Aetna Moving Its Headquarters From Hartford To New York City
The insurance giant Aetna says it has chosen New York City as the site for its new headquarters. It will leave Hartford, its home for two centuries. Aetna is the second major corporation to leave Connecticut in the last two years.
GE moved its headquarters from Fairfield to Boston last year. Both GE and Aetna companies have complained about high corporate taxes in the state. Connecticut has a $5 billion shortfall in its next two-year budget, and the city of Hartford is facing bankruptcy.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said the city could learn from the loss of Aetna. “Both the state of Connecticut and the city of Hartford are facing unprecedented fiscal challenges that need to be dealt with in a long-term sustainable way. We are gonna do whatever is necessary to put this city on a long-term sustainable path.”*
Representative Themis Klarides, the leader of the Connecticut House Republicans, said, “Both of those companies when they left said the same thing. GE said we do not trust the vision of the leadership of the state of Connecticut. Aetna’s saying we’re keeping a very close eye on what leadership in the state of Connecticut does. Translation. We’re screwing up royally.”
Governor Dannel Malloy said the move shows Connecticut needs to invest more in its cities. Democratic House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz agreed, saying, “It goes to show lack of investment in our urban centers have a cost. They’re going to another place that young people want to be, that attract talent.”
Aetna says 250 of its 6,000 employees are moving to New York. Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini called New York City a knowledge hub and a driver of innovations.
In March, Aetna and two other Hartford companies committed a total of $10 million a year to the city over the next five years.