HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ A group of investors intends to run a slate of candidates to oppose three incumbents on the Aetna Inc. board of directors in elections next month.

``We think we can do a better job than the current board members,'' said James Bingham Jr., one of the candidates.

Bingham is the chief financial officer of The Winklevoss Group, a consulting firm in Greenwich. The other challengers include Herbert Denton, president of the New York investment bank Providence Capital Inc.; private investor Chris Riedel of Los Angeles; and Lawrence Schafran, managing general partner of Schafran & Associates.

Aetna is proposing to reduce the board from 12 members to 11 with the retirement of former chairman William Donaldson.

The three board members seeking re-election are Ellen M. Hancock, former chairman of the board of Exodus Communications Inc.; Joseph P. Newhouse, a professor of health policy and management at Harvard University; and Judith Rodin, president of the University of Pennsylvania.

Aetna Inc. last month announced a $279.6 million loss for 2001, including a fourth-quarter loss of $187.6 million. The company said it expected to return to profitability this year on an operating basis.

The Hartford-based insurer's annual shareholders meeting is scheduled for April 26 at the company's headquarters.

Aetna shares closed at $36.66, up $1.15, in trading on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday.