Q&A with Steven Kandarian and Marlene Debel

MetLife’s Steve Kandarian and Marlene Debel join FWA’s Forum

At a recent FWA Leadership Forum, MetLife Treasurer Marlene Debel led an insightful and candid discussion with the company’s Chairman, President and CEO, Steve Kandarian.

MetLife Leadership Forum event: Cindy Pace, Global Women’s Initiative Leader; Marlene Debel, Treasurer; Steven Kandarian, Chairman, President and CEO and FWA President Kimberly Weinrick

During the wide-ranging conversation, Kandarian discussed his path to leadership, MetLife’s strategy, and the importance of effective talent management in leading a large global company.

Attendees particularly enjoyed a discussion of the actions Kandarian took as Chief Investment Officer to help position MetLife to emerge from the financial crisis in a position of strength. Kandarian credited his time as CIO as valuable preparation for leading the company through a number of current challenges.

Throughout the conversation, Kandarian shared his perspective on leadership. He emphasized the need for leaders to think strategically and understand the drivers of shareholder value. He also focused on talent development as a key component of leadership. Attendees were impressed by the engagement of MetLife’s top executives in attracting, developing and retaining the best talent. Kandarian noted how talent is critical to connecting with customers around the world, and stressed the importance MetLife places on a diverse workforce.

Steven Kandarian image

MetLife’s Chairman, President and CEO Steven Kandarian

Opening the program, FWA President Kimberly Weinrick highlighted the strong partnership with MetLife and thanked the firm for their generous support. Cindy Pace, MetLife Global Women’s Initiative Leader on the Global Diversity & Inclusion team, provided an overview of MetLife’s newly launched GWI strategy, introduced the keynote speakers and framed the program.

Special thanks to MetLife, FWA President’s Circle firm, and the event’s sponsor; the FWA Leadership; Andy Esposito and Merrie Frankel, co-chairs of the Directorships and Corporate Governance Committee; and Lily Klebanoff Blake, chair of the President’s Circle Committee.

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