MassMutual Acquiring First Mercantile Trust Company

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) has agreed to buy Memphis-based First Mercantile Trust Company from SunTrust Banks, Inc.

First Mercantile provides plan recordkeeping and investment management services to more than 3,100 plans with a total of approximately 140,000 participants. First Mercantile focuses on the market for plans with $1 million to $20 million in assets and, in general, 50 to 250 employees. The company, which has nearly $5 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2007, also serves as trustee and fiduciary to more than 180 collective investment trusts, MassMutual said.

First Mercantile will stay at its headquarters location and keep its current management team, including President Alan Dunaway and Chief Operating Officer James Pratt, the companies announced.

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“With an extensive distribution network that includes a strong base of registered investment advisers, broad and complementary product offerings, and tradition of working closely with clients to offer premier retirement services programs, First Mercantile makes an excellent strategic fit for MassMutual’s Retirement Services business,” said Elaine A. Sarsynski, Executive Vice President of MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division, in a MassMutual announcement.

The planned purchase is expected to close early in the second quarter of 2008. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.