We have built our success as a company that believes in keeping its promises, adhering to the highest standards of ethical conduct and acting as a trustworthy partner for our customers and the communities we operate in. MetLife’s excellent reputation is reinforced by our pledge to operate with strong governance, comprehensive risk management, and a deep commitment to ethics and integrity.
Our Culture of Risk Management
MetLife's culture of ethics, integrity, and risk management is woven into the fabric of the organization—which means employees at all levels and in all departments are responsible for managing risk. We expect all employees to meet the highest standards of business conduct and to fully comply with applicable laws, regulations, and company policies. We continuously evaluate and refine our culture to ensure that it aligns with the overall company strategy.
Our risk management culture is supported by strong governance through multiple Board and senior management committees, a risk appetite framework, risk policies, and limits for all material risks—along with escalation processes and comprehensive reporting to senior management, risk committees, and the Board of Directors.
The framework includes a formally adopted Enterprise Risk Appetite Statement (RAS). The RAS is a comprehensive written expression of the types and aggregate level of risk that the company wishes to assume. Additionally, our expectations for appropriate business conduct and ethical decision making are clearly defined in MetLife’s Code of Conduct. The Code is a guide for every MetLife employee and reflects our core values and outlines clear guidelines for holding ourselves to the highest standards of ethical behavior. We require every employee to affirm their commitment to, and compliance with, the Code each year.
Three Lines of Defense Model
MetLife uses the “Three Lines of Defense” risk management framework. In this framework, the business lines are the first and primary line of defense in identifying and reporting on risk. The second line of defense provides oversight and advice and comprises the Global Risk Management function and other units, including Corporate Ethics and Compliance and Information Technology Risk and Security. The final line is the internal audit function, which provides independent assurance over the risk and control environment. Together, these three lines of defense allow us to deliver on our promises to customers, employees, and stakeholders.
In 2016, employees participated in an interactive module to understand the Three Lines of Defense Framework, including their specific role for helping to manage risk at MetLife. By December 31st, 2016, 98 percent of employees successfully completed the course. In addition, we require the Three Lines of Defense training for all new employees.