MetLife names head of global technology, expects new tech to disrupt business models

MetLife names head of global technology, expects new tech to disrupt business models

Dive Brief:

  • Insurance company MetLife named Bill Pappas EVP and head of global technology and operation, effective Nov. 19, according to a company announcement
  • Pappas “will become an executive officer of MetLife and a member of its Executive Group” and will report directly to CEO Michel Khalaf, according to the announcement.
  • Pappas previously served as CIO for Bank of America’s global wholesale banking business, head of global capital markets operations, and head of technology for the bank’s Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific regions. He is replacing Martin Lippert as MetLife’s head of global technology, who served in the role since 2011.

Dive Insight:

With savings from the tax reform working in banks’ favor, IT can reap the benefits.

Investments in technology should result in benefits later. Pappas left Bank of America just as it announced a 10% increase in its annual $3 billion tech budget. But he comes to MetLife as the company continues a projected $1 billion tech investment.

In April 2017 then CEO of MetLife Steven Kandarian announced plans to reduce operating costs by about $800 million by investing $1 billion in an efficiency program. The money was to go to technology improvements, according to a letter to shareholders. 

The program was meant to run through 2019. In the time since Kandarian announced his plan, MetLife’s operating income has fluctuated. In 2017, the insurance company’s operating expenses were about $58.7 billion and increased to about $61.6 billion year-over-year in 2018.  

Singling out the availability of tools for data collection and analysis in its FY 2018 annual report, the company said technology like database analysis and electronic communications may require MetLife to “modify our assumptions, models, or reserves.” 

Though the company is evaluating changes in systems and processes, new technology initiatives also may “impact the composition and results of MetLife’s investment portfolio,” according to the annual report. 

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