Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. has agreed to buy MetLife Inc.’s adviser-force business and affiliated broker-dealer.
According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the price is $300 million.
The retail distribution operation has about 40 local sales and advisory operations and approximately 4,000 advisors across the country.
MassMutual said the deal “significantly increases” its existing career agency system of 5,600 financial professionals. It also broadens the company’s geographic reach.
As part of the transaction, MassMutual and MetLife have also agreed to enter into a product development agreement under which MetLife’s U.S. retail business will be the exclusive developer of certain annuity products to be issued by MassMutual.
The division being sold caters to middle- to upper-income consumers, including small-to-medium sized business owners.
The companies said last week that they were in talks for a possible transaction.
MetLife has said it would explore the possible sale as part of a plan to downsize and lift a “too-big-to-fail” designation by the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a designation the insurer has gone to court to overturn.
Some insurers are also concerned about the effects of proposal rules on retirement product sales.
In addition to MetLife’s retail advisor firms, the transaction will encompass certain MetLife employees who support the MetLife Premier Client Group; MetLife’s affiliated broker-dealer, MetLife Securities, Inc.; and certain assets associated with the MetLife Premier Client Group, including employee contracts. On a combined basis, MSI and MassMutual’s existing broker-dealer, MML Investors Services, LLC, will be among the nation’s largest insurance company-owned broker-dealers. Additionally, as part of the agreement, approved MassMutual financial professionals will provide individual life insurance and annuity products through the MetLife PlanSmart Financial Education Series.
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