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MassMutual seeks asset-management deals ‘constantly,’ CEO says

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(Bloomberg) — Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. Chief Executive Officer Roger Crandall said he’s considering expansion of money-management operations after reaching a deal this year to acquire a network of almost 4,000 financial advisers from MetLife Inc.

“On the asset management side, we’re constantly looking at things,” Crandall said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We’ve made some acquisitions in the past few years.”

Crandall has been reshaping the Springfield, Massachusetts-based insurer, combining units including a real estate advisory firm under the Barings brand this year and appointing Tom Finke to lead that group. Another MassMutual unit, OppenheimerFunds, struck a deal in 2015 to purchase VTL Associates LLC, pushing into smart-beta exchange-traded funds. And Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers announced an agreement this year to buy ACRE Capital Holdings LLC in a bet on multifamily loans.

The MetLife transaction helped policyholder-owned MassMutual gain more distribution, particularly on the U.S. East Coast and mid-Atlantic region.

“It was a big increase,” Crandall said. “It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t happen all that often, and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to do it. It happened quickly and we’re in the midst of putting that together right now, but so far, so good. Off to a good start.”


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