WALNUT CREEK, CA--(Marketwire - February 16, 2010) - The San Francisco Bay Area Insurance Agency, general agency of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), today announced that Antonio Accardo was awarded the prestigious MassMutual "Freshman Five" award for his outstanding performance during his first year as a financial services agent. The highly competitive Freshman Five award is given to the five best-performing agents out of the approximately 1500 first year associates in MassMutual's 84 national offices who completed their first year as an agent in 2009.

Accardo, 38, earned his undergraduate degrees in finance and economics as well as an MBA, but prior to joining the Walnut Creek office of the San Francisco Bay Area Insurance Agency in mid-2008, he had been managing his family's 55-year-old San Francisco Italian restaurant. "I have been working in that restaurant since I was six-years-old when I started washing the dishes and moved through all the jobs there. Now, even with my new career as a financial professional, I am still the general manager at the restaurant and am there every weekend," says Accardo. 

"I'm actually really fortunate to have a whole community of loyal customers who my family has served for decades and they are very interested in learning more about financial services," Accardo states. "I explain to them how they can get value immediately by possibly making a few changes in their financial lives that don't cost them any additional money which really makes great sense for them. I hold informational meetings and seminars at the restaurant. It's a great combination."

"Antonio has been an exceptional agent in his first year," said Robert Fakhimi, CEO and Managing Partner, San Francisco Bay Area Insurance Agency. "His combination of financial intelligence and personal rapport, which he has refined over the years in his family's restaurant, is outstanding. He's very effective, smart and personable which are all great skills for a successful financial professional." 

Accardo's designation as a Freshman 5 award winner continues the successful tradition of the Agency. In the last six years, this firm, with Fakhimi as general agent, has developed five more Freshman 5 award honorees. In addition, the Agency has been honored with the MassMutual National Chairman's Trophy for performance in 2009, the seventh time the San Francisco agency received the award in the last eight years. The award is a reflection of an agency's accomplishments in revenue growth, recruitment and productivity.

"We foster a professional environment where clients come first," Fakhimi said. "My team supports our professionals with the best resources and training they need to reach their highest potential, and to help clients meet all of their financial goals." 

As a MassMutual general agency, the San Francisco Bay Area Insurance Agency leverages the resources of a 159-year-old, Fortune 500 company with local expertise on helping clients achieve their financial goals. The agency offers a broad range of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, disability income insurance, long-term care insurance, and retirement planning products and services. The Agency is headquartered in Walnut Creek and has field offices in Sacramento, Milpitas, Fremont and San Francisco.

About the San Francisco Bay Area Insurance Agency LLC
Founded in 1891, San Francisco Bay Area Insurance Agency LLC is a significant contributor to the local economy, as shown by the following figures about the San Francisco Bay Area Insurance Agency (as of December 31, 2008):

  • More than 36,000 policyholders and clients
  • Servicing over $676 Million in assets (including assets and certain external investment funds managed by MassMutual and its subsidiaries)
  • More than $4 billion in life insurance face amount in force
  • Will return more than $9.3 million in dividends to its participating policyholders in 2009 

Robert Fakhimi is CEO and Managing Partner of the San Francisco Bay Area Insurance Agency LLC. Mr. Fakhimi can be reached at 888-803-3631, ext. 320 or by e-mailing him at rfakhimi@finsvcs.com. Securities and investment advisory services and financial planning offered through qualified registered representatives of MML Investors Services, Inc., member SIPC, 2121 N. California Boulevard, Suite 395. Walnut Creek, CA 94596, (925) 979-2300.

About MassMutual

Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyholders. The company has a long history of financial strength and strong performance, and although dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has paid dividends to eligible participating policyholders every year since the 1860s. With whole life insurance as its foundation, MassMutual provides products to help meet the financial needs of clients, such as life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, retirement/401(k) plan services, and annuities. In addition, the company's strong and growing network of financial professionals helps clients make good financial decisions for the long-term.

MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. MassMutual is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts and its major affiliates include: Babson Capital Management LLC; Baring Asset Management Limited; Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC; The First Mercantile Trust Company; MassMutual International LLC; MML Investors Services, Inc., member FINRA and SIPC; OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; and The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB.

For more information, visit massmutual.com.

Contact Information:

Erica Zeidenberg