MetLife Hires Wells Fargo's Hall to Lead Investor Relations

  • Hall named senior vice president, to report to CFO Hele
  • He replaces Spehar, ex-BofA analyst moving to EMEA CFO post

MetLife Inc. hired Wells Fargo & Co.’s John Hall to lead investor relations as Chief Executive Officer Steve Kandarian works to assure shareholders that his plan to increase free cash flow will help boost a stock price that’s headed for its second straight annual decline.

Hall, who was an equity analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, will be a senior vice president and report to Chief Financial Officer John Hele, the New York-based insurer said Wednesday in a statement.

MetLife, the largest U.S. life insurer, and No. 2 Prudential Financial Inc. are among companies that turned to Wall Street for staff to handle relations with investors and analysts. Hall replaces Ed Spehar, a former Bank of America Corp. analyst who was named last week to be CFO of the insurer’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Prudential in 2014 hired Mark Finkelstein from Evercore Partners Inc.

“John brings more than 25 years of valuable insurance industry expertise to MetLife,” Hele said in the statement. “His deep understanding of the industry, coupled with his experience as an analyst, makes him an excellent addition to our team.”

MetLife has dropped 9.9 percent this year in New York trading through 4:02 p.m. Wednesday, after sliding 11 percent in 2015. Hall’s addition was announced after the close of regular trading. He had an outperform rating on MetLife’s stock.

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