Residents shocked MassMutual vice president Melissa Millan killed on
a Simsbury bike path considered safe
By Jeanette DeForge | firstname.lastname@example.org
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on November 23, 2014 at 8:33 PM, updated November 25, 2014 at 1:47
SIMSBURY — People using the popular bike path that runs through the
town said they were shocked to hear someone as stabbed to death
along the trail which they consider safe.
A memorial of candles and dozens of bouquets of flowers sat in the
spot where Melissa Millan, 54, the mother of two and a senior vice
president at MassMutual Financial Group, was killed at about 8 p.m.,
Thursday when she was running.
The path is connected to a series of linked bikeways that start in
Westfield and head south, running though most of Connecticut. It is
popular with Western Massachusetts residents.
Sunday several people stopped at the memorial to mourn the death of
the woman who was known as a triathlete as well as a parent and a
skilled professional. They declined to talk to the media. A vigil
was held earlier on Sunday in Farmington sponsored by Team Training
The organization's website called Millan an "an extraordinary human
being" and set up a memorial page for her.
"Melissa has been a pillar of the TTNE community since she first
trained with us in 2006. Regardless of her formidable
responsibilities at home and at work, she made every effort to
mentor 'newbie' triathletes and provide moral and other support to
her team members year in and year out, without fail!" the website
People who use the path said it is well-lit and there are always
people walking or driving by.
"I was very surprised," said Donna Morris, of Simsbury, who was
walking her four-month-old mixed breed dog at dusk Sunday. "I walk
here sometimes and I haven't had a problem."
The path runs along Iron Horse Boulevard, a divided roadway with
plenty of traffic. The memorial was set up less than 20 feet from a
popular playground which was filled with children and their parents
Sunday afternoon. Behind the playground is a dog park that is also
popular. Across the street from the playground is a group of shops.
"It looks like someone would have seen something," Morris said.
Tonia Kagan, of West Hartford, reacted with shock when she learned
the bouquets had been placed there to remember Millan.
"I love this path," she said. "My husband is in the dog park now. It
is a lovely place."
She likened Simsbury to West Hartford, saying it is usually peaceful
and violence is rare.
Simsbury Police said they are using resources within the department
as well as those from surrounding communities to investigate the
homicide. It has also increased patrols and police presence on Iron
Horse Boulevard for an undetermined amount of time.
"I use this path a lot and I'm shocked and surprised...I always feel
very safe," said Lucinda, who declined to give her last name.
A resident of Simsbury for 30 years, she said she moved to a nearby
community but still comes to walk her two dogs on the path.
Lucinda said she will continue to use the path, but will likely take
a friend when walking after dark.
Simsbury police investigate Mass Mutual VP homicide, vigil planned
Print Dave Canton | email@example.com By Dave Canton | firstname.lastname@example.org
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on November 23, 2014 at 2:49 PM, updated November 23, 2014 at 2:55
SIMSBURY— Simsbury Police and the Connecticut State Police Major
Crime Squad are investigating the death of 54-year-old Melissa
Millan, found stabbed in the chest on Iron Horse Boulevard in
Simsbury Thursday. At the same time, friends of the Mass Mutual
executive will be holding a vigil Sunday afternoon near the spot
where her body was found.
Simsbury Police Capt. Nicholas Boulter confirmed that the death has
been determined to be a homicide. In a press release, Boulter said
Millan was found dead alongside Iron Horse Boulevard Thursday. WFSB-TV
reported that the state Medical Examiner's Office confirmed Saturday
that Millan died from the stab wound. The channel 3 story is
Millan had been a senior vice president at Mass Mutual in
Springfield since 2001, the company confirmed. In a statement on its
Facebook page, the insurance company lamented her passing:
"Mass Mutual is deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and
colleague, Melissa Millan...Our thoughts and prayers are with
Melissa's family during this difficult time. Melissa's tremendous
leadership qualities, her business acumen and deeply caring nature
will be missed by those who had the opportunity to work with her."
According to the Hartford Courant police responded to a call from a
passing motorist at approximately 8 p.m. Thursday and found Millan
lying beside the street with an apparent stab wound to the chest.
She was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Millan's body was found next to a walking and bike trial which ran
parallel to Iron Horse Boulevard, a popular place for runners.
Millan was an active triathlete, her friends said.
A vigil is planned for Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. on Iron Horse
Vigil held for slain MassMutual executive Melissa Millan at
insurance company's Enfield campus
Simsbury, Conn., police investigate murder of Melissa Millan;
MassMutual VP recalled for brilliance, friendship, compassion
Slain MassMutual Executive Held Wall Street “Trade Secrets”
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: December 8, 2014
Simsbury Police Chief Peter Ingvertsen Speaking at a Press
Conference, December 4, 2014, on the Death of MassMutual Executive,
Simsbury Police Chief Peter Ingvertsen Speaking at a Press
Conference, December 4, 2014, on the Death of MassMutual Executive,
On Thursday, November 20, 2014, the body of 54-year old Melissa
Millan, a divorced mother of two school-age children, was found at
approximately 8 p.m. along a jogging path running parallel to Iron
Horse Boulevard in Simsbury, Connecticut. A motorist had spotted the
body and called the police.
According to the coroner’s report, it was determined that Millan’s
death was attributable to a stab wound to the chest with an “edged
weapon.” Police ruled the death a homicide, a rarity for this town
where residents feel safe enough to routinely jog by themselves on
the same path used by Millan.
Information has now emerged that Millan had access to highly
sensitive data on bank profits resulting from the collection of life
insurance proceeds from her insurance company employer on the death
of bank workers – data that a Federal regulator of banks has
characterized as “trade secrets.”
Millan was a Senior Vice President with Massachusetts Mutual Life
Insurance Company (MassMutual) headquartered in Springfield,
Massachusetts and a member of its 39-member Senior Management team
according to the company’s 2013 annual report. Millan had been with
the company since 2001.
According to Millan’s LinkedIn profile, her work involved the
“General management of BOLI” and Executive Group Life, as well as
disability insurance businesses and “expansion into worksite and
voluntary benefits market.”
BOLI is shorthand for Bank-Owned Life Insurance, a controversial
practice where banks purchase bulk life insurance on the lives of
their workers. The death benefit pays to the bank instead of to the
family of the deceased. According to industry publications,
MassMutual is considered one of the top ten sellers of BOLI in the
United States. Its annual reports in recent years have indicated
that growth in this area was a significant contributor to its
Banks as well as other types of corporations enjoy major tax
benefits through the use of this type of insurance. The cash buildup
in the policies contribute to annual earnings on a tax-free basis
while the death benefit is received free of Federal income tax when
the employee eventually dies. Even if the worker is no longer
employed at the bank, it can still collect the death benefit. Banks
owning BOLI routinely conduct “death sweeps” of public records using
former employees’ Social Security numbers to determine if a former
employee has died. It then submits a claim request for payment of
the death benefit to the insurance company.
Four of Wall Street’s largest banks are the largest owners of BOLI
according to December 31, 2013 data from the Federal Financial
Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), holding a combined total
of $68.1 billion. The four banks’ individual BOLI assets are as
follows as of the end of last year:
Bank of America $22.7 billion
Wells Fargo 18.7 billion
JPMorgan Chase 17.9 billion
Citigroup 8.8 billion
The BOLI assets, however, support a far greater amount of life
insurance coverage in force on the workers’ lives – potentially as
much as a ten to one ratio – meaning that just these four banks
could be holding $681 billion on the lives of their current and past
Since details on the number of workers insured and the annual
amounts that big Wall Street banks report as profits on the death of
their current and former workers are closely guarded secrets, in
March of this year Wall Street On Parade wrote to the regulator of
national banks, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC),
asking for BOLI information under the Freedom of Information Act.
Because JPMorgan Chase has experienced a number of tragic deaths
among young workers in their 30s this year, we asked the OCC for the
number of deaths from 2008 through March 21, 2014 on which JPMorgan
Chase collected death benefits; the total face amount of BOLI life
insurance in force at JPMorgan; the total number of former and
current employees of JPMorgan Chase who are insured under these
policies; and any peer studies showing the same data comparing
JPMorgan Chase with Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup.
The OCC responded to our request on April 18, 2014, advising that
they did have documents responsive to our request but that all
documents were going to be withheld because they were “privileged or
contains trade secrets, or commercial or financial information,
furnished in confidence, that relates to the business, personal, or
financial affairs of any person,” or relate to “a record contained
in or related to an examination.” (See OCC Response to Wall Street
On Parade’s Request for Banker Death Information).
It is noteworthy that JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo
and Citigroup are all publicly traded companies with shareholders.
Under securities law, shareholders have a right to material
information on how the company is making its profits. An investor
who wants to own the shares of a well-run bank whose business model
is to make prudent loans to businesses or loans to responsible
retail customers, should have a right to know how much of a bank’s
profits are coming from the unseemly practice of collecting death
benefits on its workers.
While the OCC refused to provide this information, Millan was among
a limited group outside of Federal regulators who was in a position
to have broad data on the death benefit claims being submitted by
multiple banks. Having data across multiple banks could have
facilitated the type of peer review studies we had requested from
the OCC – trade secrets that Wall Street does not want to allow into
In the past eight years, Millan had received two important
promotions at MassMutual according to corporate press releases,
elevating her into the role of Senior Management. In October 2006,
she was promoted to Senior Vice President of Product Management from
the post of Corporate Vice President of the Disability Insurance and
Long Term Care Insurance operations.
On July 1, 2011, Millan assumed the leadership “of an expanded and
centralized services and operations division” that included
“business underwriting and operations, as well as claims.”
There is evidence that Millan did use internal studies to see
trends. On September 18, 2013, MassMutual released a 2013 Employer
Perspectives on Disability Benefits study showing inadequate
coverage of some workers in case they became disabled. The press
release announcing the study quotes Millan as follows:
“ ‘Not only are many executives at risk, but so are their families,’
said Melissa Millan, senior vice president, worksite insurance,
MassMutual. ‘We commissioned this study to help employee benefits
executives and benefits managers benchmark their disability
insurance plans more effectively, and help lead organizations to
fully informed recommendations and decisions.’ ”
On December 4, Simsbury Police Chief Peter Ingvertsen held a press
conference to provide the press and public with updates on the case.
He said friends, family and co-workers have been interviewed and
that the public has come forward with information.
A reporter at the press conference indicated that she had spoken
with sources and learned that Millan had not been robbed nor was it
a sexual assault. She asked the police chief if he had other reasons
to believe it was not a random crime. Police Chief Ingvertsen said
it had not yet been determined if this was or was not a random
The Chief asked anyone with relevant information to call 860
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