MassMutual bolsters leadership team

Company veterans step into new roles as industry stalwart prepares to retire

MassMutual bolsters leadership team

Life & Health

By Ryan Smith

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company has announced that company veterans Paul LaPiana and Dominic Blue will join the executive leadership team.

LaPiana has been appointed head of brand, product and affiliated distribution, while Blue has been named head of third-party distribution and markets. The appointments take effect Thursday. Both LaPiana and Blue will report to Roger Crandall, chairman, president and CEO of MassMutual.

The promotions come as Mike Fanning, head of MassMutual US, prepares to retire after 17 years with the company.

In his new role, LaPiana will oversee MassMutual’s core distribution channel, MassMutual Financial Advisors, as well as managing the company’s portfolio of wealth management and protection products and services. He will also have responsibility for managing MassMutual’s brand and marketing strategy.

As head of third-party distribution and new markets, Blue will lead an organization that includes MassMutual’s third-party, worksite, direct-to-consumer and new markets efforts. He will also become CEO of MassMutual Ascend, while Mark Muething will continue in his role as president of MassMutual Ascend.

“Paul and Dominic each bring broad leadership experience in areas critical to MassMutual’s growth, an unrelenting focus on delivering long-term financial security and value to our policyowners, and a collaborative, inclusive approach to executing our strategy,” Crandall said. “Now, as part of MassMutual’s executive leadership team, they will bring all of those qualities to bear as we accelerate our efforts to help more people secure their future and protect the ones they love.”

LaPiana has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services sector. He has served as head of product for MassMutual since 2019. He joined the company in 2016 from MetLife following MassMutual’s acquisition of the MetLife Premier Client Group. LaPiana began his career in financial services at AXA/Equitable.

Blue joined MassMutual in 2011 as assistant general counsel. He most recently served as head of third-party and direct-to-consumer, and has also served as head of corporate law, head of workplace transformation and head of strategic planning and delivery.

Industry veteran retires

Fanning retires after a 37-year career in the financial services industry, nearly half of which was spent at MassMutual.

During his tenure as MassMutual’s head of domestic insurance, the company more than doubled its protection in force to $950 billion while paying more than $65 billion in benefits. It also became one of the top providers of whole life insurance and paid an industry-leading dividend to policyholders for 17 consecutive years.

Under Fanning’s tenure, the company also expanded its network of affiliated financial professionals and became one of the top annuity providers in the US.

“As we welcome Paul and Dominic to our executive leadership team, we also express our deepest gratitude to Mike for his lasting contributions that have helped MassMutual become the industry leader that it is today,” Crandall said. “Mike led an unprecedented period of growth and change for the company, all of which was spent ensuring that each day, MassMutual’s policyowners were at the center of everything we do. This will be Mike’s most enduring legacy, and we wish him all the best in a well-deserved retirement.”

Last week, the company announced that it had acquired a majority stake in Counterpointe Sustainable Advisors, a clean energy finance firm. The company was also recently named the third-largest individual writer of life insurance in the US.

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