Negative comments about a potential client landed William Kelly Jr., a vice president in the directors and officers group of Hartford Financial Services Group, in hot water last week.
Kelly, who was terminated from his position, apparently talked himself out of a job by telling reporters with MoneyBeat The Hartford had decided not to provide D&O insurance to Herbalife Ltd. His comments came in the wake of a presentation made by hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman, who told listeners Herbalife is committing fraud.
Kelly commented that he had “never gotten comfortable with the business model” of Herbalife, and that Ackman had successfully “creat[ed] more doubts about how Herbalife makes money.”
The maker of weight-loss shakes had apparently approached The Hartford for several years in an attempt to buy D&O policies.
“The Hartford takes very seriously its obligations to protect The Hartford’s business information including that related to its customers and potential customers,” said Shannon Lapierre, a spokesperson for the carrier. “We have a number of policies and procedures in place that address the protection of company information.”
Lapierre later clarified through the comments section of the MoneyBeat article that Kelly was “speaking on his own behalf, not on behalf of The Hartford.”
Kelly told reporters he was fired two days after he made the statement, which was in violation of The Hartford’s media policy. A 20+-year industry veteran, Kelly has previously worked at Chubb Corp. and Arch Capital Group.
He joined the Hartford in 2009, according to information provided on his LinkedIn profile.
Herbalife is a client of the Hartford for other types of insurance, according to a Wall Street Journal report.