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.

The Hartford’s retirement plans business is primarily a defined contribution business with $54.9 billion in assets under management as of June 30. The business serves more than 33,000 plans with more than 1.5 million participants in the small to mid-sized corporate 401(k) and tax-exempt markets. It also provides administrative services for defined-benefit programs. As a result of the agreement, The Hartford’s Retirement Plans employees will become part of MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division.

As part of the agreement, The Hartford will continue to sell new retirement plans during a transition period, and MassMutual will assume all expenses and risk for these sales through a reinsurance agreement. Between now and the close of the transaction, there are no planned changes with respect to the day-to-day interactions or processes between The Hartford and its Retirement Plans’ distribution partners, plan sponsors and customers, according to the firm.

In a statement, The Hartford’s CEO Liam McGee said: “The agreement marks the second of three planned business sales as we continue to make good progress executing on our strategy.”


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