HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–
The Hartford mourns the loss of Liam E. McGee, the company’s former Chairman, President and CEO. Mr. McGee passed peacefully the night of February 13, following a courageous battle with cancer.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our colleague and dear friend, Liam McGee, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to Liam’s family during this difficult time,” said Thomas A. Renyi, Presiding Director of The Hartford. “Liam was a man of commitment, integrity and compassion, and we were fortunate to have him join The Hartford during a challenging time in the company’s history. Liam made the tough decisions necessary to guide the company through this period, with an unwavering focus on what was best for our company, our customers, our employees, our shareholders and our community.”
Chris Swift, The Hartford’s Chairman and CEO, added, “Thanks to Liam’s leadership and tireless efforts, the company has completed a strategic and financial transformation and is well positioned for future success and prosperity. His vision of The Hartford as an exceptional company, celebrated for financial performance, character and customer value will continue to be a guiding principle for all of our colleagues. We are grateful for Liam’s many contributions to our company and our community along with his guidance, wisdom and friendship.”
Liam E. McGee most recently served as Executive Chairman of The Hartford, a position from which he stepped down on January 5, 2015, and previously held the additional roles of Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Hartford from October 1, 2009, through July 1, 2014. Before joining The Hartford, McGee spent more than three decades as a financial services business leader, most recently serving as president of the Consumer and Small Business Bank for Bank of America Corporation. In that role, he oversaw the bank’s more than 5,000 branches, then the largest network in the nation.
“Liam was a true visionary,” said Ken Lewis, former Chairman and CEO of Bank of America, where McGee held executive positions for more than two decades. “He had ideas about how things should be and would be in the future that were special and unique to him. He had an amazing ability to convey that vision; help others see their role in it and follow his leadership to achieve amazing results. We gave him huge challenges at Bank of America and had high expectations for what he would do. He exceeded those high expectations every time and left an indelible imprint on all with whom he worked. Liam was my good friend; a man I admired. I will miss him greatly.”
Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy acknowledged Liam’s substantial contributions as a business and community leader, saying, “Liam set two missions when he came here, saving a great American company and improving the city in which it is headquartered. He accomplished both.”
Liam recently received the distinguished appointment of Professor in Residence at the University of San Diego, his alma mater, in both their School of Law and School of Business Administration. “With the passing of Liam McGee, the University of San Diego community has lost a great leader and cherished friend,” offered Mary E. Lyons, president of McGee’s alma mater, the University of San Diego. “A distinguished alumnus, trustee, Board Chair, and benefactor, Liam leaves an indelible impact on our university. His legacy is much more than his achievements; it is also his personal witness to the mission and values that shape his beloved university. Liam was a singular source of wisdom and good counsel for me personally, thus his absence is keenly felt. I know that the university community offers its continued support for Lori, Liam’s children, and extended family.”
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Liam E. McGee Memorial Fund in support of the Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center at Hartford Hospital, 80 Seymour Street, Hartford, CT 06102, or online at https://giving.harthosp.org/tributegift or Junior Achievement of Southwest New England, 70 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, CT 06105.
About Liam E. McGee
Liam E. McGee served as Executive Chairman of The Hartford, a position from which he stepped down on January 5, 2015, and previously held the additional roles of Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Hartford from October 1, 2009, through July 1, 2014. Over this period, McGee successfully led a financial turnaround and strategic transformation that have resulted in a strong, sharply focused company, positioned for profitable growth, with a significantly reduced risk profile. According to Fortune magazine, “Few turnarounds have been as remarkable as The Hartford’s under CEO Liam McGee.”
In October 2009, when McGee was appointed The Hartford’s Chairman and CEO, the company faced significant financial and strategic challenges. He took bold, thoughtful actions to strengthen the company’s financial position, enhance risk management, build a high-performing, collaborative leadership team and reposition the company for future growth and long-term shareholder value creation.
McGee took an active leadership role in the Asylum Hill community where The Hartford has been headquartered for nearly 100 years. In 2010, the company announced a $7 million, five-year investment in the local neighborhood to attack blight, rebuild homes, nurture and educate children, support families and encourage independence.
Offered Louis J. Golden, President and CEO of Junior Achievement of Southwest New England, “Liam McGee, whose life embodied the success inherent in the American Dream, was dedicated to inspiring, educating and providing opportunities to young people. His enthusiastic support of Junior Achievement, one of the many causes he championed, is testimony to his belief that a corporation can use its resources to strengthen the communities it serves and work toward a bright future for all people.”
Since resigning as The Hartford’s Chairman and CEO, McGee and his family relocated to his home state of California. In addition to his continued advisory role with The Hartford, McGee was actively writing and mentoring CEOs of not-for-profit organizations, based on his own lessons learned. Liam received the distinguished appointment of Professor in Residence at the University of San Diego, his alma mater, in both their School of Law and School of Business Administration.
“Liam offered personal experiences from his career, helped problem-solve in real time, and dished out counsel that inspired me to lead more authentically,” said Linda Novick O’Keefe, CEO of Common Threads and a recent mentee of McGee’s. “As I think about our past conversations, whether they were about building out my leadership team, big hairy audacious goal setting or driving a culture of performance, Liam always put me first. Every story he told was told for a reason and every opinion on best practices he offered came from real experience. These conversations and our shared brain trust have impacted me profoundly, both personally and professionally.”
Before joining The Hartford, McGee spent more than three decades as a financial services business leader, most recently serving as president of the Consumer and Small Business Bank for Bank of America Corporation. In that role, he oversaw the bank’s more than 5,000 branches, then the largest network in the nation. Prior to joining Bank of America in 1990, he held several senior positions at Wells Fargo.
McGee served as a member of the Business Roundtable and on the boards of The Financial Services Roundtable as well as Catalyst, a global organization that builds inclusive workplaces and opportunities for women in business. He also served on the board of the University of San Diego. McGee was Chairman of the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, Junior Achievement of Southern California, and the University of San Diego Board of Trustees. In addition, he served two terms as a director of the Los Angeles branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
A native of County Donegal, Ireland, McGee grew up in Southern California and spoke Spanish fluently. He earned a BA from the University of San Diego, an MBA from Pepperdine University, and a JD from Loyola Law School.
About The Hartford
With more than 200 years of expertise, The Hartford (HIG) is a leader in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. The company is widely recognized for its service excellence, sustainability practices, trust and integrity. More information on the company and its financial performance is available at www.thehartford.com. Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheHartford. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TheHartford.
Some of the statements in this release may be considered forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We caution investors that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results may differ materially. Investors should consider the important risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ. These important risks and uncertainties include those discussed in our 2013 Annual Report on Form 10-K, subsequent Quarterly Reports on Forms 10-Q, and the other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We assume no obligation to update this release, which speaks as of the date issued.
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