Hartford Life of Hartford, Conn., is expanding its 401(k) small-business operations, a niche that has been largely ignored by many other retirement savings plan providers. So far, the strategy has worked for Hartford Life. It expanded its 401(k) business by 55% in 2001, with sales of $850 million.

"Generally we're responding to an acute need in the small-case market," said Bruce Ferris, VP and director of sales and marketing at Hartford Life. "Competitors have abandoned the market, to our advantage."

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