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MassMutual expanding its operations in Amherst, upstate New York

MassMutual next month will move into newly renovated space in an Amherst office park as the agency grows its operations in the Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse markets.

The life insurance and asset management company plans to hire 75 financial advisors across its three offices in Western and Central New York by the end of the year, including 25 in the Buffalo region, according to Joseph DiLeo, CEO of MassMutual New York State. MassMutual plans to hire 25 to 30 advisors in Rochester and 15 to 20 advisors in Syracuse, DiLeo said.

To support the expansion, MassMutual is remodeling and building out the office space across the hallway from its current home at 300 Corporate Parkway, off Maple Road, in Uniland Development Co.'s University Corporate Centre.

Uniland is about halfway through the work and it should be ready for MassMutual to move in by April 28. The cost, including renovations and new technology and furnishings, is about $600,000, DiLeo said.

The Amherst office is the regional headquarters for the Rochester and Syracuse offices, which DiLeo's agency acquired last year. He also rebranded the three upstate offices as MassMutual New York State.

MassMutual has had a presence in the Buffalo area for 129 years, at various locations including the Statler Hotel. The company has been at 37 Franklin St. downtown for about 20 or 25 years, said DiLeo, and it continues to have 15 employees at that site.

But about eight years ago, the company moved into the space at University Corporate Centre, where it now has about 75 employees, for a total of 90 in the Buffalo area. DiLeo said the Buffalo office alone has $5 billion of life insurance coverage in force and has about $2 billion of investment assets under management.

MassMutual New York State has seen a growth in business as more baby boomers get closer to retirement age and as more millennials enter the job market and start thinking about their financial futures, DiLeo said. That's driving the agency's hiring of more financial advisors.

The Rochester and Syracuse offices of MassMutual have their own long histories in their markets, each dating back a century or more. With the acquisitions last year, and with the Amherst office taking on a larger role as a regional headquarters, DiLeo decided he needed a new office here.

The company's new space will feature a coffee bar for clients, a videoconferencing room for efficient communication with the Rochester and Syracuse offices, a cafe for employees and an open, more efficient layout that features a lot of glass walls.

"It's not going to look like a very traditional office," DiLeo said.

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