MetLife B-D chief leaves company

Insurer offers no reason for departure of Brett

By Bruce Kelly

Dec 2, 2012 @ 12:01 am (Updated 8:00 am) EST

MetLife

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

MetLife spokeswoman Meghan Lantier declined to 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.

The new interim head of the broker-dealer group is Bob Begun, also a vice president, Ms. Lantier said.

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.

NONESSENTIAL?

The broker-dealer group has 8,460 producing registered representatives, most of them at MetLife Securities, according to the most recent survey of independent broker-dealers by InvestmentNews.

But it is a nonessential part of MetLife's business, one analyst said.

“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 last year, MetLife chief executive Steven Kandarian said that “everything was on the table” as the company went through a strategic business review.

Ms. Lantier said no one at MetLife was available to discuss its strategy for the broker-dealers.