Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its plan for buybacks and lifted its dividend by 50 percent after Chief Executive Officer Liam McGee sold assets to simplify the insurer. The stock rallied in early trading.

The repurchase authorization was increased to $1.25 billion from $500 million, according to a statement today from Hartford which is based in the Connecticut city of the same name.

McGee has sold a life insurer to Prudential Financial Inc. and divested a broker-dealer as he focuses on property-casualty coverage. He also used hedges to guard against currency fluctuations and stock-market declines on annuities issued in prior years after the company retreated from the market.

“The financial position, capital flexibility and risk profile of the company have continued to improve,” McGee, 58, said in the statement.

Hartford jumped 2.8 percent to $30 at 8:41 a.m. in New York. The company has advanced 30 percent this year through yesterday. The quarterly dividend will be 15 cents a share, up from 10 cents.