NU Online News Service, March 11, 2005, 3:45 p.m. EST

A large New York insurer has given an investment executive a managerial role.[@@]

The company, MetLife Inc., has named Leland Launer Jr. president of the company’s institutional business, which generates more than $11 billion in annual premium revenue by selling products such as life insurance, dental overage and long term care insurance to commercial group customers.

Launer previously was the company’s chief investment officer. He managed a $240 billion investment portfolio.

Launer has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Redlands and a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Southern California.

C. Robert Henrikson, who has been president of MetLife since 2002, has been running the institutional business since 1999. Launer will take over responsibility for the institutional business from Henrikson, but Henrikson will continue to be president of MetLife and keep his other responsibilities, MetLife says.

MetLife is bringing in Steven Kandarian, former executive director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., to succeed Launer as chief investment officer.

While at the PBG, Kandarian helped manage $35 billion in assets.

Kandarian has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Clark University, a law degree from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in business from Harvard University.