UPDATE 1-MetLife names Hele as new CFO

Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:07pm EDT

* Hele, ING veteran, joins from Arch Capital

* MetLife reorganized executives late last year

July 25 (Reuters) - MetLife Inc, the largest life insurer in the United States, on Wednesday named banking and insurance industry veteran John Hele as its chief financial officer.

Hele, who joins MetLife from Arch Capital Group Ltd , replaces interim CFO Eric Steigerwalt. Before Arch, Hele was the chief financial officer of ING Groep NV, the bank bailed out by the Dutch government during the financial crisis.

Last November, MetLife reorganized its business into three geographic regions, and it named then-CFO William Wheeler as president of its Americas division. Steigerwalt has been the interim CFO since.

Hele will officially take up the new job from early September, MetLife said in a statement.

He joins as the company faces a number of regulatory challenges, among them its ongoing efforts to buy back shares and raise its dividend, moves thus far blocked by the Federal Reserve. The company is also expected to be regulated as systematically important once those rules are in place.

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