MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) announced today that Christopher Townsend, 43, will join the company as head of its Asia region, which consists of Japan, Korea, Australia, Hong Kong and China. Townsend will report to the CEO and become a member of the company’s executive management team. In 2011, MetLife’s Asia region generated $8.7 billion in premiums, fees & other revenues and more than $850 million in operating earnings.
“Chris will be an outstanding leader of our Asia region,” said Steven A. Kandarian, chairman, president and chief executive officer of MetLife, Inc. “He is a proven executive who knows how to drive profitable growth across multiple distribution channels.”
Townsend, who will be based in Hong Kong, joins MetLife from Chartis, a leading insurance organization serving more than 70 million clients around the world. He most recently served as chief executive officer of the company’s Asia-Pacific region with 4,700 employees in 15 countries.
Townsend previously was chief executive officer of Chartis–Australasia, with responsibility for the company’s businesses across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Earlier, he was the CEO for Hong Kong, head of mergers and acquisitions, and held a number of senior leadership roles in Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Sydney. He joined Chartis in the United Kingdom in 1991 and has spent more than half of his 21-year career in the company’s Asia-Pacific region. Townsend has agreed to join MetLife after a period of time during which he fulfills his existing obligations to Chartis.In the fall of 2011, MetLife announced that it was organizing its business segments by three broad geographic regions – the Americas, EMEA (Europe/Middle East/Africa), and Asia – and a Global Employee Benefits business. “With Chris joining MetLife, we will have experienced leaders in place in all three of MetLife’s geographic regions and our Global Employee Benefits business,” Kandarian said. “I am confident they will deliver strong results for our customers, employees and shareholders.”
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