MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) and SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI) announced today that SunTrust will finance commercial real estate mortgages originated and managed by MetLife Real Estate Investors. This agreement for MetLife's newly created investment management platform is structured over three years with a possible overall investment from SunTrust up to $5 billion, subject to approval of each loan, and reinforces SunTrust’s commitment to commercial real estate. “We welcome SunTrust as a client and partner as it brings strong regional and national expertise that complements our long-standing real estate investment heritage,” said Steven J. Goulart, executive vice president and chief investment officer of MetLife, Inc. “This unique partnership supports our larger strategy to provide innovative and reliable investment vehicles to our clients.” MetLife recently launched an institutional asset management business to leverage its capabilities to invest on behalf of institutional clients. The new platform builds upon the company’s expertise and success in originating both commercial mortgages and private placement debt as well as investing in real estate equities. Since its inception, the new division has been tapping into its local market knowledge and long-standing industry relationships to uncover top-quality investments, including the strategic partnership with SunTrust, that offer attractive risk-adjusted returns. “As the commercial real estate market continues to regain its footing, we are actively seeking opportunities that make sense for our clients, SunTrust and our investors,” said Walt Mercer, executive vice president and head of Commercial Real Estate at SunTrust. “This agreement with MetLife, a proven and well-respected real estate investment leader, satisfied all of our criteria and we look forward to its potential.” With more than 100 years experience of real estate investing, MetLife is one of the largest portfolio lenders in the industry with $43.1 billion in commercial mortgages outstanding at the end of 2012, and with more than $9.6 billion in commercial mortgage loan originations in 2012.