It was Wall Street that originally drew Elaine Sarsynski, executive VP at MassMutual Retirement Services and Workplace Insurance, into the insurance industry, where she has become known over the past two decades as a thought leader in the retirement and worksite markets and a champion for effective retirement plans.

An economics major in college, her first job after graduation was for Morgan Stanley — as the first female in their real estate subsidiary. “That put me in contact with many insurance companies,” she says, adding that at just 23, she began to understand that the “true powerhouses” of capital markets were in insurance.  So, after receiving her MBA from Columbia University, she became a private placement underwriter at Aetna, where she lent to the same investment bankers she had interacted with on Wall Street. In addition, the role put her regularly in front of top company leadership.  “It was one of the best first jobs — I quickly understood how companies operate,” she recalls. 

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