MassMutual buys Great American Life Insurance Co. for $3.5B

MassMutual has a deal in place to buy Great American Life Insurance Co. from American Financial Group Inc. for $3.5 billion Great American Life will continue to be led by its current president, Mark Muething, and its more than 600 employees will remain headquartered in Great American’s hometown of Cincinnati as part of the transaction, according to a MassMutual news release issued Wednesday.


Great American is a provider of fixed and fixed indexed annuities. MassMutual said the it expects that deal will significantly boost its presence in the retail annuity market and expand its distribution capabilities.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year. Great American Life will operate as an independent subsidiary of MassMutual.

“This acquisition is an excellent strategic fit for MassMutual that will broaden our product offerings, expand our distribution, and generate additional earnings, allowing us to build a true lifetime income franchise and deliver ongoing value to our policyowners and customers,” said Roger Crandall, chairman, president and CEO of MassMutual, in the news release. “With MassMutual’s enduring financial strength, broad investment capabilities, and end-to-end digital experience, we will build on the outstanding leadership position that the talented and dedicated Great American Life team has built over generations, enabling us to help even more people secure their future and protect the ones they love.”

S. Craig Lindner, American Financial Group’s Co-CEO, said, “This transaction presents an excellent opportunity for Great American Life and MassMutual to be one of the leading providers of traditional fixed and indexed annuities in major distribution channels and markets. In fact, MassMutual has among the highest insurance financial strength ratings, which we believe will result in enhanced distributor recruitment and policyholder retention.”

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., owned by its participating policyholders, was founded in 1851 in Springfield.

It is expanding its headquarters in Springfield and expects to hit 4,500 employees by the end of 2021 or early 2022. That would be up from up from 3,500 in 2020.

Great American Insurance Group’s roots go back to 1872 with the founding of its flagship company, Great American Insurance Co., according to the news release. The company sponsors the Great American Ballpark, home of the Cincinnati Reds.

Earlier this month, Empower Retirement said it has finalized its $3.35 billion purchase of MassMutual’s retirement plan business.

Colorado-based Empower also said it has brought in 1,700 former MassMutual employees and plans for them to work — eventually — at the former MassMutual offices in Enfield, Connecticut, and Phoenix, Arizona.