MetLife CFO John Hele leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After about six years in the position
  • Thanks for Hele
  • John McCallion taking over

(exechange) — New York, May 1, 2018 — John Hele, finance chief of MetLife, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by MetLife, Inc. in a news release on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, John C.R. Hele leaves his post as Chief Financial Officer at the holding corporation for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company after about six years in the position, effective immediately.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CFOs who departed over the past 12 months was 6.5 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Hele’s duties will be taken over by John McCallion, most recently Treasurer of MetLife, Inc.

Hele’s move is part of a management shake-up also involving the position of Executive Vice President and General Counsel.

No reason given

In the announcement, MetLife did not explicitly explain the obviously compelling reason for Hele’s sudden move, leaving room for speculation.

Precise information about Hele’s future plans was not immediately available.

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CFO leaves the position abruptly and without an understandable explanation.

“Retiring”

MetLife said: “John C.R. Hele is retiring as Chief Financial Officer and will be succeeded by Executive Vice President John McCallion, currently the company’s Treasurer.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of MetLife, Inc. since January 2018.

Chaired by Steven A. Kandarian

MetLife, Inc. is chaired by Steven A. Kandarian.

In the position of CFO since 2012

John Hele was executive vice president & chief financial officer for MetLife, Inc. and a member of the company’s executive group.

Appointed to this position in September 2012, Hele oversaw all financial management matters for MetLife, including financial reporting, treasury, corporate actuarial, tax, investor relations as well as mergers and acquisitions.

Prior to joining MetLife, Hele was executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of Arch Capital Group Ltd., a public limited liability company that writes insurance and reinsurance globally through operations in Bermuda, the United States, Europe and Canada.

Prior to joining Arch Capital in 2009, Hele was chief financial officer and a member of the executive board of ING Group N.V., one of the largest global financial services companies.

As CFO, Hele was based in Amsterdam and had responsibility for a financial function on five continents.

He was also responsible for financial controls and reporting as well as capital management and tax reporting.

During his six-year tenure at ING, Hele was also deputy chief financial officer, general manager, and chief insurance risk officer, responsible for global insurance risk management.

Hele also served as group actuary.

Hele served as founder, president and chief executive officer of Worldinsure, Bermuda, a technology company that automated life insurance underwriting, from 1999 to 2003.

Prior to that, he spent 11 years with Merrill Lynch in investment banking, marketing and finance positions in the U.S.

In his last role at Merrill Lynch, Hele was responsible for providing strategic and financing advice to leading life insurance chief executive officers and chief financial officers in North and South America.

Before joining Merrill Lynch, Hele held various actuarial, finance and business roles at Crown Life in Toronto.

Hele has been a member of the CFO Forum in Europe, the chair of the Chief Risk Officer Forum, and is a Fellow in the Society of Actuaries.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

MetLife expects that John Hele will stay on at MetLife as a senior adviser until September 2018.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered John Hele’s sudden move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 19.2018 ($).