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MassMutual Great Lakes and First Independence Bank Announce Strategic Alliance Expanding Insurance And Investment Access

MassMutual Great Lakes (MMGL), a Southfield-based firm offering a wide range of financial products and services, is pleased to announce a strategic alliance with Detroit-based First Independence Bank (FIB), the only African American-owned bank headquartered in Michigan and the 7th largest in the country.

The alliance will enhance FIB’s ability to provide comprehensive financial services to its retail and commercial clients in Detroit and nationwide, many of whom have been historically underrepresented when it comes to accessing these services.

“At MassMutual Great Lakes, we believe every individual, small business owner and corporation deserves the right to financial services and strategies designed to create stability,” said Manuel Amezcua, president and CEO of MassMutual Great Lakes. “Our commitment is to develop meaningful relationships that reshape the financial well-being and success of a diverse group of individuals and institutions in the communities we serve.”

MassMutual Great Lakes helps protect the needs of individuals, families and businesses through insurance, wealth accumulation and investment planning, business, retirement and estate planning, trust services and more. MMGL Wealth Management Advisor, Maurice Miller, Jr. CFP®, ChFC®, and Detroit resident, will serve as an onsite advisor at the 7 Mile branch location. Starting in May, he will be available virtually 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on weekdays and by appointment on Saturdays.

To kick off this partnership, an initial series of virtual financial wellness educational sessions is being offered starting in May. These complimentary sessions are open to FIB employees, clients and the broader community. Topics include: Understanding Life Insurance; Envisioning Retirement; and Setting Financial Goals. Interested participants can register directly at MassMutual Great Lakes website.

“We are thrilled about our new partnership with MassMutual Great Lakes. Together, we will help move the financial literacy, stability and mobility of our Detroit community and beyond,” said Kenneth Kelly, chairman & CEO of First Independence Bank. “This ongoing partnership, where MassMutual Great Lakes holds equal measure of commitment and lends its resources to serve FIB customers and our surrounding community, will add value to all involved.”

“The investment and advisory products that will be made available through this alliance will complement our current product offerings to our retail and business banking customers,” added Dimitrius Hutcherson, executive vice president, CAO, CTO, First Independence Bank.

First Independence Bank opened its doors nearly 51 years ago in May of 1970. While many things have changed, there is still a significant racial wealth gap in the U.S. According to the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances conducted by the U.S. Federal Reserve, the 2019 median wealth of Black households in the U.S. was $24,100, compared to $189,100 for white households.

“For more than five decades, First Independence Bank has played an important role in addressing economic inequality and helping to create economic stability,” said Gina Coleman, MMGL Chief Sales Officer. “We are excited to form this alliance with FIB to increase financial education opportunities and access to financial products and services while enhancing the level of convenience offered to the bank’s clients and the surrounding community.”

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