“Guarantees for the if in Life,” implies that people no longer have to worry about the unknown in their lives. This is one of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company’s (MetLife’s) campaign slogans suggesting that they can provide for customers. Currently MetLife ranks as the one of the countries top insurance companies. It has had a long history of public and customer service since its start in 1863, when a group of New York businessmen came together to begin the leadership of MetLife. From the start is has dealt with leadership and trust issues and was not until 1879 that a successful plan, organization, leader, and control materialized. Over the past century MetLife has emerged as a global force in the areas of group and personal insurance, pensions, and investments. Even in the midst of success MetLife has struggled to hold together its company in a way that is ethical. There have been moments of doubt and some unflattering “if” statements about the sales and marketing practices of MetLife. In 1992 internal investigations showed the deception in the selling techniques of employees in the Southeast Region of MetLife. This deception and unethical workmanship had the potential to destroy the 129 year history of the Organization. Although MetLife’s decisions prior to the publicity of the crisis in 1992 were poor, they took necessary action and have made great strides to right wrongs and strengthen the Company and provide for customers.
MetLife has set long and short-term goals and function off of a vision of building “financial freedom for everyone” with an emphasis on customers and their needs. MetLife has faced many challenges in the past years that they have overcome. Even in the beginning MetLife had to adapt and adjust surviving for awhile on the profits of contract work. Eventually its first effective president emerged; Joseph F. Knapp set into action insurance programs based on an English model that drew in industries and workingmen. This first challenge promoted the establishment of MetLife’s commitment to success. Not only have they overcome challenges from their past but also still face and consider future challenges which they may be faced with.
MetLife is a leading provider of insurance and other financial services to millions of individual and institutional customers throughout the United States and it is its responsibility to meet both its customer’s needs and wants. A misrepresentation and deliberate falsification of information destroys the trust and reputation of MetLife. One of the greatest challenges MetLife overcame was allegations brought against the Company in 1993 after an internal investigation of the Tampa office. The Tampa office, consisting of 120 reps, 7 sales managers, and 30 administrators was previously known as one of the Company’s most profitable offices. The claim was brought against MetLife and Rick Urso, the branch manager, due to its employees’ sales practice and misrepresentation of its insurance policies and the unethical use of calling its employees “nursing representatives.” There had been questions of Urso’s pre-approach letters and terminology of “nursing representatives” in a 1990 audit, but in the end nothing but praise for high sales was taken from the investigation.
Trust is defined as “the belief in the integrity, character and ability of a leader” and as an insurance company MetLife failed to demonstrate this. The challenges MetLife had to overcome were not only ethically based but also forced them to regain trust from prior customers. Trust became a challenge for MetLife due to inadequate representation of the insurance they were selling. Management faced these challenges with a positive attitude and through hard work and determination were able to overcome them. MetLife has made improvements within its management department to now include training for future employees preventing the occurrence of future problems.
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