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Will Changes in Top Brass Boost MetLife’s (MET) Growth?


MetLife, Inc. MET has announced a host of management changes to its leadership team, effective Jul 1.

The company has appointed Michel Khalaf as the U.S. business president as a replacement to Maria Morris, who will retire this fall. However, Khalaf will continue to carry on his current responsibility as the president of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

MetLife has conferred additional responsibilities on Marty Lippert, who along with his current duties of managing MetLife’s Head of Global Technology and Operations, will now look after MetLife Holdings. He is credited with exceptional qualities in leading the company’s digital strategy.

MetLife has also appointed Ramy Tadros, who will join this September as the new chief risk officer, after the current head steps down in August end.

The valuable experience of these veteran players is expected to drive MetLife’s overall profitability. The company has also resorted to other strategic initiatives to propel growth.

One of its major decisions was to separate the U.S. Retail business, which carried stringent capital requirements and equity market volatility. MetLife is also working toward reducing the cost base.

Although the stock of MetLife has rallied 26.11% over the past one year, it has underperformed the Zacks categorized Multi Line industry’s 34% gain. Regulatory uncertainty, persistent low interest rate environment and forex volatility must have precipitated investors’ pessimism over the stock.

Another big player in the industry — American International Group Inc. AIG — appointed Brian Duperreault as its new CEO last month. He replaced Peter D. Hancock.

MetLife carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked players in the same space are Cigna Corp. CI and Loews Corp. L. Each stock carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Cigna beat estimates in three of the last four quarters, with an average positive surprise of 1.35%.

Loews Corp. beat estimates in each of the last four quarters, with an average positive surprise of 25.77%.

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