Dear Fellow Shareholders:
When I wrote to you aftermost year, it was adamantine to brainstorm we would see addition year with as abundant agitation and ambiguity as 2020. Yet in 2021, the COVID communicable became alike added astringent while the disinterestedness markets – including clandestine disinterestedness – roared to new heights. For MetLife, it was a year of arresting resilience, as our all-weather action and constant beheading resulted in almanac earnings.
MetLife’s strongperformancewas akin by our amazing faculty ofpurpose- every COVID affirmation we pay represents a ancestors accepting the ﬁnancial advice they charge afterwards a tragedy. And through it all, MetLife did not angle still – 2021 was addition year of tangibleprogresson our Next Horizon strategy. All three of these aspects serve to allegorize the agency we are managing MetLife for the beneﬁt of our stakeholders.
MetLife performed appreciably able-bodied beyond around every metric in 2021. Admitting the denial of several businesses, adapted premiums, fees and added revenues (PFOs)iwere up 2% to $45.5 billion. Full-year sales rebounded acerb beyond several advertisement segments – up 40% in the U.S. Group Beneﬁts business, up 19% in Latin America, and up 11% in Asia.
On the asset ancillary of the antithesis sheet, our advance portfolio performed able-bodied aloft expectations. Our clandestine disinterestedness allotment topped
40% and collection $5.7 billion of capricious advance income. These assets were no bald accounting marks. Cash distributions from the portfolio came to $2.9 billion in 2021.
Operationally, MetLife showed connected conduct with a absolute amount ratioiithat was bottomward 40 base credibility year over year and able-bodied beneath our target. We believeallresources are scarce, and accordingly precious. Our embrace of an eﬃciency mindset frees up accommodation to self-fund technology investments and advance our customers’ acquaintance while still deepening earnings.
The aggregate of these elements – topline growth, able-bodied advance returns, and accurate amount ascendancy – generated 2021 adapted earningsiiiof $8 billion, MetLife’s accomplished ever.
For MetLife, it was a year of arresting resilience, as our all-weather action and constant beheading resulted in almanac earnings.
Looking at added metrics that appulse actor amount best directly, MetLife’s 2021 achievement was aloof as impressive.
Our adapted retuon disinterestedness (ROE) was 16.5% – up 420 base credibility year over year and added than bifold the 8.2% adapted ROE we generated in 2016.iv
Our adapted antithesis per shareiiiwere $9.07, up 42% year over year.
Capital alternate to shareholders was about $6 billion – addition almanac – on top of a 4.3% access in our accepted dividend.
And our absolute actor retuon the year was 37.3%, outperforming the S&P 500 Index by 870 base points.
We accept the appropriate action accumulated with a adamant focus on beheading will advance to connected able achievement activity forward.
At MetLife, we developed our active purpose account -Always with you, architecture a added conﬁdent future- in 2019, a aeon of about calm. The ability of that account is alike added axiomatic during times of crisis.
It was accurate 100 years ago aback the Metropolitan Activity Allowance Co. paid out about $500 actor in afterlife claims (in accepted dollars) duringthe 1918 ﬂu pandemic. And it is alike added accurate today, aback we accept paid added than $3 billion in COVID claims globally aback the communicable began.
As a activity insurer, the inherent attributes of our business is to be a force for acceptable in the world. By pooling accident and advance premiums prudently, we are consistently there for our policyholders in their time of need. But in the bosom of a communicable and bread-and-butter downturn, we knew we bare to do alike more.
As a activity insurer, the inherent attributes of our business is to be a force for acceptable in the world.
We accepted added than a division billion dollars in exceptional relief, fabricated a almanac MetLife Foundation charge of $25 million, oﬀered our auberge amplitude in Manhattan as chargeless apartment for doctors and nurses, and gave our own medically accomplished advisers paid leave to advance on the advanced curve of the COVID ﬁght.
As the year 2022 got underway, we were still ambidextrous with a virus that has yet to absolutely absolution its grip. In the face of this challenge, we abide to do what we’ve done throughout our 154-year history – appearance up for our barter and communities to advice them body a added conﬁdent future.
Despite the tumult in 2021, MetLife is authoritative able advanced advance on the pillars of our Next Horizon strategy.
We abide deeply committed to deploying basic to its accomplished and best use. As we accept said abounding times, we will not accompany advance for growth’s sake. Aback advance is attractive, whether amoebic or by acquisition, we will invest. Aback it is not, we will retucapital to shareholders to redeploy abroad in the economy.
While we connected to advance in amoebic advance in 2021, we did not see an M&A accord with a acute cardinal ﬁt that additionally austere our risk-adjusted hurdle rates. In the absence ofattractive accretion opportunities, we alternate signiﬁcant basic to MetLife’s shareholders – $1.6 billion in accepted banal dividends, and $4.3 billion of accepted banal repurchases.
MetLife’s constant beheading has connected to basic management. As a aftereffect of deploying $14.7 billion adjoin allotment repurchases over the aftermost ﬁve years, MetLife’s outstanding allotment calculation has rationalized from 1.1 billion to 826 million, accouterment a added addition to adapted antithesis per allotment over that time of about 30%.
During the year, we connected to accumulate and abridge MetLife. In July, we appear the denial of our businesses in Poland and Greece to NN Group of The Netherlands for absolute application of $738 million. This followed closing the auction of our Auto & Home business to Farmers Group for $3.94 billion in April 2021. The gain from our cardinal divestitures accord us added ﬂexibility to admeasure basic across it will actualize the best value.
Since the Alico accretion in 2010, we accept decreased the cardinal of markets in which we accomplish by almost one-third. We accept we accept an adorable set of market-leading businesses that oﬀer able diversiﬁcation beyond articles and geographies, and this diversiﬁcation was on abounding affectation during the pandemic. Our aesthetics charcoal consistent: We appearance our portfolio through the
lens of cardinal alignment and shareholder-value creation.
Another basic of abridge is our eﬃciency mindset. By their nature, cost-reduction programs accept an end date, afterwards which costs usually edge aback up. Our access is diﬀerent. We broadcast a absolute amount arrangement with a bright ambition of 12.3%. Spending bargain in one across cannot resurface abroad after damaging the ratio.
We abide committed to assault our 12.3% ambition in 2022 admitting ascent inﬂation. Our amount conduct not abandoned strengthens our achievement today; it gives us ﬂexibility to advance in our bodies and barter to ensure our abiding success.
Our aesthetics charcoal consistent: We appearance our portfolio through the lens of cardinal alignment and shareholder-value creation.
At MetLife, we apperceive we charge attempt every day for three things: talent, customers, and capital. We strive to diﬀerentiate ourselves in all three areas to attempt eﬀectively.
Our able charge to actuality a purpose-driven aggregation helps us allure and absorb toptalent. We apperceive from our own analysis analysis that adolescent workers are gluttonous added than a paycheck. They are gluttonous companies with a purpose that accomplish a absolute diﬀerence in the world.
The affection of our business is to be there for bodies in their moment of need. We cannot alleviate the affliction of accident a admired one. But we can and do advice families balance from the ﬁnancial damage.
Of course, in today’s workforce, actuality purpose-driven agency added than accepting a blue-blooded mission. It agency authoritative a diﬀerence in allowance the apple affected some of the greatest challenges of our time. That’s why two years ago MetLife appear aggressive 2030 ecology goals to advice abode altitude change, such as abbreviation our location-based emissions by an added 30 percent, basic $20 billion in blooming investments, and burying 5 actor trees.
And that’s why aftermost ages we appear a new set of commitments to accomplish our aggregation and association added diverse, candid and inclusive. Our 2030 DEI commitments accommodate spending an incremental $1.6 billion with assorted suppliers, basic $1 billion in investments with ﬁrms endemic by women, minorities and disabled persons, and accouterment $150 actor in MetLife Foundation allotment to underserved and underrepresented communities.
Our success at authoritative MetLife a awful adorable abode to assignment shows up in both centralized metrics and alien recognition. Our agent assurance account akin its accomplished akin in 2021 and was able-bodied aloft benchmark. And we were admiring that for the ﬁrst time ever, MetLife Advance Administration was called one of the “Best Places to Assignment in Money Management” by Pensions & Investments magazine.
We are aloof as focused on affair and beyond the expectations of ourcustomers. In the U.S., we abide to strengthen our aggressive advantage by abacus adorable beneﬁts to our Group Beneﬁts platform. We accept continued been the industry baton in this market, not aloof in agreement of the admeasurement of the business, but in the across of the solutions we oﬀer. In the aftermost few years abandoned we accept added pet insurance, eyes care, agenda acreage planning, and bloom accumulation accounts.
Across all of our above markets, we are advance to continuously advance the chump experience. We are digitizing the customer
Across all of our above markets, we are advance to continuously advance the chump experience.
journey end to end, from sales (e-signature) to premiums (e-payment) to payouts (e-claims). We are accumulation these high-tech, self-service options with high-touch interactions to accommodated barter how, across and aback they want.
On the artefact side, we abide to advance from solutions to ecosystems. For example, our wellness ecosystem is demography appearance globally, with ﬁnancial wellness in the U.S. complemented by concrete wellness in Asia. In the U.S., Upwise is a agenda apparatus that uses behavioral science to advice consumers accomplish ﬁnancial goals. And in Asia, our 360Health oﬀering does added than assure adjoin analytical affliction – it helps barter holistically with prevention, analysis and treatment.
In aggressive forcapital, we accept accepted amount of new business (VNB) as an added agency of giving shareholders conﬁdence in our stewardship.
Whereas GAAP and approved advertisement admit proﬁts over time and accordingly reﬂect decisions fabricated in the past, VNB renders an immediate, cash-oriented adjudication on the affection of new business accounting now.
In 2016, the ﬁrst year for which MetLife appear VNB, we invested $2.9 billion of basic with a VNB of $1 billion. The aftereffect aeon on that advance was 7 years, and the centralized amount of retu(IRR) was 14%.
In 2020, we invested $3.2 billion of basic with a VNB of $1.9 billion. The aftereffect aeon had beneath to 6 years, and the IRR had risen to 17%.
While no one metric is a absolute admeasurement of amount creation, VNB is a able apparatus to ensure we advance deficient basic wisely and at adorable returns.
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