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About Metropolitan Insurance & Annuity Co

MetLife is one of the largest institutional investors in the United States. Its underwriting subsidiaries offer life insurance policies, accident and health coverage, credit insurance, and property/casualty coverage. It also provides annuities, employee benefits, and asset management services. MetLife primarily sells its offerings to individuals and small business owners by independent agents and property and casualty specialists through a direct marketing channel. The company uses a range of proprietary and third-parties to distribute its offerings. More than 50% of its revenue comes from the US.

Operations

MetLife is organized into five primary segments: US; Asia; MetLife Holdings; Latin America; and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Certain results are also reported in the operations of the Corporate & Other segment. Insurance premiums account for about 60% of revenue, followed by investment income (more than 25%) and Universal life & investment-type product policy fees (nearly 10%).

The US segment, accounting for more than 50% of annual revenue, provides life (term, variable, and universal), disability, dental, and accident and health coverage to employee groups. Its retirement and income solutions include institutional income annuities, pension risk transfers, tort settlements, capital markets investment products, and stable value investment options for institutional customers. It also sells property/casualty policies (auto, and homeowners) to individuals and businesses.

The Asia segment (more than 15% of sales) provides life, accident and health, retirement, and savings products to individuals and corporations in about 10 Asian countries.

MetLife Holdings (some 15% of revenue) comprises businesses no longer actively promoted in the US, including Variable, Universal and Term Life Insurance, Whole Life Insurance, Variable Annuities, Fixed and Indexed-Linked Annuities, and Long-term Care.

The Latin America segment (more than 5% of revenue) offers businesses and individuals a variety of life, accident and health, retirement and savings, and credit insurance policies.

The EMEA segment (about 5% of sales) offers life, accident, supplemental health, and credit insurance plus retirement products to groups, businesses, and individuals in many countries across EMEA.

Geographic Reach

Headquartered in New York City, MetLife operates in the Americas, Asia, Japan, and the EMEA region (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa). Its largest market is the US, accounting for more than 50% of sales.

The company does business in about 10 countries in Asia, with its largest operations in Japan. It also does business in Australia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, China, Korea, and Malaysia. It has an innovation center in Singapore and a data analytics center in Malaysia.

Its Latin America segment includes the key markets of Mexico and Chile, as well as Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia.

MetLife is active in many countries across EMEA. The segment's biggest operations are in the Gulf region, Poland, and Turkey.

Sales and Marketing

MetLife's policies and other products are sold to employer groups, corporations, institutions, and individuals.

In the US, the company distributes group benefits and retirement products through direct sales forces, while the property/casualty policies are sold directly to employees at their employer's worksite. In Asia, it distributes through a range of proprietary and third-party distribution channels including independent agents, bancassurance, and direct marketing. In Latin America it uses exclusive and captive agents, telesales, and brokers; and in the EMEA region it uses captive and independent agencies, banks, and direct sales.

Financial Performance

Except in fiscal 2016 when MetLife's total revenue dipped slightly, growth for the last five years have been generally steady and the net income followed the same exact trend.

In 2019, revenue increased 2% to $69.6 billion as improved sales in U.S. Group Benefits business, as well as in Latin America and EMEA, more than offset lower sales in Japan.

Net income rose 15% to $5.9 billion in 2019, primarily driven by a favorable change in net investment gains and an increase in adjusted earnings, which includes benefits from certain tax settlements, partially offset by an unfavorable change in net derivative gains.

The company ended 2019 with $16.6 billion in cash, up by $777 million from 2018. Operating activities contributed $13.8 billion, while investing activities used $17.6 billion (mostly purchases of matured securities). Financing activities provided $4.6 billion to the coffers.

Strategy

MetLife introduced its Next Horizon Strategy which is founded on three pillars: Focus — by generating strong free cash flow by deploying capital and resources to the highest value opportunities; Simplify — by simplifying its business to deliver operational efficiency and an outstanding customer experience, and; Differentiate — by driving competitive advantage through its brand, scale, talent, and innovation. The pillars of Next Horizon Strategy are the basis of MetLife's ability to create and deliver optimal shareholder value. The company continues to shift its business mix to protection-oriented and fee-based businesses. As a result, it expects results to be less sensitive to interest rates. Assuming interest rates follow the observable forward yield curves, as of the year ended December 31, 2019, it expects the ratio of free cash flow to adjusted earnings over the two-year period of 2020 and 2021 to be 65% to 75%, assuming a 10-year U.S. Treasury rate between 1.5% and 4.5%.

In addition, MetLife applies disciplined asset/liability management (ALM) strategies, including the use of derivatives, and may take management actions such as: Lowering interest crediting rates or adjusting the dividend scale on products; Limiting or closing certain products to new sales to manage exposures; and Shifting sales focus to less interest rate sensitive products. The company expects adjusted earnings will continue to increase over the near term despite the sustained low U.S. interest rate environment.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In late 2019, MetLife, Inc., and US-based, PetFirst Healthcare, LLC, a fast-growing pet health insurance administrator, have entered into a definitive agreement under which MetLife will acquire PetFirst. The acquisition will leverage MetLife's position as a market leader in U.S. group benefits by enabling the company to offer a new benefit that is growing in popularity. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Also in late 2019 MetLife agreed to acquire Florida-based Willing, a digital estate planning company that helps families create legal documents such as wills and trusts. The purchase enhances the digital offerings of its group benefits unit. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Company Background

Metropolitan Life Insurance was established as a stock company in 1868. It became a mutual company (owned by its policyholders) in 1915. Starting off serving mutual assistance societies for German immigrants, the company began offering group policies in 1917 and auto and homeowners insurance in 1974. The company entered banking in 2001 but exited the operations in the early 2010s to avoid increased regulatory scrutiny following the financial crisis.

US regulators had designated MetLife one of four non-bank systemically important financial institutions (meaning it would pose a risk to the economy if it should collapse), but MetLife fought the designation, winning its case in a federal court in 2016. A federal government appeal of the ruling was dropped in 2018.

The company sold its US retail captive agency distribution channel (MetLife Premier Client Group) and its broker dealer unit (MetLife Securities) in mid-2016 to MassMutual. 

MetLife acquired Logan Circle Partners from Fortress Investment Group for some $250 million in 2017 to expand its asset management business for institutional investors.

Metropolitan Insurance & Annuity Co

1 Madison Ave Lbby
New York, NY 10010-3687
Phone: 1 (212) 578-2211

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Privately Owned
Coo: David Cattar
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer: Steven Kandarian
Regional Managing Director: Timothy Sackett
Employees (This Location): 3,000
Employees (All Locations): 3,001

Major Office Locations

New York, NY

Other Locations

Carrollton, TX