MetLife to Hire 20 in Asset Management

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Insurer MetLife plans to hire about 20 people, mostly in marketing, over the next 12 months as it launches its third-party asset management business, Christopher Breslin, vice president of corporate media relations, told eFinancialCareers.

As previously announced, the asset management group will focus on institutional investors, particularly in real estate and private-placement debt.

“While we'll mostly leverage the more than 100 people we already have in our real estate and private placement areas, we do anticipate [hiring] in several areas, such as marketing, over the next year or so,” Breslin told eFC.

MetLife also wants to add talent to its investor relations, portfolio management and client reporting units within its asset management business, which will focus on real estate equity, commercial mortgages and debt private placement.

MetLife is already one of the largest institutional investors in both real estate and private-placement debt. The insurer will now look to use its expertise in those two sectors to target third-party institutional investors like insurance companies, public and private pension plans and sovereign wealth funds, according to a company statement.

Robert Merck, global head of real estate investments, will run the new real estate group, dubbed MetLife Real Estate Investors, while continuing to manage investments for MetLife.

The private placement debt unit, branded MetLife Private Capital Investors, will manage corporate private debt, project finance and infrastructure debt, and equity in renewable energy, among other investments. Scott Inglis, global head of private securities at MetLife, will run the new private placement debt group.

With interest rates hovering at record lows, large financial firms like MetLife have begun targeting real estate and private-placement debt investments, areas that have proven to provide strong yields in recent years. The move also fits well with Chief Executive Officer Steven Kandarian’s goal of dialing back capital-intensive products with a renewed emphasis on fee income, according to Bloomberg.

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