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Brighthouse separation an 'inflection point' for MetLife, says CEO

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Brighthouse separation an 'inflection point' for MetLife, says CEO

MetLife Inc. will remain "vigilant" in fixing or exiting businesses that do not create value, Chairman, President and CEO Steven Kandarian said on the company's second-quarter earnings call.

Brighthouse Financial Inc and the company's shuttered U.K. wealth management business are examples of MetLife's transformation into a company with "less volatility and more free cash flow," Kandarian said. He said closing the wealth management business in the U.K. was the result of a failure to overcome the company's hurdle rate in a prolonged low interest rate environment.

Kandarian also reiterated that Aug. 7 would mark the first day that MetLife and Brighthouse will trade separately on public exchanges.

"We believe the separation marks an inflection point for MetLife," Kandarian said. "We believe this work is now largely complete and that MetLife is positioned to grow profitably in the protection and fee-based businesses that form the core of the new MetLife."

The company also announced that it would receive about $3 billion in assets from the Brighthouse separation, reduced from $3.4 billion because of Brighthouse's $400 million reserve increase. MetLife will receive a cash remittance of about $1.8 billion from Brighthouse prior to the completion of the spinoff.