Hartford Life's life insurance company will have a new president when it rings in the New Year. Lon Smith has announced his retirement and will be succeeded by Thomas Marra. Marra, currently COO, will retain that title in addition to taking the helm.

Smith, who is credited with bringing the firm up 20 notches from 23rd place to third, will relinquish his positions as vice chairman and member of the board of directors but will remain on the Hartford's mutual fund boards.

The impending retirement of Smith and Peter Cummins, SVP for investment product sales, represents a changing of the guard for the Simbury, Ct.-based carrier. Nevertheless, Marra himself did not predict a huge shift for the Hartford.

"A lot of the groundwork that's been laid, we're going to just pick up and run with it, and expand and continue to grow," he said.

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