Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company has entered into an agreement to purchase The First Mercantile Trust Company from SunTrust Banks.

Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, First Mercantile provides retirement plan recordkeeping and investment management services to individuals and businesses across the US.

The company’s current management team, including president Alan Dunaway and COO James Pratt, will remain with the business and retain ongoing responsibility for First Mercantile’s daily operations.

Massachusetts Mutual Life (MassMutual) said that the planned purchase of First Mercantile is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close early in the second quarter of 2008.

Elaine Sarsynski, executive vice president of retirement services at MassMutual, said: This acquisition is an important strategic step forward as we continue to build momentum in the marketplace.

Mr Dunaway added: As the newest member of the MassMutual family, we are excited about the opportunities for growth here at First Mercantile and for our valued distribution relationships.