It's a done deal: Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance agreed to buy MetLife Premier Client Group, the company’s U.S. advisor force. MassMutual paid about $300 million, according to Bloomberg.
MetLife will be the exclusive developer of certain annuity products issued by MassMutual, the seller said Monday in a regulatory filing.
MetLife has wanted to limit government regulations of its businesses, and the insurance company acknowledged last week they were in talks with MassMutual.
The Premier Client Group has approximately 4,000 advisors and targets middle to upper-income consumers, including executives at small-to-medium-sized businesses, using 40 local sales and advisory operations across the country. It is expected to be combined with MassMutual’s existing Career Agency System, which has more than 5,600 financial advisors.
“This is a milestone event in the 165-year history of MassMutual – and will result in the transformative creation of a distribution powerhouse,” Roger Crandall, MassMutual's CEO said in a statement.
According to MetLife chairman Steven Kandarian, the transaction will enable the insurance giant's U.S. retail business "to sharpen its focus on its core strength in product manufacturing, while also providing a broader distribution network through the partnership with MassMutual."
The transaction is expected to close by mid-2016, subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approval.
Last year, MetLife was designated by regulators as a systemically important financial institution, a too-big-to-fail designation that can bring tighter capital rules. A separate U.S. proposal for stricter rules on retirement-product sales is forcing some insurers to evaluate whether they keep broker-dealer operations.
Last month, for example, American International Group said it was selling AIG Advisor Group to funds affiliated with Donald Marron’s Lightyear Capital and PSP Investments.
Additional reporting: Sonali Basak and Katherine Chiglinsky, Bloomberg
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