MassMutual International has agreed to sell 85.1% stake in it is Japanese subsidiary, MassMutual Japan, to Nippon Life for JPY104.2bn ($935m).

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of this year after receiving regulatory approval.

MassMutual International will retain the remaining 14.9% of the stake in the subsidiary.

MassMutual acquired Heiwa Life in 2001 and renamed it as MassMutual Japan.

The company offers a  portfolio of competitive, customer needs-based products. It has built distribution relationships with the country’s security firms, banks and independent brokerage agencies.

MassMutual chairman, president and CEO Roger Crandall said: "At MassMutual, one of our distinct competitive advantages has long been our diverse portfolio of businesses both at home and abroad, including our international insurance affiliates.

"This exciting announcement represents a milestone moment for our company and its policyowners by realizing the significant value that has been delivered through the long-term success of MassMutual Japan, which we acquired nearly 17 years ago.”

MassMutual stated that the partial ownership in MassMutual Japan will give it the ability to join together with Nippon Life and expand its participation in the growing Asian markets.

Nippon Life aims to increase its profits under the ultra low-interest rate environment. The company has established a policy of customer-oriented operational management in 2017 to promote customer-oriented operational management.

It aims to know the society’s and customers’ needs and develop life insurance products which meet those requirements.

The Japanese insurance company is building business strategy in the financial institutions bancassurance area.

After the transaction is completed, it will collectively establish a structure to accommodate diversifying customers’ needs, focusing on areas where Nippon Life and MassMutual Japan have strengths in order to promote customer-oriented operational management as a group.

It also aims to maximize the value of the group by building a structure for financial institutions and sales promotion as a group, pursuing synergies through each company’s cooperation.

Image: Nippon Life in Osaka, Japan. Photo: Courtesy of 663highland/