William J. Wheeler
William J. Wheeler is president of the Americas region of MetLife, Inc., a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs. He was appointed to this position in November 2011.
As president, Wheeler oversees MetLife’s insurance and retirement businesses in the United States and Latin America. MetLife is the largest life insurer in both the U.S. and Mexico, and the company also holds leading market positions in Chile, Brazil and Argentina.
Prior to his current role, Wheeler was executive vice president and chief financial officer since December 2003. As CFO, Wheeler was responsible for overseeing all financial management matters, including financial reporting, treasury, corporate actuarial, risk management, tax, investor relations and mergers and acquisitions. Wheeler was a key architect of MetLife’s 2010 acquisition of Alico, the largest transaction in MetLife’s history, and the acquisition of Travelers Life & Annuity and related international insurance businesses in 2005. Wheeler also oversaw a number of capital management strategies and related transactions that enhanced MetLife’s financial strength and increased its liquidity at a time of severe capital market constraints, while simultaneously achieving significant annualized expense savings and implementing a number of risk management initiatives.
Prior to becoming CFO, Wheeler oversaw business development, product management and marketing activities for the company’s Individual Business segment and also served as chief financial officer of Institutional Business, overseeing financial reporting and planning, as well as expense management for that segment. Wheeler joined MetLife in 1997 as treasurer and played a key role in preparing MetLife to become a public company. He oversaw certain aspects of the demutualization, the development of the investor relations and shareholder services organizations, and management of the initial public offering process.
Before joining MetLife, Wheeler was an investment banker for ten years at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ). During his career at DLJ, he managed a variety of transactions, including equity and debt financings, mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, financial advisory and restructurings in a number of different industries, including the insurance industry.
Wheeler serves on the board of directors of Evercore Partners Inc., the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) and the Council of the Americas (COA). He is also a member of Wabash College’s board of trustees. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and also received an A.B., magna cum laude, from Wabash College and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.