Workers Comp Rates Fall, Benefits Rise

The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance has announced that New Jersey’s workers compensation premiums will fall about 1 percent in 2009, saving employers $33 million.

Maximum workers comp benefits, meanwhile, will increase 4 percent to $773 per week.

The department also reported that private-sector employers paid $1.9 billion in premiums during 2007, the latest year for which data was available. At the same time, insurers paid on 115,000 claims with an average medical cost of $17,000 and an average indemnity cost of $20,000.

Downsizing

Jobs have been lost at Princeton-area branches of Sovereign Bank, according to a spokesperson. Sovereign announced in late-December that it was cutting 1,000 jobs, or 8.3 percent of its work force. The bank cited an effort to reduce costs amid the economic downturn as the reason for the lay-offs.

The regional bank, which currently has about 12,000 employees, is soon to sell itself to Banco Santander, a Spanish bank which already has a 25 percent stake in Sovereign. The deal, announced in October, originally valued the remaining stake in Sovereign for $1.9 billion, or about $3.81 per share. The sale is expected to close during the first quarter of this year

Sovereign Bank (SVRN), 619 Alexander Road, Princeton 08540; 609-243-6101; fax, 609-243-9184.

Probe Dropped

Innophos Inc. (IPI), 259 Prospect Plains Road, Building G, Cranbury 08512; 609-495-2495; fax, 609-860-0138. Randy Gress, CEO. www.innophos.com.

Innophos Holdings, a producer of chemical grade phosphates for pharmaceutical and food manufacturers, has announced that it has received notification from the Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ) stating that the previously disclosed grand jury investigation of its sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP) business was closed, and that the company was no longer required to maintain documents pursuant to the subpoena.

Innophos was served with a subpoena to produce documents in 2007 for a DOJ investigation being conducted into what it termed “potential antitrust violations” in the STPP industry focusing on the period from 2002 through 2005. Since that announcement Innophos says that it has cooperated fully in the investigation.

Crosstown Moves

Mancino Burfield Edgerton, 116 Village Road, Suite 200, Princeton 08540; 609-520-8400; . Gene Mancino, president. www.mbels.com.

Executive search firm Mancino Burfield Edgerton has moved from 12 Roszel Road to Village Boulevard. The firm provides retainer-based searches for the life sciences industry.

Morepen Inc./Qugen Inc., 666 Plainsbooro Road, Building 2, Suite 200, Plainsboro 08536; 609-987-1134; Varun Suri, . www.QugenInc.com.

Morepen Inc., a contract manufacturing firm serving the pharmaceutical industry, has moved its New Jersey sales office to Plainsboro Road.

Deaths

Frank Sannino, 89, on December 28. He was an owner of Sannino Plumbing and Heating, a Princeton company founded in 1946.

Dennis McClenahan, 54, on December 27. He had been a Princeton Junction volunteer firefighter for 37 years.

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