MetLife today announced the launch of the MetLife Investment Portfolio ArchitectSM, an investment-focused variable annuity. The product is designed with a flexible framework to accommodate both investors who wish to build their own portfolios, as well as those who seek asset allocation guidance. This flexibility allows investors and their financial professionals to create custom solutions to help the investor achieve his or her individual financial goals while also providing all the traditional benefits offered by a variable annuity.

“At MetLife, we are committed to providing solutions to clients and financial professionals focused on accumulating wealth in a simple and efficient manner,” said Elizabeth Forget, Executive Vice President, MetLife Retail Retirement & Wealth Solutions. “The goal of MetLife Investment Portfolio Architect is to provide a flexible framework with well-curated investment choices, including access to the additional diversification alternative investments can offer, coupled with all the benefits of a variable annuity.”

As a variable annuity, MetLife Investment Portfolio Architect affords investors the chance to grow their investments on a tax-deferred basis, receive guaranteed income payments for life and withdraw portions of their account value to meet unexpected financial needs. Additionally, investors may purchase an optional return of premium death benefit that provides protection of their principal.

The MetLife Investment Portfolio Architect enables investors to further diversify their portfolios and manage portfolio risk through the addition of alternative investments. At the same time, it provides a flexible investment framework including 80 thoughtfully cultivated traditional and alternative investment options and 14 Blueprint Models. The models have been designed by MetLife Advisers, LLC working with Wilshire Associates, a leading provider of investment advice.

“Wilshire has been providing sophisticated investment advice to institutional and retail investors for more than three decades,” said Jason Schwarz, president of Wilshire Funds Management. “This latest expansion of our relationship with MetLife features an innovative suite of outcome-oriented portfolio solutions that include alternative investment strategies. Improving diversification through the use of alternative investments in a turn-key asset allocation framework can provide a simplified tool to improve outcomes for investors.”

Each of the Blueprint Models includes an alternative strategy component, the Permal Alternative Select VIT Portfolio, currently offered exclusively through MetLife Investment Portfolio Architect.

“With Permal Alternative Select VIT we are providing exposure to a wide range of investment approaches through leading alternative managers, many of whom we have known over long periods of time, who together can provide investors with a greater level of asset class diversification,” said Shane Clifford, Executive Vice President, Permal Group.

The Permal Alternative Select VIT is an open-ended alternative portfolio sub-advised by select leading hedge fund managers with a multi-manager, multi-strategy approach which allocates to various types of alternative investment strategies including: equity hedge, event driven, global macro and relative value managers.

“We’re pleased to be partnering with Wilshire Associates, Permal Group, Legg Mason and other reputable asset management firms to deliver a solution that will provide investors the opportunity for maximum diversification combined with the benefits of tax deferral and the protection of an optional return of premium death benefit,” said Forget. “The MetLife Investment Portfolio Architect’s flexible design and streamlined approach meet the needs of today’s investors.”

For more information on the MetLife Investment Portfolio Architect, please visit For IRAs and other qualified plans, tax deferral is not an additional benefit of purchasing a variable annuity.

About MetLife 
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 the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit

About Legg Mason 
Legg Mason is a global asset management firm with $720 billion in assets under management as of October 31, 2014. The Company provides active asset management in many major investment centers throughout the world. Legg Mason is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, and its common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: LM).

About Permal Group 
Permal Group is a leading global alternative asset manager offering investment solutions through established funds and customized portfolios. Today, Permal manages approximately $22 billion with a global investment team based in New York and London, and additional investment resources in Singapore and Paris. Clients include sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, endowments, foundations, insurance companies, family offices, private banks and high net worth individuals. Permal has established offices in Europe, America and Asia, and has extensive networks of experienced managers and relationships around the globe.

About Wilshire Associates 
Wilshire Associates, a leading global, independent investment consulting and services firm, provides consulting services, analytics solutions and customized investment products to plan sponsors, investment managers and financial intermediaries. The firm was founded in 1972, revolutionizing the industry by pioneering the application of investment analytics and research to investment management for the institutional marketplace. Based in Santa Monica, California, Wilshire provides services to clients in more than 20 countries representing more than 500 organizations with assets totaling approximately US $7 trillion.*

* Client assets are as represented by Pensions and Investments (detailed in “P&I’s Top 1,000 Largest Retirement Plans” and “P&I’s Largest Money Managers Directory 2013” as of 9/30/12 and 12/31/12, and published 2/4/13 and 5/27/13, respectively).

Prospectuses for the MetLife Investment Portfolio Architect variable annuity, and for the investment portfolios offered thereunder, are available from MetLife. The contract prospectus contains information about the contract’s features, risks, charges and expenses. Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the investment company carefully before investing. The investment objectives, risks and policies of the investment options, as well as other information about the investment options, are described in their respective prospectuses. Clients should read the prospectuses and consider this information carefully before investing. Product availability and features may vary by state. Clients should refer to the contract prospectus for more complete details regarding the death benefits.

Investment Portfolio Architect is a long-term investment designed for retirement purposes. MetLife variable annuities have limitations, exclusions, charges, termination provisions and terms for keeping them in force. There is no guarantee that any of the variable investment options in this product will meet clients’ stated goals or objectives. The account value is subject to market fluctuations and investment risk so that, when withdrawn, it may be worth more or less than its original value. All contract and rider guarantees, including optional benefits and annuity payout rates, are subject to the claims-paying ability and financial strength of the issuing insurance company.

Withdrawals of taxable amounts are subject to ordinary income tax and if made before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% Federal income tax penalty. Distributions of taxable amounts from a non-qualified annuity may also be subject to the 3.8% Unearned Income Medicare Contribution tax that is generally imposed on interest, dividends, and annuity income if your clients’ modified adjusted gross income exceeds the applicable threshold amount. Withdrawals will reduce the death benefits and account value. Withdrawals may be subject to withdrawal charges.

The MetLife Investment Portfolio Architect variable annuity is issued by MetLife Insurance Company USA, Charlotte, NC 28277, on Policy Form 8010 (11/00) and in New York, only by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, New York, NY 10166 on Policy Form 1-200-1 (11/14) (collectively and singly, MetLife). All variable products are distributed by MetLife Investors Distribution Company (member FINRA). All are MetLife companies.