AM Best Information Services

JANUARY 14, 2016 05:24 PM (EST)

A.M. Best Places Ratings of MetLife Inc. and Its Subsidiaries Under Review with Developing Implications

 Michael Adams, FLMI
Senior Financial Analyst—L/H
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5133

Jonathan Harris
Senior Financial Analyst—P/C
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5771
Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5159

Jim Peavy
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5644


OLDWICK - JANUARY 14, 2016 05:24 PM (EST)
A.M. Best has placed under review with developing implications the financial strength rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of the primary life/health insurance subsidiaries of MetLife, Inc. (MetLife) (New York, NY) [NYSE: MET]. Concurrently, A.M. Best has placed the ICR of “a-”, as well as all issue ratings of MetLife, under review with developing implications.

Additionally, A.M. Best has placed under review with developing implications the FSR of A (Excellent) and the ICRs of “a+” of MetLife’s property/casualty companies, consisting of Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company, seven fully reinsured subsidiaries and a separately rated subsidiary, Metropolitan Group Property and Casualty Insurance Company (together referred to as MetLife Auto & Home). (See link below for a detailed listing of the companies and ratings.)

The actions follow MetLife’s public announcement on Jan. 12, 2016 that it will pursue the separation of a substantial portion of its U.S. retail segment and is evaluating structural alternatives for this separation. These alternatives include a public offering of shares in an independent, publicly traded company, a spin-off or a sale. MetLife is still in the beginning stages of this process and additional information will become available as the transaction unfolds, including details on both the corporate and capital structure of the two companies. A.M. Best notes that the new retail focused company would maintain the more capital intensive lines of business, including variable annuities with living benefit riders and universal life with secondary guarantees, which would result in a significant amount of exposure to market volatility and interest rate risk. However, at this time the level of capitalization for this company has not been set.

A.M. Best acknowledges that MetLife will maintain its industry leading position in the group insurance market and will continue to focus on growing its corporate benefit funding segment, which includes structured settlements and pension risk transfer business. The company will also focus on increasing its international presence in which it holds several market leading positions in both mature and emerging markets.

The ratings will remain under review until A.M. Best receives more definitive direction from the management of MetLife on the final separation strategy to be pursued, as well as the ultimate capital structure and allocation between the organizations.

For a complete listing of the members of MetLife, Inc.’s FSRs, ICRs and issue ratings, please visit MetLife, Inc.

This press release relates to rating(s) that have been published on A.M. Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see A.M. Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page.

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