MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) today announced that Eric Clurfain, currently Executive Vice President and Head of EMEA, has been named Chairman, President and CEO of MetLife Japan K.K. (MLJ), effective Feb. 1, 2019, subject to the necessary approvals. He will report to Kishore Ponnavolu, President, Asia, and be based in Tokyo.

Clurfain is taking over the role from Sachin Shah, who is leaving MetLife for an external opportunity. Clurfain’s appointment was part of MetLife’s succession planning for the General Manager role. He will oversee all of MetLife’s businesses in Japan, the company’s second largest market globally and its largest retail life insurance business.

“Eric is a seasoned executive with a proven track record of building high-performing teams and businesses and a deep commitment to customer centricity,” said Steven A. Kandarian, Chairman, President and CEO of MetLife, Inc. “He has extensive expertise across multiple markets and business lines and a strong understanding of how to operate successfully in highly regulated environments. His deep experience and expertise in all aspects of insurance will ensure that we continue to help our customers in Japan improve their health, build their savings, and retire with confidence. We are very excited to have a leader of Eric’s caliber and engagement taking the helm of our second largest market.”

Clurfain has more than two decades of insurance experience. He joined MetLife in 2010 as General Manager of MetLife in Turkey, where he played a critical role in reshaping the company’s strategic direction to reach a market leadership position. He became Head of Central and Eastern Europe in January 2012 and was appointed Head of EMEA in July 2018. Eric previously held positions with United Healthcare and AIG, including several country and regional management roles in markets around the world. Over the course of his career, he has held key leadership roles in distribution (both retail and group), product development, and operations. 

Taking over Clurfain’s role as Head of EMEA will be Dirk Ostijn, who is currently Senior Vice President, Head of Europe and Chief Executive Officer of MetLife Europe d.a.c. Ostijn will report to Michel Khalaf, President, U.S. Business and EMEA, and continue to be based in Dublin.

Ostijn will oversee all of MetLife’s businesses in the company’s 26 EMEA markets.

“Dirk has been an exemplary leader for MetLife and is the right executive to assume responsibility for the EMEA region,” Kandarian said. “He brings a wealth of sector and regional experience to this important role and has a strong track record of contributions to our EMEA operations over many years.”

Ostijn joined MetLife in 2005 as CEO of MetLife Belgium and has held regional assignments as Chief Financial Officer of Europe/India, Head of M&A Western Europe, Head of Strategic Initiatives Western Europe, and Regional Head of Western and Central Europe. He began his career in 1989 at Citi where he spent 16 years in financial services in retail banking and insurance in roles covering several markets in Europe.

About MetLife

MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates ("MetLife"), is one of the world's leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management to help its individual and institutional customers navigate their changing world. Founded in 1868, MetLife has operations in more than 40 countries and holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit


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