Hartford HealthCare investment advisors resign due to employee termination and process outsourcing - Hartford Courant

Hartford HealthCare investment advisors resign due to employee termination and process outsourcing – Hartford Courant

Five of the seven members of the group that oversees Hartford HealthCare’s $4.3 billion investment portfolio abruptly resigned last week after management told them to terminate investment staff and be done by Morgan Stanley, the New York investment management giant.

David Roth, chair of the investment subcommittee of the Hartford Health Care Finance Committee, said he was shocked by the announcement by top management in a phone call on Tuesday. He said he did not know how many investment employees were affected by the decision.

“We recognize the board’s right to do this, but we don’t know why,” he said Friday in a phone interview.

Hartford Healthcare said in a statement that it had reorganized its investment division and related functions after a “careful review” and with Board approval to select a full-time investment firm to manage its portfolio.

“We are confident that Morgan Stanley, a reputable investment management and financial services firm that manages $6.5 trillion in client assets, will be an important partner,” Hartford Healthcare said.

The sprawling healthcare organization, which operates Hartford Hospital and six other acute care hospitals, behavioral health organizations, clinicians and other outlets, did not provide any details. Roth said the administration did not provide any reason for its decision.

He criticized the process in which the Investment Monitoring Subcommittee was not consulted or informed. On Thursday, he said, he wrote to CEO Jeffrey Flack, telling him the process was unacceptable. He said he did not hear any response.

“We did not communicate, inform, or consult,” Roth said. “I can only guess things, and I don’t want to do that.”

Roth said the Investment Subcommittee, a group of volunteers, meets every three months to review the performance of Hartford HealthCare’s investment portfolio, meets occasionally at other times, reviews market analyzes, and needs to be aware of alternative assets and other details.

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Roth, a lawyer by training, first became involved in finance with then-state Treasury Secretary Francisco López Borges, who served from 1987 to 1993 and was a member of the Hartford HealthCare Advisory Committee for nine years and Chairman of the Board for three years.

The decision to terminate employees is particularly difficult to understand, he said, because Hartford Healthcare has been the number one health care organization in the United States in the past five or six years, and has generated up to $750 million in additional profits from its investments, Roth said.

Hartford HealthCare said its “acumen of its investment team has earned it national recognition from investment industry experts.”

“We are grateful for the many contributions of these colleagues and will support them during this transition, either to new positions within the organization or to positions outside of Hartford Healthcare,” she said in a statement.

Roth, who was active in many organizations, including the Jewish Community Foundation, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford Symphony Orchestra and Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, would not lack for civic activities.

He said, “I have a million things.”

Stephen Singer can be reached at ssinger@courant.com.

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