The Hartford today is taking another step towards focusing on its mutual fund business by agreeing to sell its retirement plans business to rival Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) for a cash ceding commission of $400 million.

The sale, which is structured as a reinsurance transaction, is expected to close by the end of 2012. The Hartford's financial advisors for the divestiture are Greenhill & Co. and Goldman, Sachs & Co. and the company’s legal advisors are Sidley Austin LLP.

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