MetLife

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MetLife, Inc.
TypePublic
Traded asNYSEMET
S&P 500 Component
IndustryFinancial services
Founded1868
Headquarters1095 Avenue of the Americas
New York City, New York, U.S.
Key peopleSteven A. Kandarian
(President, Chairman, and CEO)
ProductsInsurance, Annuities, Employee Benefits, Banking
RevenueIncrease US$ 52.717 billion (2010)[1]
Operating incomeIncrease US$ 3.958 billion (2010)[1]
Net incomeIncrease US$ 2.786 billion (2010)[1]
Total assetsIncrease US$ 730.906 billion (2010)[1]
Total equityIncrease US$ 48.996 billion (2010)[1]
Employees66,000 (2010)[1]
WebsiteMetLife.com
 
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MetLife, Inc.
TypePublic
Traded asNYSEMET
S&P 500 Component
IndustryFinancial services
Founded1868
Headquarters1095 Avenue of the Americas
New York City, New York, U.S.
Key peopleSteven A. Kandarian
(President, Chairman, and CEO)
ProductsInsurance, Annuities, Employee Benefits, Banking
RevenueIncrease US$ 52.717 billion (2010)[1]
Operating incomeIncrease US$ 3.958 billion (2010)[1]
Net incomeIncrease US$ 2.786 billion (2010)[1]
Total assetsIncrease US$ 730.906 billion (2010)[1]
Total equityIncrease US$ 48.996 billion (2010)[1]
Employees66,000 (2010)[1]
WebsiteMetLife.com

MetLife, Inc. is the holding corporation for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, or MetLife for short, and its affiliates. MetLife is among the largest global providers of insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs, with 90 million customers in over 60 countries.[2][3] The firm was founded on March 24, 1868.[4]

On January 6, 1915, MetLife completed the mutualization process, changing from a stock life insurance company owned by individuals to a mutual company operating without external shareholders and for the benefit of policyholders.[5] The company went public in 2000.[6] Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia’s Pacific region, Europe, and the Middle East.[7] MetLife serves 90 of the largest Fortune 500 companies.[8] The company’s principal offices are located at 1095 Avenue of the Americas in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, though it retains some executive offices and its boardroom in the MetLife Building, located at 200 Park Avenue, New York City, which it sold in 2005.[9]

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company tower, which previously served as company headquarters, was featured in its advertising for many years.
Home office of the New England Mutual Life Insurance Co. one of the predecessor companies of MetLife. see [10]

The predecessor company to MetLife began in 1863 when a group of New York City businessmen raised $100,000 to found the National Union Life and Limb Insurance Company. The company insured Civil War sailors and soldiers against disabilities due to wartime wounds, accidents, and sickness. On March 24, 1868, it became known as Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and shifted its focus to the life insurance business.[11][12] A severe business depression that began in the early 1870s forced the company to contract, until it reached its lowest point in the late 1870s. After observing the insurance industry in Great Britain in 1879, MetLife President Joseph F. Knapp brought “industrial” or “workingmen’s” insurance programs to the United States – insurance issued in small amounts on which premiums were collected weekly or monthly at the policyholder’s home. By 1880, sales had exceeded a quarter million of such policies, resulting in nearly $1 million in revenue from premiums. In 1909, MetLife had become the nation’s largest life insurer in the U.S., as measured by life insurance in force (the total value of life insurance policies issued).[11][13]

In 1907, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company tower was commissioned to serve as MetLife’s 23rd Street headquarters in Lower Manhattan. Completed two years later, the building was the world's tallest until 1913 and remained the company's headquarters until 2005. For many years, an illustration of the building (with light emanating from the tip of its spire and the slogan, "The Light That Never Fails") featured prominently in MetLife’s advertising.[14] By 1930, MetLife insured every fifth man, woman, and child in the United States and Canada.[15] During the 1930s, it also began to diversify its portfolio by reducing the percentage of individual mortgages in favor of public utility bonds, investments in government securities, and loans for commercial real estate.[15] The company financed the construction of the Empire State Building in 1929 as well as provided capital to build Rockefeller Center in 1931. During World War II, MetLife placed more than 51 percent of its total assets in war bonds, and was the largest single private contributor to the Allied cause.[15]

Postwar[edit]

Company president Leroy Lincoln in 1947
Metropolitan Life logo, ca. 1970.

During the postwar era, the company expanded its suburban presence, decentralized operations, and refocused its career agency system to serve all market segments. It also began to market group insurance products to employers and institutions. By 1979, operations were segmented into four primary businesses: group insurance, personal insurance, pensions, and investments.[15] In 1981, MetLife purchased what became known as the MetLife building for $400 million from a group that included Pan American World Airways.[16][17]

MetLife building at 200 Park Ave in New York City. The building is no longer owned by MetLife

Current era[edit]

In 1998, the board of directors authorized demutualization.[15] Eighteen months later in April 2000, MetLife held an IPO, resulting in the issuance of 202,000,000 shares at the price of $14.25 per share.[6] At the time of the IPO, MetLife, Inc. had nine million shareholders and was the most widely held stock in North America.[18] In 2001, MetLife was the first insurance company to establish a financial holding company with a nationally chartered bank through its purchase of Grand Bank, which was renamed MetLife Bank.[19] The company also invested $1 billion in the U.S. stock market during 2001, immediately after the September 11th terrorist attacks.[15]

MetLife acquired Travelers Life & Annuity and substantially all of Citigroup’s international insurance businesses for $12 billion.[20] At the time of the deal, which was completed on July 1, 2005, the Travelers acquisition made MetLife the largest individual life insurer in North America based on sales.[20] Current MetLife chairman C. Robert (Rob) Henrikson was appointed chairman of the board of directors, president and chief executive officer of MetLife in 2006.[21] In 2008, MetLife Bank, N.A., a division of MetLife Inc., purchased the residential mortgage business of Memphis-based First Horizon National Corporation. The purchase included the home loan unit of First Tennessee Bank National Association (outside Tennessee), with 230 offices in the US.[22] The same year, MetLife also purchased the reverse mortgage division of Florida-based Everbank Financial Corp. Both transactions were completed in order to expand the company's stake in the US housing market.[23] Later that year, MetLife split-off substantially all of its 52% stake in Reinsurance Group of America, Inc.[24] MetLife had received the majority stake in RGA as a result of its 2000 acquisition of GenAmerica.[25] The split-off gave MetLife shareholders the option to exchange MetLife shares for shares of RGA.[24]

In 2010, MetLife completed its purchase of American Life Insurance Company (Alico), from American International Group (AIG).[26][27] The $16.2 billion acquisition of Alico expanded the company’s life insurance and employee benefits business into more than 60 countries compared to 17 countries before the acquisition.[26][27][28][29] On March 21, 2011, MetLife announced that Steven Kandarian, who had headed MetLife's investment department would succeed Robert Henrickson as President and CEO as of May 1, 2011.[30]

MetLife Bank sale[edit]

MetLife Bank, along with three other large US banking institutions, failed a Federal Reserve stress test in 2012 to determine how well it could handle a worst-case economic scenario. As a result, MetLife announced the sale of its banking unit to GE Capital.[31][32] On November 2, 2012, MetLife said it is selling its $70 billion mortgage servicing business to JPMorgan Chase for an undisclosed amount.[33] Both sales were part of its strategy to focus on the insurance side of its business.

Fines[edit]

On August 7, 2012, it was announced that MetLife will pay $3.2 million in fines after the Federal Reserve charged it used unsafe and unsound practices in handling its mortgage servicing and foreclosure operations.[34]

Products and services[edit]

MetLife Hall of Records, Yonkers, New York.

Insurance products accounted for 53% of MetLife’s 2009 $49 billion of revenue.[35] MetLife is the largest life insurer in the United States and Mexico[35] and is the second-largest foreign provider of insurance in Japan and worldwide its customers total 90 million individuals.[2][7]

Life insurance[edit]

MetLife’s individual life insurance products and services comprise term life insurance and several types of permanent life insurance, including whole life, universal life and variable universal life. The company also offers group life insurance, provided through employers, which consists of term life, group variable universal life and group universal life.[36][37] MetLife is the largest life insurer in the United States, based on life insurance in-force.[8][35]

Dental[edit]

MetLife offers group dental benefit plans for individuals, employees, retirees and their families and provides dental plan administration for over 20 million people.[38][39] Plans include MetLife’s Preferred Dentist Program (PPO) and the SafeGuard DHMO (available for both individuals and employees in CA, FL, and TX). As of May 2010, MetLife’s dental PPO network included over 135,000 participating dentist locations nationwide while the dental HMO network included more than 13,000 participating dentist locations in California, Florida and Texas.[40] MetLife also administers dental continuing education program for dentists and allied health care professionals, which are recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).[41]

Disability[edit]

MetLife provides disability products for individuals as well as employee and association groups who receive them through their employer.[42] For individuals, the company’s individual disability income insurance can replace a portion of lost income if an individual is unable to work due to sickness or injury.[43] For groups, MetLife offers short term disability insurance and long term disability insurance. Short term disability insurance is structured to replace a portion of an individual’s income during the initial weeks of a disabling illness or accident. Long term disability Insurance serves to replace a portion of an individual’s income during an extended period of a disabling illness or accident.[44] The company also maintains an absence management product which allows employers to track and manage both planned and unplanned employee absences. The product, which MetLife calls MetLife Total Absence Management, is structured for businesses with 1,000 or more employees.[45]

Annuities[edit]

MetLife is among the largest providers of annuities in the world, recording $22.4 billion in sales during 2009.[46] MetLife offers annuities which consist of fixed annuities, variable annuities, deferred annuities and immediate annuities.[47] In 1921, MetLife was the first company to issue a group annuity contract.[48] More recently in 2004, it was the first insurer to introduce a longevity insurance product.[49] As of December 31, 2009, MetLife globally managed group annuity assets of $60 billion with $34 billion of transferred pension liabilities and provided benefit payments to over 600,000 annuitants per month.[50]

Auto & Home[edit]

MetLife Auto & Home is the brand name for MetLife’s nine affiliate personal lines insurance companies.[51] Collectively these companies offer personal lines property and casualty insurance policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.[52] The flagship company in the MetLife Auto & Home group, Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company, was founded in 1972.[51] MetLife Auto & Home companies presently have over 2.7 million active policies and service 58 of the Fortune 100 companies.[53][54]

According to its website, MetLife Auto & Home offers auto policies and home insurance, whether the policy owner lives in a house, condo, mobile home, or apartment.[55] The companies also sell RV, ATV, boat, mobile home, collectible vehicle, and motorcycle policies[55] and offers flood insurance policies as a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is managed by the federal government.[56][57] Through an arrangement with Hyatt Legal Plans, a subsidiary of MetLife, MetLife Auto & Home underwrites group legal plans in many states.[58]

It was the first national insurer in the U.S. to offer identity-theft resolution services at no extra premium and as of 2012 continues to do so today in most U.S. states.[59][60] In 2010, MetLife Auto & Home began offering their GrandProtect plan in most states. This GrandProtect policy simplifies complex insurance needs by combining a client's home, valuable items, autos, RVs, and boats into one comprehensive policy package. The ultimate benefits to the consumer are having one bill, only one deductible, comprehensive coverage, and typically lower rates than trying to get each policy individually.[61]

Other products[edit]

MetLife’s products also include critical illness insurance.[62] Financial services include fee-based financial planning, retirement planning, wealth management, 529 Plans, banking, and commercial and residential mortgages.[63] The company also provides retirement plan and other financial services to healthcare, education, and not-for-profit organizations.[64] The MetLife Center for Special Needs Planning is a group of planners which serve families and individuals with special needs.[65] In 2014, MetLife launched MetLife Defender, a digital identity theft protection product.[66]

Finance[edit]

On Aug 11, 2003, MetLife Inc. announced a $31 million adjustment to its second-quarter earnings, citing improperly deferred expenses at an affiliate company.[67]

International presence[edit]

Outside of the U.S., MetLife operates in Latin America, Europe, Asia’s Pacific region, and the Middle East, with leading market positions in Mexico, Japan, South Korea and Chile.[7]

On March 8, 2010, Met Life announced its intent to purchase the international leader life-insurance business, American Life Insurance Company (Alico), from American International Group (AIG). MetLife, which completed the deal on November 1, 2010, paid approximately $7.2 billion in cash and $9.0 billion in MetLife equity and other securities.[68][69] The securities portion of the deal consisted of 78.2 million shares of MetLife common stock, 6.9 million shares of contingent convertible preferred stock and 40 million equity units.[28] The values of the common and preferred stock were based on the closing price of MetLife’s common stock on October 29.[28] Upon completion of the purchase, MetLife became a leading competitor in Japan, the world’s second-largest life insurance market, and moved into a top 5 market position in many high growth emerging markets in Central and Eastern Europe, such as Romania, the Middle East and Latin America.[70] The deal added 20 million customers to MetLife’s 70 million and according to Barron’s Magazine more than doubled the percentage of operating profits that MetLife gets abroad to 40%.[35]

In India MetLife has an affiliate company India Insurance Company Limited (MetLife) which has operated in India since 2001. This company has its headquarters in Bangalore and Gurgaon and was jointly owned by MetLife and a few local Indian financial companies. In 2012 an agreement was made with local Indian bank, the Punjab National Bank to establish a strategic alliance and for it to take a 30% share in MetLife India.[71] The state owned bank would in return sell MetLife insurance products in its branches.

Charitable activity[edit]

MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue the company’s philanthropic efforts and community involvement. The Foundation makes grants in health, education, civic affairs and culture. In 2010, MetLife and MetLife Foundation contributed over $44.7 million to nonprofit organizations and $489 million in loans and investments for community development.[72][73]

As of 2011, MetLife owns or operates six Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified properties and 14 Energy Star-rated facilities. Between 2006 and 2010, properties maintained by the company have reduced their energy consumption by more than 16 percent.[74][75] The company has also invested more than $1 billion in renewable energy projects including Pattern Energy Group LP’s Gulf Wind project and Xcel Energy’s solar power plant in Colorado.[76][77]

Relationship with Peanuts[edit]

Since 1985, Snoopy, and other Peanuts characters have appeared in MetLife company promotional materials, sales literature, premium items and advertising as spokestoons.[78] Campaigns include “Get Met. It pays.”, “have you met life today?”, “Guarantees for the if in Life”[79][80] In 2002, MetLife signed a contract that allowed the company to continue to use the Peanuts cartoon characters in its advertising.[81]

In 2006, MetLife signed an international agreement with Peanuts Worldwide. This agreement, in combination with our North American contract, gave MetLife exclusive worldwide rights in the financial services category to use the PEANUTS characters to promote MetLife. The rights included using Snoopy and PEANUTS characters in the financial services category, including credit and debit cards; MetLife's use of Snoopy and PEANUTS characters carries no media royalties; the Snoopy Premium Program delivers an easy way to source a wide variety of quality premium items worldwide, with the capability to conduct co-branded marketing with all MetLife companies, joint ventures, and distributors—worldwide. The North America and international markets contract were set to expire in 2014.[82]

Blimp and sports sponsorship[edit]

The Metlife 'Snoopy Two' blimp.

The MetLife blimp program began in 1987 with the “Snoopy 1” airship and, in 1994, expanded to include the “Snoopy 2” airship.[78][83] The program provides aerial coverage to over 80 major sporting events every year and is currently the official aerial coverage provider of the PGA Tour.[84] “Snoopy 1” and “Snoopy 2” also provide overhead television coverage for the NFL, CBS College Football, the LPGA, the NBA Finals, Copa Chile, the Preakness Stakes, and the Kentucky Derby.[84][85][86][87] On August 23, 2011, MetLife agreed to a 25 year sponsorship deal to rename New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, home of the NFL's New York Giants and New York Jets to MetLife Stadium.[88]

Awards[edit]

MetLife was named the “Best Managed Insurance Company for 2008” by Forbes magazine.[89] For three consecutive years (2008–2010) the company has also appeared on FORTUNE’s list of the most-admired companies.[90][91][92] MetLife was recognized by Diversity MBA magazine as one of its “Top 50 Companies for Diverse Managers” in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.[93] The magazine highlighted MetLife’s Enterprise Diversity Council and noted how the council helps “set direction, communicate strategy and ensure consistency of the diversity message across MetLife.”[93] For eleven consecutive years (1999–2009) MetLife has been named by Working Mother magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers,” specifically for offering flexible schedules, remote working capabilities and various child care options.[94][95] MetLife has also been awarded a perfect score for seven consecutive years (2004–2010) by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for its “Corporate Equality Index-Best Companies for People who are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgendered.”[96][97]

Subsidiary and affiliate companies[edit]

Other MetLife subsidiaries and affiliates include MetLife Investors, MetLife Bank, MetLife Securities, Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, General American, Hyatt Legal, MetLife Insurance Company of Connecticut, MetLife Resources, New England Financial, Walnut Street Securities, Inc., Safeguard Health Enterprises, Inc., and Tower Square Securities, Inc.[58][98][99][100][101][102][103][104][105]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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