MetLife Lifts CEO’s Bonus 40% in First Full Year in Post

MetLife Inc. (MET) raised Steven Kandarian’s bonus 40 percent in his first full year as chief executive officer of the largest U.S. life insurer.

The bonus of $4.2 million last year compares with $3 million in 2011, the company said today in a regulatory filing. He became CEO in May of 2011, after previously serving as chief investment officer. Kandarian, 61, received total compensation of $13.7 million, up from $10.6 million in 2011 and $4.2 million in 2010.

MetLife boosted operating earnings, a measure of profit that excludes some investment results, by 22 percent last year. Shares of the New York-based firm added 5.6 percent in 2012, trailing behind Prudential Financial Inc., the second-largest U.S. life insurer, which gained 6.4 percent.

William Wheeler, 51, head of MetLife’s Americas unit, the company’s largest, got a $1.75 million bonus, $250,000 less than in 2011 or 2010, when he was chief financial officer. Steven Goulart, 54, the chief investment officer, received a $1.2 million bonus.

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