Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini to speak to Louisville business communi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini to speak to Louisville business community Tuesday night

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Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, Humana CEO Bruce Broussard and Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini at Fischer's office on July 7 Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, Humana CEO Bruce Broussard and Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini at Fischer's office on July 7

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  This time last year, the hundreds of business people attending Greater Louisville Inc.’s annual meeting were eager to hear what the CEO of an out-of-town corporation had to say about his plans after swallowing up one of Louisville’s biggest employers.

A year ago, it was Electrolux CEO Keith McLoughlin, whose Sweden-based company had planned to buy General Electric’s Louisville-based Appliance division.

Tonight, it’s Mark Bertolini of Aetna, the Connecticut-based health insurer that plans to acquire Louisville-based Humana later this year, assuming government regulators approve the deal.

Bertolini, who visited Louisville shortly after the sale was announced last July, will be the keynote speaker at GLI’s annual meeting at the Louisville Palace.

Humana CEO Bruce Broussard will introduce Bertolini and then join him following the speech for questions posed by GLI CEO Kent Oyler. The chamber’s members submitted the questions online, said GLI spokeswoman Alison Brotzge-Elder.

Last year, Oyler got right to the point with McLoughlin, asking him, “What do you expect to keep here in Louisville?”

McLoughlin’s answer wasn’t very revealing. The Electrolux deal eventually fell apart amid opposition from the U.S. Justice Department, and now GE Appliances is set to be acquired by China’s Haier Group.

For Louisville, the stakes are even higher with the Aetna-Humana deal. With more than 12,000 employees, Humana is the state’s largest corporate headquarters and an anchor employer in downtown Louisville.

No company – including UPS, which employs more than 20,000 – generates more occupational tax revenue for Metro Louisville than Humana, an indication of higher-wage, higher-skill jobs the company provides.

Aetna has committed to keeping a “significant corporate presence” in Louisville following the $37 billion acquisition. Louisville will become the headquarters of Aetna’s government insurance business – Medicare, Medicaid and the military program TRI-CARE, Aetna has said.

An Aetna spokeswoman said Bertolini will not be available for an interview aside from his speech.

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