Hartford, CT Insures The Future

Gene Goddard of the MetroHartford Alliance shares how a centuries-old insurance and finance foundation supports the city’s evolution to fintech and insurtech.

By the BF Staff
From the November/December 2022 Issue

Business Facilities: Tell us about Hartford, CT. Why is the city considered the “Insurance Capital of the World”?

MetroHartford Alliance Hartford Connecticut
Gene Goddard, Chief Business Investment Officer, MetroHartford Alliance

Goddard: Hartford is Connecticut’s capital city and for over 225 years it has served as a dynamic hub for insurance and financial services (IFS) and innovation, including advancements in FinTech and InsurTech. Hartford has the highest number of actuaries in the country and our colleges, universities, and even high schools have adopted formal programs to meet the industry’s needs.

We are home to nearly 1,300 domestic and nondomestic insurance carriers, including accredited reinsurers, U.S. and foreign excess and surplus lines carriers, fraternal benefit societies, and title companies. Hartford also recently ranked the #1 domicile for captive insurance companies in the United States.

With close to $15 billion in economic output, more than 42,000 insurance industry jobs, and a 4.86 location quotient, our region is powered by ambition, innovation, and ingenuity. Connecticut’s entire IFS industry employs more than 100,000 people, and the Hartford Region ranks #1 in the U.S. for insurance employment per capita.

From startups to long-standing insurance titans, the Hartford Region is focused on breakthrough innovation and creating digital solutions for the IFS sector. In 2020, Connecticut ranked #4 in Bloomberg’s national State Innovation Index report.

And as an innovation leader we continue to support ongoing breakthroughs in technology—including advancements in artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. Our region has created many opportunities, formally launching InsurTech, FinTech, MedTech, RetireTech, ClimateTech, and RegTech initiatives and expanding its reach across the globe.

BF: We’ve heard that you created a trade corridor with the United Kingdom for IFS companies to locate in Hartford. Tell us more.

Goddard: For several years now, Business Facilities has ranked Hartford as a top 10 destination for FinTech companies, and our region is also globally recognized for its cutting-edge InsurTech ecosystem and a favorable regulatory environment—drawing attention from companies all over the world.

MetroHartford Alliance
State leaders and the Connecticut Insurance & Financial Services (CT IFS) initiative signed a post-Brexit agreement with the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT). At center, Emma Wade-Smith OBE, His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for North America and HM Consul General New York, is seated with DECD Commissioner David Lehman and Insurance Commissioner Andrew Mais. (Back row, l ro r) John Warburton, CEO Konsileo & Councilmember InsurTech UK; Susan Winkler, CT IFS; Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin; and David Griggs, CEO MetroHartford Alliance. (Photo: MetroHartford Alliance)

This has led to companies in Europe and Southeast Asia seeking to expand their operations in Hartford. As part of our expanded FDI strategy, this past March, leaders from the state of Connecticut and our Connecticut Insurance & Financial Services (CT IFS) initiative signed a post-Brexit agreement with the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) creating a two-way trade corridor for Insurtech and fintech companies looking to grow in both countries.

Our UK partnership expands on the work of the CT IFS and enables fast-track solutions to be assessed, advised, and implemented in the insurance capital and serve as a gateway to the U.S. and UK insurance markets.

Earlier this year, London-based Wrisk, whose platform works with major insurers, formed a new subsidiary, Wrisk USA, which will be based in Hartford. Wrisk chose Hartford because they wanted to be rooted within the bedrock of the U.S. insurance scene.

BF: What other industries are thriving in the Hartford Region?

Goddard: Not only is Connecticut known for its prestigious IFS conglomerates and ecosystem, Hartford is also home to five Fortune 600 Companies and nine Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies. We rank in the top five metros for Aerospace & Defense with companies like Pratt & Whitney, Collins Aerospace, and Kaman headquartered here along with much of Sikorsky and Electric Boat’s supply chain located within the Hartford region.

We have a global leading health sector and tell the world’s story in sports serving as home to ESPN. Stanley Black & Decker and Otis also are headquartered in Hartford and lead our advanced manufacturing sector. And lastly, we have become a key logistics center in the Northeast with over 10 million of square feet of new development occurring over the past five years.