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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

MassMutual Makes Moves

by: Marie Glancy

MassMutual Financial Group said Wednesday that it controlled a record $395.9 billion in assets at the end of 2005. This amount represents a 22 percent increase over the 2004 year-end figure of $326 billion.

Springfield, Massachusetts MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing designation for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company and its affiliates, which include OppenheimerFunds, Babson Capital Management, Baring Asset Management, and others.

In a statement, company President and CEO Stuart H. Reese attributed healthy growth to important steps taken by MassMutual over the course of the year. He cited "improving efficiencies, reducing costs, expanding product offerings, building our capital base ... and enhancing our corporate governance structure" among these factors.

Last month the insurer also swapped assets between its two mutual fund units with the aim of sharpening the focus of each. As part of the swap, OppenheimerFunds took over the mutual fund assets previously advised by Babson.

The move will allow Babson to focus as a "portable alpha" manager for the high networth market and institutional market, a MassMutual executive told the MFWire.com.

Meanwhile, OppenheimerFunds will become the sole focus of the insurer's retal mutual fund efforts.  

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