MetLife Asserts Its Presence in Southeast Asia with Key Appointments
Announcement of two key senior appointments shows clear progress in MetLife’s growth strategy for Southeast Asia
HONG KONG--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MetLife, Inc. in conjunction with its partners Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) and AMMB Holdings Berhad (AmBank Group) in Malaysia announced today that it has appointed Mr. Dustin Ball as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for its Vietnam business, BIDV MetLife Life Insurance Limited Liability Company (BIDV MetLife), and that Mr. Ramzi Toubassy has received regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Malaysia/Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to be appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AmMetLife Insurance Berhad (AmMetLife) in Malaysia. Both Mr. Ball, who is based in Hanoi, Vietnam, and Mr. Toubassy, who will be based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will report to Dr. Nirmala Menon, MetLife’s Head of Designated Markets & Health, Asia.
Mr. Ball joined MetLife in August 2010 as its Asia Pacific Head of Strategic Development. In that role he was responsible for overseeing MetLife’s mergers and acquisitions in Asia. This included the development and execution of a market expansion strategy as well as identifying and directing inorganic growth opportunities in existing markets. Prior to MetLife, Mr. Ball was with Sun Life Financial, where he was Vice President of Strategic Initiatives in Asia, and responsible for strategy and mergers and acquisitions for the region. Prior to Sun Life, he held several senior strategy and M&A roles over seven years at American International Group (AIG) in New York, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Mr. Ball holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance and International Business from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Mr. Toubassy has been with MetLife since 2012, and previously served as its Head of Face-to-Face Distribution for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. Prior to joining MetLife, he was with AIA, where over a period of eight years, he held several key management roles for them including Deputy Chief Agency Officer in Hong Kong, Senior Assistant General Manager in Malaysia, Deputy General Manager & Director of Distribution in Korea, and most recently as their Chief Distribution Officer in Vietnam. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Georgia State University as well as a Master of Arts in International Relations. Mr. Toubassy’s appointment as CEO will take effect upon the completion of his work permit processes, whereupon he will succeed Mr. Paul Low, the current CEO of AmMetLife in Malaysia.
“The favorable demographics, growing middle class, and potential future economic growth make Southeast Asia a very attractive market for MetLife and the company sees true, long-term growth potential in the region. I am very pleased to have Dustin and Ramzi step into their respective roles for MetLife in Asia. Both Dustin and Ramzi bring a wealth of experience, leadership acumen, and relationship building skills to the business as well as a strong track record of delivery which will prove invaluable in driving business growth for us in Vietnam and Malaysia,” said Dr. Menon.
Asia is an important region for the insurance industry. Emerging Asia is expected to contribute 10% of global life insurance premiums in 2013/2014. Growing its presence in high-growth and emerging markets is one of the cornerstones of MetLife’s global strategy. MetLife, founded in 1868, has been in Asia for over 60 years and has made rapid progress against its strategic aspiration to grow its presence in Southeast Asia. Over the last year, the company announced its entry into three markets in Southeast Asia: Vietnam, Malaysia, and Myanmar.
BIDV MetLife is a joint venture between MetLife Limited (MetLife), the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), and BIDV’s affiliate, Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam Insurance Joint Stock Corporation (BIC). The announcement follows the July 21, 2014 approval of an operational license for the joint venture from Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance. The company will leverage the strengths of MetLife and BIDV to create a strong and trusted insurance provider in Vietnam. Vietnamese consumers will benefit from access to MetLife’s global expertise, financial reliability and a wide range of innovative products and service while leveraging on BIDV’s deep understanding of the financial needs of Vietnamese customers and its large national branch network of over 700 distribution points nationwide.
In Malaysia, AmMetLife and AmMetLife Takaful were formed when AMMB Holdings Berhad’s (AmBank Group) wholly-owned subsidiary, AMAB Holdings SdnBhd and MetLife, Inc.’s wholly-owned subsidiary, MetLife International Holdings, Inc. (MetLife), completed their strategic partnership on April 30, 2014. As part of the deal, MetLife entered into exclusive 20-year bancassurance and bancatakaful agreements to provide financial planning and protection products through AmBank Group's banking network across Malaysia. Today, AmMetLife offers a comprehensive range of life assurance and wealth protection solutions distributed through a combination of over 200 AmBank and AmMetLife branded branch offices, in addition to the strength of its authorised life insurance agents nationwide.
In October of last year, MetLife received the regulatory approval from Myanmar’s Directorate of Investment and Company Administration to establish a representative office in Myanmar – one of only eight foreign life insurance approvals granted.
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE:MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (“MetLife”), is one of the largest life insurance companies in the world. Founded in 1868, MetLife is a global provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. Serving approximately 100 million customers, MetLife has operations in nearly 50 countries and holds leading market positions in Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.