Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly said he is investigating ousted MassMutual Chief Executive Officer Robert O’Connell on “serious allegations of wrongdoing.”
In a prepared statement, Reilly said he was contacted by representatives of the Springfield-based insurer last week. “We conducted a preliminary review of documents they provided and met…with representatives of the company.”
O’Connell was dismissed June 2 by the board after serving 7 years as CEO of the company.
Meanwhile, the company also is undergoing its periodic financial examination by the Massachusetts Department of Insurance.
“The primary objective of the examination is solvency issues, but the commissioner has broad powers to look at all aspects of the company’s operations,” said Chris Goetchus, spokesman for the department.
He also said that Commissioner Julianne Bowler has been in contact with the attorney general’s office.
An article in Wall Street Journal described a MassMutual board report that alleged O’Connell used unauthorized trading techniques to inflate greatly the value of a supplemental fund set up for his benefit. In addition, the report said O’Connell had bought a company-owned condominium at below-market price and interfered in efforts to discipline his son and son-in-law, who work at MassMutual.
A spokesman for O’Connell denied any wrongdoing. “There are definitely two sides to this story,” said Richard Nicolazzo. “Mr. O’Connell has said from day one that he intends to dispute and challenge the conclusions and actions of the board. Throughout his tenure, he has acted in the best interests of the company and its policyholders consistent with the company’s policies, guidelines and board directives.”
Former MassMutual CEO Robert O’Connell is being investigated on “serious allegations of wrongdoing.”