MetLife targets bulk annuity sector with new head for its UK buyout business

MetLife Assurance is appointing Dan DeKeizer as chief executive officer of its UK pension liability transfer business, which includes bulk annuity buy-outs in a bid to ramp up its activity in the sector.

The insurer, which is the largest life office in the US, says growing similarities between the UK and US markets make it ideally placed to grow its business on this side of the Atlantic.

DeKeizer is an actuary who has held several senior roles during 19 years with MetLife in the US and overseas. Most recently he was part of MetLife’s retirement strategies group, based in New York, responsible for financial, capital and risk management issues and product development. Other roles have included chief financial officer for MetLife Iberia in Spain.

Emma Watkins has also been appointed to MetLife as its new business development manager, responsible for strengthening relationships with trustees, employers, plan sponsors and benefits consultants. She is currently deputy chair of Raising Standards of Trustee Education. She has over 10 years experience in the pensions market, where she has held positions with ACE Europe as the Trustee Liability Product Manager and, prior to that, with Hazell Carr Pensions Consulting and Prudential.

DeKeizer says: “While there are significant differences between the UK bulk annuities market and the US pension risk management market, particularly when it comes to the regulatory structure, we believe that there are some overwhelming similarities. These include the importance of managing liabilities for the growing lifetimes of today’s and tomorrow’s pensioners, a commitment to the value of guaranteed lifetime income for our customers, the role of private equity in business combinations and the potential effect that this has on pension plans and, the gradual convergence on accounting practices moving towards marking liabilities to market.”