Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance confirmed Monday it is buying MetLife’s U.S. retail adviser force, which includes an operation that employs about 200 at MetLife’s retail headquarters in south Charlotte.
The $300 million purchase of the MetLife Premier Client Group will include, in addition to MetLife’s retail adviser agencies, certain MetLife employees who support the MPCG, MetLife securities and certain employee contracts, MassMutual said.
New York-based MetLife said last week it was in talks with MassMutual about the sale. There are about 40 MetLife Premier Client Group agencies across the U.S., which include about 4,000 advisers. MetLife Premier Client Group of the Carolinas is one of the 40.
MassMutual will make employment or brokerage offers to all advisers and brokers in the MetLife Premier Client Group, as well as to those who support them, MetLife said in a securities filing.
“The company expects that a significant number of MPCG advisers and brokers, and MetLife employees, will join MassMutual,” MetLife said.
The deal is expected to close by mid-2016 and is subject to regulatory approval.
With the move, “our U.S. retail business will be more agile, and both MetLife and the U.S. retail business can achieve significant cost savings,” said Steven Kandarian, MetLife’s chairman, president and chief executive officer.
Under the agreement, MetLife’s U.S. retail business will be the exclusive developers of certain annuity products issued by MassMutal.
The move comes as MetLife is pursuing a plan announced in January to shed much of its Charlotte-based U.S. retail business, which employs about 1,500 here. The goal of the move is to avoid higher capital requirements that came when the company was labeled a non-bank systemically important financial institution in 2014.
MetLife has said it intends to keep the separated company headquartered in Charlotte, led by Executive Vice President Eric Steigerwalt.