna is Hartford’s fourth-largest taxpayer, it paid nearly $8 million in taxes last year. It employs 6,000 Connecticut workers and has roots that stretch back in Hartford 164 years.

Gov. Dannel Malloy said Aetna "will move 250 jobs to New York City, the vast majority of their nearly 6,000 employees in Connecticut will stay here." 

"At the same time, this is an important reminder that to be competitive, Connecticut state government must immediately take the necessary steps to produce a balanced biennial budget with recurring measures to reduce spending and structural solutions to our long-term problems.  We must also continue to invest in the revitalization of our cities," Malloy said in a statement on Thursday. 

In the post on the website, Aetna said the move to New York "will have minimal impact on Aetna’s Connecticut-based associates." The company said they remain "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."

The company also 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. 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. From a very deep bench of top insurance talent to incredible school systems and a high quality of life for employees, Connecticut remains the insurance capital of the world for good reason," the governor's office said in a statement on the move. 

After it was first reported the insurance giant would be moving, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said it was clear from his conversations with the insurer’s leaders that they had been decided it a long time ago to relocate. Bronin said on Thursday that move "serves as a clear and powerful message to leaders of both political parties in Connecticut that we need to take bold action quickly." 

“The City of Hartford is finally seeing the start of the revitalization that eluded us for so long, and you can feel the new energy in the Capital City. But at the same time, Hartford and the State of Connecticut as a whole are facing fiscal crises that are decades in the making, and can’t be fixed with stop-gaps or band aids. I hope that, as a state, we can use the loss of Aetna’s flag as a rallying cry to put Connecticut on a sound fiscal path and position our cities – including Hartford – to be the strong, vibrant centers of growth that Connecticut needs and that our major employers demand," Bronin said in a statement on Thursday.

The governor also discussed how the move is affecting cities such as Hartford.

“My budget proposal this year is focused on not just protecting our cities, but in growing them, and making them even more dynamic and exciting places to work and to live.  Make no mistake – Hartford is experiencing a transformation with hundreds of new housing units, a major university campus moving downtown, and an arts and culture scene that grows more vibrant each and every day.  It is imperative that we act expeditiously in taking the necessary steps to address our long-term challenges head-on so that we are able to provide predictability for business and taxpayers alike," Malloy said. 

Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) called the move "disappointing" and "makes it clear that Aetna, like many job creators, is closely watching what happens at the state Capitol."

"Budget uncertainty and economic volatility is something that our state’s job creators cannot ignore, and something that without a doubt factors in to their business decisions. Connecticut is at a crossroads and now is the time to send a strong message that our state is committed to policies that create stability, predictability and growth. We need to make it clear that the policies that have driven our state into the ground have to end, and we need to adopt a budget that moves our state in a new direction," Fasano said in a statement on Thursday. 

Fasano said both Aetna and GE had "not been silent on their concerns." 

"In 2015, when huge tax increases were on the table, Aetna made it clear they saw that our state was ‘in danger of damaging its economic future by failing to address its budget obligation in a responsible way.’ They also said ‘such an action will result in Aetna looking to reconsider the viability of continuing major operations in the state.’  Unless we take measures to move Connecticut in a new direction, job creators like Aetna will continue to be faced with questions of whether it makes sense to continue growing in our state. Today they are moving their headquarters, but if nothing changes could more moves be in store? We cannot dismiss their move or comments as inconsequential. We have to recognize that now is the time for a significant shift in policy to better our state for all people, businesses and communities.”

Aetna already has operations in Harlem. New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo called Aetna's decision to move to New York "another testament to the Empire State’s extraordinary economic momentum."  

“New York has a deep, diverse talent pool and pro-growth environment that businesses need to succeed, and today more companies are choosing New York to grow and diversify their business. By relocating to New York and bringing another 250 jobs to the state, Aetna is sending a clear signal that New York is open for business," Cuomo said in a post on Aetna's website on Thursday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City "is where talent and technology come together."

"We’ve never been stronger, and that’s why companies like Aetna and their workers want to be here. We’re proud to support its move to the city,” de Blasio said in a post on Aetna's website on Thursday.

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