Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. will hire up to 50 employees in its mutual fund sales distribution unit.

In conjunction with the move the company is making Wellington Management the sole subadvisor to all of its 77 equity and fixed-income funds, which have a total of $100 billion of assets under management. Wellington currently is subadvisor to 45 funds.

Meanwhile, the in-house subadvisor, Hartford Investment Management Co., will concentrate on institutional funds.

"The Hartford is accelerating its growth plans for the mutual funds business," said Liam E. McGee, its chairman, president and chief executive. "Mutual funds is a high-growth, high-ROE business. Aligning more closely with a well-respected advisor like Wellington be designating them as our preferred subadvisor is an important step toward our longer-term goal to create shareholder value."

The Hartford formed its mutual fund division in 1996.

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