Christopher Swift, who had been the vice chairman and chief financial officer at American International Group's American Life Insurance Co., was hired by Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. as an executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Effective March 1, Swift, a 27-year insurance industry veteran, will replace Lizabeth Zlatkus, who will assume the chief risk officer role at Hartford.

"Chris's appointment is an important step on our path forward," said Liam McGee, Hartford's [HIG] chairman, president and chief executive officer. "He has held significant leadership roles in large, complex financial organizations and has a background that covers both the life and P&C industries. In addition to his strategic financial role at ALICO, Chris had a broad range of functional responsibilities, including capital management, and was instrumental in the company's repositioning. He will be an excellent addition to our leadership team. I also want to thank Liz for leading the finance and risk functions during this challenging period. Their work helped to effectively position the company for the future. I look forward to working with Liz to further strengthen the company's risk management practices."

As vice chairman and CFO of AIG's ALICO [AIG], Swift oversaw the unit's global financial operations. His responsibilities there included financial strategy and reporting, capital management, investments, risk management, treasury, product development and rating agency relationships, among others.

Swift may be leaving ALICO just before a big change. Last week, it was reported that MetLife Inc. plans to pay AIG $8 billion in stock and the remainder in cash for ALICO, as the two sides negotiate what could be a roughly $15 billion deal. The terms of the deal have not been finalized, though, and the mix could change, sources close to the matter said, according to Marketwatch. At the time, MetLife spokesman Christopher Breslin and AIG spokesman Mark Herr declined to comment on the news.

Swift, who will report to McGee, began his career as an auditor in the Chicago office of KPMG focused on financial services. He rose through the ranks at the firm to achieve partner then became executive vice president of Conning Asset Management, a subsidiary of General American, where he was responsible for finance, sales/marketing and information technology. After MetLife bought Conning in 1999, Swift returned to KPMG and was eventually appointed head of Global Insurance Industry Practice for the firm.

"I am honored and thrilled to join this iconic American company with a long and proud history, a powerful brand, strong franchise and great people," said Swift. "I look forward to joining The Hartford and helping the company capitalize on the significant opportunities we have going forward, while delivering and communicating our value proposition to shareholders."