Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company has a new President and CEO, according to Insurance News Net‘s article “Mass Mutual’s Incoming CEO Will Draw on Experience to Lead Through Crisis.” Roger W. Crandall has been with the company in many different capacities since 1988, so he has seen his fair share of economic and financial turmoil. Mass Mutual, founded in 1851, was the 13th largest U.S. life insurer in 2008 according to A.M. Best Company. Unfortunately they had a net loss of $1 billion last year after experiencing what Crandall calls “the worst financial market crisis since the Great Depression.” The fee income that Mass Mutual generates from managing assets fell dramatically with the equity markets. After changing its portfolio around in the last year by adding investment-grade corporate bonds and reducing some of their other holdings, the company is happy with their turnaround.
Overall the financial markets affecting Mass Mutual are doing well this year so there is no plan to change the strategy of the company. They are a mutual life insurance company that is run for their participating policyholders benefit and they will stay that way. Crandall begins as CEO January 1 of next year. His experience in life insurance and annuities will help him lead the company in a positive direction. Like some other writers of variable annuities, Mass Mutual stopped selling many of the “living benefit” riders in 2008 because the risks and costs were not aligned in a difficult capital market. Hopefully, as the markets continue to improve, consumers making a 401k annuity transfer and purchasing variable annuities will be able to find exactly what they are looking for with Mass Mutual.