MetLife appoints new Japan and EMEA leaders

Appointments are part of firm’s succession plan in the wake of departure

MetLife appoints new Japan and EMEA leaders

Insurance News

By Duffie Osental

With the departure of Sachin Shah, MetLife has appointed Eric Clurfain his successor as chairman, president and CEO of MetLife’s business in Japan, the company’s second largest market globally and its largest retail life business.

Clurfain is moving from his previous role as MetLife’s head of EMEA. With over two decades of insurance experience, Clurfain has filled a number of executive roles since joining MetLife in 2010 as general manager of its business in Turkey.

Clurfain became head of Central and Eastern Europe in January 2012 and was appointed head of EMEA in July 2018. He previously held positions with United Healthcare and AIG, including several country and regional management roles in markets around the world.

“Eric is a seasoned executive with a proven track record of building high-performing teams and businesses and a deep commitment to customer centricity,” said Steven A. Kandarian, chairman, president, and CEO of MetLife, Inc.

“He has extensive expertise across multiple markets and business lines and a strong understanding of how to operate successfully in highly regulated environments. His deep experience and expertise in all aspects of insurance will ensure that we continue to help our customers in Japan improve their health, build their savings, and retire with confidence. We are very excited to have a leader of Eric’s calibre and engagement taking the helm of our second largest market.”

The appointment becomes effective at the start of February 2019, subject to necessary approvals. Clurfain will be based in Tokyo and will report to Kishore Ponnavolu, MetLife’s Asia president.

Dirk Ostijn will be taking over the role Clurfain vacated as MetLife’s new head of EMEA. Ostijn is currently senior vice president, head of Europe and chief executive officer of MetLife Europe d.a.c. Ostijn will report to Michel Khalaf, president, US Business and EMEA, and continue to be based in Dublin.

A MetLife veteran, Ostijn joined in 2005 as CEO of MetLife Belgium and has held regional assignments as chief financial officer of Europe/India, head of M&A Western Europe, head of strategic initiatives Western Europe, and regional head of Western and Central Europe.

“Dirk has been an exemplary leader for MetLife and is the right executive to assume responsibility for the EMEA region,” said Kandarian. “He brings a wealth of sector and regional experience to this important role and has a strong track record of contributions to our EMEA operations over many years.”

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