MassMutual Financial Group in Springfield, Mass. has given Robert J. O’Connell notice of termination as chairman and chief executive officer “due to certain issues, subject to his rights under his employment contract. Those issues do not affect the company’s financial strength or its operations going forward.”
The company has appointed Stuart H. Reese as chief executive officer and president, and James R. Birle as non-executive chairman of the company’s board of directors.
The company offered no details of why O’Connell, who joined MassMutual in 1998 from American International Group (AIG), was suddenly terminated.
Reese is a 12-year veteran of MassMutual Financial Group who has served as executive vice president and chief investment officer since 1999. In that capacity, he was responsible for the management of the company’s general account and was a key advisor on the company’s overall business strategy. He has also held various leadership positions at several of MassMutual’s subsidiaries, serving as chairman of and CEO of Babson Capital Management, chairman of the Antares Capital Corporation, chairman of Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, Inc., and as a member of the board of directors of Oppenheimer Acquisition Corp.
Before joining MassMutual in 1993, he was vice president and managing director for capital markets for Aetna Life and Casualty where he oversaw the management of all external funds.
Birle has served on MassMutual Financial Group’s board of directors since 1992. He is a former senior vice president and group executive of the General Electric Company, and held various operational and international positions over a 30-year tenure at GE. Birle left GE in 1988 to become general partner at Blackstone Group. He is currently founder and chairman of Resolute Partners, LLC.
MassMutual Financial Group — comprised of member companies with more than $350 billion of assets under management as of March 31, 2005 — is a global, diversified financial services organization providing life insurance, annuities, disability income insurance, long-term care insurance, retirement planning products, structured settlement annuities, trust services, money management, and other financial products and services. Assets under management include assets and certain external investment funds managed by MassMutual subsidiaries.
The MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing designation for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company and its affiliates, which include: OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; Baring Asset Management; Babson Capital Management LLC; Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, Inc.; MML Investors Services, Inc.; The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB; Antares Capital Corporation; MML Bay State Life Insurance Company; C.M. Life Insurance Company; and MassMutual International, Inc.
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