Life Insurance Springfield

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Life Insurance Springfield

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Qualifying purchases can earn no interest if paid in full within 6 months on purchases of $99 or more. Some advertisements may appear.

Interest will be charged to your account from the date of purchase if the balance is not paid in full within 6 months. A minimum monthly payment is required. Subject to credit approval. See terms and conditions for PayPal Loans, opens in a new window or Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. said Thursday it is discussing an acquisition that could double the number of dealers, a move analysts say could help the Springfield company grow its large life insurance and pension operations and other financial products it offers.

MassMutual confirmed talks with MetLife Inc. are buying a group of U.S. insurance brokers in New York, including about 4,000 sales associates. MassMutual now has approximately 5,600 employees. Both companies said there is no timeline for closing the deal.

“There can be no assurance that an agreement will be reached or that the transaction will be completed,” MetLife said in a statement.

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MassMutual is one of the nation’s largest insurance companies, a Fortune 100 company with revenues of more than $250 billion. MassMutual employs more than 7,000 people in the Springfield area, including in Connecticut.

While auto and property insurance customers are increasingly online, agents are playing an important role in selling life insurance, experts say. Life insurance is complex and optional, unlike auto or property, and it’s a subject most people don’t want to think about.

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Lawyers are important not just to explain medicine, experts say, but to explain its value and act as a trusted advisor.

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Acquiring experienced agents is the most cost-effective way for MassMutual to grow because it can take years for agents to establish themselves in the market and get enough referrals to land big work, experts say. Only about 20 percent of new hires stay in the life insurance industry for more than five years, according to industry estimates.

MetLife has scaled back its operations to avoid increased government oversight of large financial firms — so-called failed firms — after the 2008 financial crisis. Over the years, some life insurers have moved from in-house agents to independent, knowledgeable advisers. and sell products from other companies.

Proposals to tighten financial industry regulations could lead to fewer firms offering financial advice and fewer people wanting to become insurance agents and financial advisers, said Robert Kerzner, president of Limra, a financial industry research group in Windsor, Conn.

As the number of people entering retirement grows, that could benefit companies like MassMutual, which have large sales teams to direct customers to financial products and planning services, Kerzner said. By 2040, there will be 82 million retirees in the United States.

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“The largest number of people and the largest number of dollars moving from retirement to retirement in history,” Kerzner said.

If the deal with MetLife closes, MassMutual will gain thousands of agents who can introduce their MetLife customers to MassMutual’s products and services, experts say. But combining different corporate cultures can be difficult for MassMutual, said Doug Bennett, a life insurance consultant in Jacksonville, Florida.

Life insurance is an emotional business because sponsors sell a product that consumers may not use, that will benefit their dependents when they die. Agent rejection rates are high.

Katie Johnston can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @ktkjohnston. Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @fernandesglobe Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company was founded in Springfield in 1851 and originally had its offices in the Foot Block, southwest of Main and State Streets. Its first president was Caleb Rice, a lawyer and politician who also served as Springfield’s first mayor, from 1852 to 1853. He served as president for the next 22 years, until his death in 1873. The company saw tremendous growth.

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These offices were located in the Foot Block until 1868, when the company moved to its office building here on Main Street, just north of the corner of Court Street. However, the new building was badly damaged by fire just five years later. King’s Handbook of Springfield, published in 1884, describes the fire and its effects on the company as follows:

[O] on the evening of Feb. 5, 1873, a fire broke out under the building (which was rented for business), and burned all night, destroying the rear and a large part of the front of the building. . The firm’s safe, with many of its books and papers, was preserved; and the business was carried on, with slight interruptions, in temporary quarters in the Hampden House Block on Court Street.

The main street room of the building survived the fire, but the entire building was rebuilt around it. The King’s Handbook continues with the following description of the new structure:

By December of that year [1873] the company building had been rebuilt, remodeled and improved, under the direction of George Hathorne, a New York architect, and its offices re-established. The brown stone surface of the front and the tin roof of the mansard create a beautiful and attractive view from the street; while the Masonic lodge and other organizations occupying the basement of the company office, and the stores below, make the interior of the building well known to many people.

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Massachusetts Mutual continued to have its offices in this building for several decades, and for many years the company shared it with the Masons, who occupied the top two floors. The plan was still in place when the first photo was taken in the early 1890s, showing the words “Masonic Hall” above the fourth floor windows, and “Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.” above the second floor. However, the Masons moved out of the building shortly after the first photo was taken, shortly after completing their building on the southeast corner of Main and District Streets in 1893.

About 15 years later, Massachusetts Mutual followed the Masons into the same corner. The old Foot Block, where the company started in one room, was demolished and replaced by an eight-story classical building at 1200 Main Street. However, the new building was used for a short time before the company moved to its headquarters on State Street in the Pine Point neighborhood.

Meanwhile, the old 1868/1873 building stood here on Main Street for many years after Massachusetts Mutual left. It can be seen in the late 1930s photo on the previous page, and it was still prominent despite the replacement of two basements. At the time, the building housed Weeks Leather Stores in the storefront on the left and Ann Lewis’ women’s clothing store on the right. However, it was finally demolished in the late 1950s, when a modern building was built, with its curved facade.

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