MetLife B-D chief leaves company

Broker-dealer group considered non-essential, analyst says

By Bruce Kelly

Nov 29, 2012 @ 5:38 pm (Updated 5:42 pm) EST

broker=dealer, metlife

The head of the large but quiet network of independent broker-dealers at Metlfe Inc., John Brett, has left the giant insurer carrier and been replaced — for the time being at least — with another company executive.

MetLife spokeswoman Meghan Lantier would not comment about the reasons for the departure of Mr. Brett, who was senior vice president of the MetLife Broker-Dealer Group. He left in mid-November.

She said that the new interim head of MetLife's Broker-Dealer Group is Bob Begun, also a vice president. He was formerly vice president and chief operations officer for the network, which has four independent contractor firms: MetLife Securities Inc.; New England Securities Inc.; Tower Square Securities and Walnut Street Securities Inc.

The broker-dealer group has 8,460 producing registered reps, with the lion's share at MetLife Securities, according to the most recent survey of independent broker-dealers by InvestmentNews.

It is, however, a non-essential part of MetLife's business, one analyst noted.

“The broker-dealers haven't come up on a conference call in a decade,” said Steven Schwartz, an analyst with Raymond James & Associates Inc.

At the end of 2011, MetLife chief executive Steven Kandarian said that “everything was on the table” as the firm went through a strategic business review. Ms. Lantier said that no one at the company would be available last Thursday or Friday to discuss its strategy for the broker-dealers.