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Aetna Moving Corporate Headquarters To NYC

Health insurance company Aetna will move its corporate headquarters from Hartford to New York City in late 2018 after spending 164 years in Connecticut.

Aetna's Hartford, Connecticut, headquarters

“New York City is a knowledge economy hub, and a driver of the innovations that will play a significant part in our ongoing transformation,” Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini said in a statement

While speculation was rampant for the last several months on the company’s potential departure from Connecticut, it was not until May that an Aetna spokesperson confirmed it was in negotiations with several states about a corporate relocation. New York and Boston were believed to be the final two contenders, the Hartford Courant reported earlier in June. 

The company’s new $89M, 145K SF corporate headquarters will be at 61 Ninth Ave. in Chelsea and will house 250 executive and digital-level employees. Aetna is still committed to its campus in Hartford, where about 5,000 employees will remain, the company said in a statement. The insurance company is expected to receive $24M in tax breaks from New York for the relocation, the New York Times reports

“Aetna’s decision to call New York home is another testament to the Empire State’s extraordinary economic momentum,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said to the Times.

The move is the latest in a string of corporate relocations made by Connecticut-based companies. General Electric moved from its longtime home in Fairfield to Boston in 2016, and high taxes were to blame.

Governor Dannel Malloy signed a $2B tax hike in 2015 that has caused many of the state’s companies to ponder vacating for friendlier economic climates. Despite efforts to reverse the tax increase by lowering the tax rate on data processing and online services, GE still left for Boston. At that time, Aetna said its tax burden would increase 27% with the new budget. 

“Elected leaders have failed to address the state’s budget obligation responsibly. But it’s Connecticut’s businesses and residents that will pay the price,” Aetna said in a statement after the 2015 tax hike.