MetLife Taps New Retirement Head in Exec Shakeup

June 17, 2003 ( - An executive shakeup at MetLife Inc. has resulted in a new head of Retirement and Savings (R&S) in MetLife's Institutional Business unit, among other appointments.

According to a company announcement and news reports, Senior Vice President Presley Surratt succeeds Executive Vice President Judy Weiss in the retirement space. Weiss, meanwhile, will assume responsibility for the company’s Actuarial, Tax, Financial Risk Management and Strategic Planning departments.

As head of Retirement and Savings, Surratt will run the operations to provide investment and retirement products and services in support of employee benefit plan sponsors and their plan participants and advisors. Surratt had previously supervised National Accounts in Institutional Business. Surratt was also responsible for underwriting and administration of the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program. Surratt joined MetLife in 1979 as an actuarial student in the Group Insurance Actuarial department.

Also in the batch of MetLife executive changes was word that Lee Launer had been tapped as MetLife’s chief investment officer. Launer will become executive vice president effective July 1, replacing Jerry Clark, who is retiring after 35 years at the company. Launer, a 25-year MetLife veteran, will take charge of the company’s $308 billion in assets under management. He will also become a member of MetLife’s executive group, reporting to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Benmosche, the company said.

MetLife also appointed James Lipscomb as general counsel and a member of the executive group. Also Senior Vice President Ed Reynolds, currently head of the Small Business Center (SBC) and Group Regional Operations (GRO) for Institutional Business, was moved to Individual Business with responsibility for the MetLife sales force.