EX-99.1 4 d271055dex991.htm EX-99.1 EX-99.1
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Exhibit 99.1

 

LOGO

[●], 2017

Dear MetLife Shareholder:

Last year, we announced our plan to pursue the separation of MetLife into two independent, industry-leading companies that will be well-positioned to capture growth opportunities by operating with greater focus on their respective businesses and strategic priorities.

The first, MetLife, will continue to be the market leader in the employee benefits business in the U.S., and will drive value-creating growth in its insurance, annuities and employee benefits businesses in the 44 global markets where it competes.

The second, Brighthouse Financial, will be a major provider of individual life insurance and annuity products in the U.S. with a strategic focus on cost optimization and developing innovative products to meet the needs of its target markets and distribution partners.

When the separation is complete, we believe investors will be better able to value MetLife and Brighthouse Financial on their respective financial, operational and risk characteristics.

Our goal is for MetLife to be a simpler company that can perform well in a variety of macroeconomic environments. We expect our exposure to market risk will materially diminish and our free cash flow will be more predictable. We also expect our earnings will be more diversified between our U.S. and international operations.

We intend for the separation to take the form of a pro rata distribution of at least 80.1 percent of the shares of Brighthouse Financial, Inc.’s common stock to the holders of MetLife, Inc. common stock. We expect the distribution will be tax-free to MetLife’s U.S. shareholders for U.S. federal income tax purposes, except for cash that shareholders receive in lieu of fractional shares.

Each MetLife shareholder on the record date of July 19, 2017 will receive shares of Brighthouse Financial (and cash for fractional shares). You do not need to take any action to receive shares of Brighthouse Financial common stock to which you are entitled as a MetLife shareholder. You do not need to pay any consideration or surrender or exchange your MetLife shares.

I encourage you to read the attached Information Statement, which MetLife is making available to all shareholders who held shares as of July 19, 2017. It describes the separation in detail and provides important business and financial information about Brighthouse Financial.


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I am confident the separation will create two dynamic companies poised to win in the marketplace. We remain committed to working on your behalf to continue to build long-term shareholder value.

 

Sincerely,

Steven A. Kandarian

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

MetLife, Inc.

Forward-Looking Statements

This letter may contain or incorporate by reference information that includes or is based upon forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements give expectations or forecasts of future events. These statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They use words such as “will,” “expect,” “become,” “remain,” “believe,” “plan,” and other words and terms of similar meaning, or are tied to future periods, in connection with a discussion of future operating or financial performance. In particular, these include statements relating to future actions, prospective services or products, future performance or results of current and anticipated services or products, sales efforts, expenses, the outcome of contingencies such as legal proceedings, trends in operations and financial results.

Any or all forward-looking statements may turn out to be wrong. They can be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Many such factors will be important in determining the actual future results of MetLife, Inc., its subsidiaries and affiliates. These statements are based on current expectations and the current economic environment. They involve a number of risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. These statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties, and other factors that might cause such differences include the risks, uncertainties and other factors identified in MetLife, Inc.’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K (the “Annual Report”) filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), any Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed by MetLife, Inc. with the SEC after the date of the Annual Report under the captions “Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors,” and other filings MetLife, Inc. makes with the SEC. MetLife, Inc. does not undertake any obligation to publicly correct or update any forward-looking statement if MetLife, Inc. later becomes aware that such statement is not likely to be achieved. Please consult any further disclosures MetLife, Inc. makes on related subjects in reports to the SEC.


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LOGO

[●], 2017

Dear Future Brighthouse Financial Shareholder:

I am honored to welcome you as a future shareholder of Brighthouse Financial, Inc. Established by MetLife, we are on a mission to help people achieve financial security by offering annuity and life insurance solutions that work in tandem with their portfolios to protect what they’ve earned and ensure it lasts.

From our first day as an independent company, Brighthouse Financial will be a major provider of life insurance and annuity solutions in the U.S., with more than $223 billion of total assets and 2.8 million insurance policies and annuity contracts in force as of March 31, 2017.

Building on our foundation as a former MetLife segment, we bring with us a seasoned management team focused on delivering transparent client solutions, consistent experiences for the advisors we work with, and sustained value creation for our clients, partners and shareholders.

We seek to be a financially disciplined and focused product manufacturer with an emphasis on independent distribution. We aim to leverage our large block of in-force life insurance policies and annuity contracts to operate more efficiently, and we believe our strategy of offering a targeted set of products will enhance our ability to invest in our business and distribute cash to our shareholders over time.

I encourage you to read more about Brighthouse Financial in the attached information statement. We are excited about our future, and look forward to having you as a shareholder.

 

Sincerely,

Eric T. Steigerwalt

President and CEO, Brighthouse Financial, Inc.


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Forward-Looking Statements

This letter may contain or incorporate by reference information that includes or is based upon forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements give expectations or forecasts of future events. These statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They use words such as “will,” “seek,” “intend,” “over time,” “aim,” “believe,” and other words and terms of similar meaning, or are tied to future periods, in connection with a discussion of future operating or financial performance. In particular, these include statements relating to future actions, prospective services or products, future performance or results of current and anticipated services or products, sales efforts, expenses, the outcome of contingencies such as legal proceedings, trends in operations and financial results.

Any or all forward-looking statements may turn out to be wrong. They can be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Many such factors will be important in determining the actual future results of Brighthouse Financial, Inc., its subsidiaries and affiliates. These statements are based on current expectations and the current economic environment. They involve a number of risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. These statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties, and other factors that might cause such differences include the risks, uncertainties and other factors identified in Brighthouse Financial, Inc.’s disclosures filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). Brighthouse Financial, Inc. does not undertake any obligation to publicly correct or update any forward-looking statement if Brighthouse Financial, Inc. later becomes aware that such statement is not likely to be achieved. Please consult any further disclosures Brighthouse Financial, Inc. makes on related subjects in reports to the SEC.


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Information contained herein is subject to completion or amendment. A Registration Statement on Form 10 relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.

 

Preliminary Information Statement

(Subject to completion, dated June 30, 2017)

Information Statement

Distribution of Common Stock of

BRIGHTHOUSE FINANCIAL, INC.

 

 

We are sending you this information statement in connection with the separation of Brighthouse Financial, Inc. from MetLife, Inc. To effect the separation, MetLife will distribute at least 80.1% of the shares of Brighthouse’s common stock on a pro rata basis to the holders of MetLife common stock. We expect that the distribution of Brighthouse common stock will be tax-free to MetLife’s U.S. shareholders for U.S. federal income tax purposes, except for cash that shareholders receive in lieu of fractional shares.

If you are a record holder of MetLife common stock as of 5:00 p.m., New York City time on July 19, 2017, which is the record date for the distribution, you will be entitled to receive one share of Brighthouse common stock for every eleven shares of MetLife common stock you hold on that date. MetLife will distribute the shares of Brighthouse common stock in book-entry form, which means that we will not issue physical stock certificates. The distribution agent will not distribute any fractional shares of Brighthouse common stock. Instead, the distribution agent will aggregate fractional shares into whole shares, sell, or cause to be sold, the whole shares in the open market at prevailing market prices and distribute the aggregate cash proceeds of the sales, net of brokerage fees and other costs, pro rata, to each holder (net of any required withholding for taxes applicable to each holder) who would otherwise have been entitled to receive fractional shares in the distribution.

The distribution will be effective as of 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on August 4, 2017. After the distribution becomes effective, we will be a separate, publicly traded company.

MetLife’s shareholders are not required to vote on or take any other action in connection with the distribution. We are not asking you for a proxy, and you are requested not to send us a proxy.

MetLife’s shareholders will not be required to pay any consideration for the shares of Brighthouse common stock they receive in the distribution, surrender or exchange their shares of MetLife common stock or take any other action in connection with the separation.

MetLife currently owns all of the outstanding shares of Brighthouse common stock. Until the distribution occurs, MetLife will have the sole and absolute discretion to determine and change the terms of the distribution, including establishing the record date for the distribution and the distribution date, as well as to reduce the number of shares of common stock it will retain, if any, following the distribution.

No trading market for Brighthouse common stock currently exists. We have applied to list Brighthouse common stock on The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“NASDAQ”) under the symbol “BHF”. Assuming the Brighthouse common stock is approved for listing, we anticipate that a limited trading market for Brighthouse common stock, commonly known as a “when-issued” trading market, will develop on or shortly before the record date for the distribution and will continue up to and including the date of the distribution. We anticipate “regular-way” trading of Brighthouse common stock will begin on the first trading day after the distribution date.

 

 

In reviewing this information statement, you should carefully consider the matters described in the section entitled “Risk Factors” beginning on page 31 of this information statement.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved these securities or determined if this information statement is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

This information statement is not an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities.

The date of this information statement is [], 2017.

MetLife first mailed a Notice of Internet Availability of Information Statement Materials containing instructions on how to access this information statement to its shareholders on or about [●], 2017.

 


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Section    Page  

Summary

     1  

Risk Factors

     31  

The Separation and Distribution

     80  

Formation of Brighthouse and the Restructuring

     90  

Recapitalization

     98  

Dividend Policy

     100  

Selected Historical Combined Financial Data

     101  

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

     104  

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

     212  

Business

     222  

Regulation

     272  

Management

     285  

Compensation of Executive Officers and Directors

     292  

Beneficial Ownership of Common Stock

     297  

Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions

     299  

Description of Capital Stock

     314  

Shares Eligible for Future Sale

     320  

Where You Can Find More Information

     321  

Glossary

     322  

Index to Financial Statements, Notes and Schedules

     F-1  

NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This information statement contains information that includes or is based upon forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements give expectations or forecasts of future events. These statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They use words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe” and other words and terms of similar meaning, or are tied to future periods, in connection with a discussion of future operating or financial performance. In particular, these include statements relating to future actions, statements regarding the separation and distribution, including the timing and expected benefits thereof, the formation of Brighthouse and the recapitalization actions, including receiving required regulatory approvals and the timing and expected benefits thereof, future performance or results of current and anticipated services or products, sales efforts, expenses, the outcome of contingencies such as legal proceedings, trends in operations and financial results.

Any or all forward-looking statements may turn out to be wrong. They can be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Many such factors will be important in determining the actual future results of Brighthouse, its subsidiaries and affiliates. These statements are based on current expectations and the current economic environment. They involve a number of risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. These statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements due to a variety of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Although it is not possible to identify all of these risks and factors, they include, among others:

 

    risks relating to the formation of Brighthouse and our recapitalization;

 

    the timing of the separation and the distribution, whether the conditions to the distribution will be met, whether the separation and the distribution will be completed, and whether the distribution will qualify for non-recognition treatment for U.S. federal income tax purposes and potential indemnification to MetLife if the distribution does not so qualify;

 

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    the impact of the separation on our business and profitability due to MetLife’s strong brand and reputation, the increased costs related to replacing arrangements with MetLife with those of third parties and incremental costs as a public company;

 

    whether the operational, strategic and other benefits of the separation can be achieved, and our ability to implement our business strategy;

 

    our degree of leverage following the separation due to indebtedness incurred in connection with the separation;

 

    differences between actual experience and actuarial assumptions and the effectiveness of our actuarial models;

 

    higher risk management costs and exposure to increased counterparty risk due to guarantees within certain of our products;

 

    the effectiveness of our proposed exposure management strategy, and the timing of its implementation and the impact of such strategy on net income volatility and negative effects on our statutory capital;

 

    the additional reserves we will be required to hold against our variable annuities as a result of actuarial guidelines;

 

    a sustained period of low equity market prices and interest rates that are lower than those we assumed when we issued our variable annuity products;

 

    the effect adverse capital and credit market conditions may have on our ability to meet liquidity needs and our access to capital;

 

    the impact of regulatory, legislative or tax changes on our insurance business or other operations;

 

    the effectiveness of our risk management policies and procedures;

 

    the availability of reinsurance and the ability of our counterparties to our reinsurance or indemnification arrangements to perform their obligations thereunder;

 

    heightened competition, including with respect to service, product features, scale, price, actual or perceived financial strength, claims-paying ratings, credit ratings, e-business capabilities and name recognition;

 

    changes in accounting standards, practices and/or policies applicable to us;

 

    the ability of our insurance subsidiaries to pay dividends to us, and our ability to pay dividends to our shareholders;

 

    our ability to market and distribute our products through distribution channels; and

 

    our ability to attract and retain key personnel.

For the reasons described above, we caution you against relying on any forward-looking statements, which should also be read in conjunction with the other cautionary statements included and the risks, uncertainties and other factors identified elsewhere in this information statement, including in the section entitled “Risk Factors.” Further, any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which the statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as otherwise may be required by law.

 

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MARKET DATA

In this information statement, we present certain market and industry data and statistics. This information is based on third-party sources which we believe to be reliable. Market ranking information is generally based on industry surveys and therefore the reported rankings reflect the rankings only of those companies who voluntarily participate in these surveys. Accordingly, our market ranking among all competitors may be lower than the market ranking set forth in such surveys. In some cases, we have supplemented these third-party survey rankings with our own information, such as where we believe we know the market ranking of particular companies who do not participate in the surveys.

TRADEMARKS, SERVICE MARKS AND COPYRIGHTS

We own or have rights to trademarks, service marks or trade names that we use in connection with the operation of our business. In addition, our names, logos and website names and addresses are our service marks or trademarks. Other trademarks, service marks and trade names appearing in this offering memorandum are the property of their respective owners. We also own or have the rights to copyrights that protect the content of our products. Solely for convenience, the trademarks, service marks, tradenames and copyrights referred to in this offering memorandum are listed without the ©, ® and symbols, but we will assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, our rights or the rights of the applicable licensors to these trademarks, service marks and tradenames.

 

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SUMMARY

This summary highlights selected information from this information statement and provides an overview of Brighthouse, our separation from MetLife and MetLife’s distribution of our common stock to MetLife’s shareholders. For a more complete understanding of our business and the distribution, you should read the entire information statement carefully, particularly the discussion of “Risk Factors” beginning on page 31 of this information statement, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, and the audited historical combined and unaudited historical interim condensed combined financial statements of the MetLife U.S. Retail Separation Business (defined below) and the notes to those financial statements appearing elsewhere in this information statement.

We use the following terms to refer to the items indicated:

 

    the Company,” “we,” “our” and “us” refer to Brighthouse, the entity that at the time of the distribution will hold, through its subsidiaries, the assets (including the equity interests of certain MetLife subsidiaries) and liabilities associated with MetLife’s Brighthouse Financial segment;

 

    Brighthouse” refers to Brighthouse Financial, Inc., a Delaware corporation, and, where appropriate in context, to one or more of its subsidiaries, or all of them taken as a whole;

 

    MetLife” refers to MetLife, Inc., a Delaware corporation, and, where appropriate in context, to one or more of its subsidiaries, or all of them taken as a whole;

 

    the term “separation” refers to the separation of MetLife’s Brighthouse Financial segment from MetLife’s other businesses and the creation of a separate, publicly traded company, Brighthouse, to hold the assets (including the equity interests of certain MetLife subsidiaries) and liabilities associated with MetLife’s Brighthouse Financial segment from and after the distribution;

 

    the term “distribution” refers to the distribution of at least 80.1% of the shares of Brighthouse common stock outstanding immediately prior to the distribution date by MetLife to shareholders of MetLife as of the record date;

 

    the term “distribution date” means the date on which the distribution occurs, and we expect the separation to occur on such date as well.

For definitions of selected financial and product-related terms used within this information statement, refer to the Glossary beginning on page 322 of this information statement.

Prior to MetLife’s distribution of the shares of our common stock to its shareholders, MetLife will undertake a series of transactions described under “Formation of Brighthouse and the Restructuring” and “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions” (the “restructuring”). In the third quarter of 2016, MetLife reorganized its businesses into six segments: U.S.; Asia; Latin America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”); MetLife Holdings; and Brighthouse Financial. In addition, MetLife will continue to report certain of its results of operations in Corporate & Other. Following the restructuring:

 

    MetLife will conduct the following businesses:

 

   

the remaining portions of MetLife’s former Retail segment, which MetLife does not plan to separate and include in Brighthouse, which will include the life and annuity business sold through Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (“MLIC”), General American Life Insurance Company (“GALIC”) and Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance Company (“MTL”), including the MLIC pre-demutualization closed block. These businesses are reflected in its MetLife Holdings segment that consists of operations relating to products and businesses no longer actively marketed by MetLife in the United States. The MetLife Holdings segment also includes the long-term care business,

 



 

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previously reported as part of MetLife’s former Group, Voluntary & Worksite Benefit (“GVWB”) segment, and the reinsurance treaty relating to MetLife’s former Japan joint venture, previously reported in Corporate & Other;

 

    the Property & Casualty business, the Retirement & Income Solutions business (formerly known as MetLife’s Corporate Benefit Funding segment) and the Group Benefits business (consisting of the remaining components of the GVWB segment, including the individual disability insurance business previously reported in MetLife’s former Retail segment), which are reflected in its U.S. segment;

 

    the U.S. Direct business, previously reported as part of MetLife’s Latin America segment, which was disaggregated and is reported in its U.S. segment and in Corporate & Other; and

 

    its Asia and EMEA segments.

 

    We will conduct our business principally through the following life insurance company subsidiaries of MetLife as well as several other legal entities which support the issuance, sale and marketing of our life insurance and annuity products:

 

    Brighthouse Life Insurance Company (“Brighthouse Insurance”), formerly known as MetLife Insurance Company USA (“MetLife USA”), our largest insurance operating company, domiciled in Delaware and licensed to write business in 49 states;

 

    New England Life Insurance Company (“NELICO”), domiciled in Massachusetts and licensed to write business in all 50 states; and

 

    Brighthouse Life Insurance Company of NY (“Brighthouse Insurance NY”), formerly known as First MetLife Investors Insurance Company (“FMLI”), domiciled in New York and licensed to write business in New York, which is a subsidiary of Brighthouse Insurance.

We refer to the audited historical combined financial statements of these entities as those of the “MetLife U.S. Retail Separation Business.”

In addition, certain specified assets and liabilities will be allocated between MetLife and us as described under “Formation of Brighthouse and the Restructuring” and “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions.”

Our Company

We are a major provider of life insurance and annuity products in the United States with $223 billion of total assets, total shareholder’s net investment of $15.1 billion, including accumulated other comprehensive income (“AOCI”), as of March 31, 2017, and approximately $653 billion of life insurance face amount in-force, as of December 31, 2016. Our in-force book of products consists of approximately 2.8 million insurance policies and annuity contracts as of March 31, 2017, which includes variable, fixed, index-linked and income annuities, universal life, term life, variable life and whole life insurance policies. We offer our products solely in the United States through multiple independent distribution channels and marketing arrangements with a diverse network of distribution partners.

Our Background and Overview

Prior to the distribution, the companies that will become our subsidiaries are wholly owned by MetLife, a global insurance holding company with a corporate history beginning in 1868. Brighthouse Insurance, which will be our largest operating subsidiary, was formed in November 2014 through the merger of three affiliated life insurance companies and a former offshore, internal reinsurance subsidiary that mainly reinsured guarantees

 



 

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associated with variable annuity products issued by MetLife affiliates. The principal purpose of the merger was to provide increased transparency relative to capital allocation and variable annuity risk management. In order to further our capabilities to market and distribute our products, prior to the distribution, MetLife will contribute to us (i) several entities including Brighthouse Insurance, NELICO and Brighthouse Insurance NY, (ii) a licensed broker-dealer, (iii) a licensed investment advisor and (iv) other entities which are necessary for the execution of our strategy. See “Formation of Brighthouse and the Restructuring — Our History.”

In 2012, MetLife changed the organizational structure of its Retail segment, of which we formed the principal part, to implement an integrated operating model with dedicated management. Consistent with this restructuring, over the succeeding four years MetLife has implemented certain actions with respect to its former Retail segment, including establishing a centralized office campus in Charlotte, North Carolina, and further bolstering the management team. This team, which has been responsible for managing MetLife’s retail business prior to the distribution, will continue to manage our business as a separate company.

We will seek to be a financially disciplined and, over time, cost-competitive product manufacturer with an emphasis on independent distribution. We aim to leverage our large block of in-force life insurance policies and annuity contracts to operate more efficiently. We believe that our strategy of offering a targeted set of products to serve our customers and distribution partners, each of which is intended to produce positive statutory distributable cash flows on an accelerated basis compared to our legacy products, will enhance our ability to invest in our business and distribute cash to our shareholders over time. We also believe that our product strategy of offering a more tailored set of new products and our recent agreement to outsource a significant portion of our client administration and service processes, is consistent with our focus on reducing our expense structure over time.

Risk management of both our in-force book and our new business to enhance sustained, long-term shareholder value is fundamental to our strategy. Consequently, in writing new business we intend to prioritize the value of the new business we write over sales volumes. We assess the value of new products by taking into account the amount and timing of cash flows, the use and cost of capital required to support our insurance financial strength ratings and the cost of risk mitigation. We will remain focused on maintaining our strong capital base and we have established a risk management approach which will be implemented in connection with the separation that seeks to mitigate the effects of severe market disruptions and other economic events on our business. See “Business — Description of our Segments, Products and Operations — Variable Annuity Risk Management,” “Business — Description of our Segments, Products and Operations — Run-off — ULSG Market Risk Exposure Management” and “Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Business — Our proposed variable annuity exposure management strategy may not be fully implemented prior to the distribution, may not be effective, may result in net income volatility and may negatively affect our statutory capital.”

We believe that general demographic trends in the U.S. population, the increase in under-insured individuals, the potential risk to governmental social safety net programs and the shifting of responsibility for retirement planning and financial security from employers and other institutions to individuals will create opportunities to generate significant demand for our products. We also believe our transition to an independent distribution system will enhance our ability to operate most effectively within the emerging requirements of the April 6, 2016 Department of Labor (the “DOL”) fiduciary rule (“Fiduciary Rule”) that sets forth a new regulatory framework for the sale of insurance and annuity products to Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) qualified plans, which is a significant market for annuity products.

For the three months ended March 31, 2017, we had a net loss of $349 million and generated $280 million of operating earnings, as compared to net income of $407 million and $340 million of operating earnings for the three months ended March 31, 2016. The net loss for the three months ended March 31, 2017 was driven by derivative losses, primarily as a result of our variable annuity exposure management program, including the

 



 

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impact of our legacy macro hedge resulting from the equity market rise in the current period. For the year ended December 31, 2016 we had a net loss of $2.9 billion and generated $686 million of operating earnings. The 2016 net loss was driven by reserve strengthening, including the effect of our annual review of actuarial assumptions for our variable annuities business, our second quarter refinement in the actuarial model which we use to calculate the reserves for our in-force book of ULSG products and the loss recognition, mostly in the form of a write down of deferred acquisition costs, triggered by the move of our ULSG products into the Run-off segment in the fourth quarter. In addition to reserve strengthening, derivative losses on our economic hedges of certain liabilities also contributed to the net loss, primarily due to the impact of the large fourth quarter rise in interest rates without an offset from the liabilities being hedged due to the insensitivity of those GAAP liabilities to changes in interest rates. See Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Results of Operations — Combined Results for the Three Months Ended March 31, 2017 and 2016” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Results of Operations — Combined Results for the Years Ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014.” Operating earnings is a non-GAAP financial measure. For a reconciliation of operating earnings to net income (loss), see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Results of Operations.”

Our Segments

For operating purposes, the Company has established three new reporting segments: (i) Annuities, (ii) Life and (iii) Run-off. Our Run-off segment consists of operations related to products which we are not actively selling and which are separately managed. In addition, the Company reports certain of its results of operations not included in the segments in Corporate & Other. We provide an overview of our reporting segments and Corporate & Other below.

Annuities

We are a major provider of annuity products in the United States, with $150.4 billion and $152.1 billion in total annuity assets as of March 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively. Our annuity product offerings include variable, fixed, index-linked and income annuities designed to address contract holders’ needs for protected wealth accumulation on a tax-deferred basis, wealth transfer and income security. We earn various types of fee revenue based on the account value, fund assets and guaranteed benefit base of our variable annuity products, as well as the investment spread which we earn on the general account assets supporting our annuity products. Based on $136.5 billion of assets under management (“AUM”) as of December 31, 2015, which we define as our general account investments and our separate account assets, we believe we would have ranked fifth among U.S. life insurers in annuity AUM as of such date, which is the most recent date for which ranking data is available. As of December 31, 2016, we had AUM of $143.6 billion.

We seek to manage changes in equity market and interest rate exposures to our existing book of annuity business through our strong statutory capitalization and our selection of derivative instruments, which will be driven in part by our goal of preserving our ability to benefit from positive changes to equity markets and interest rates. See “Business — Description of our Segments, Products and Operations — Variable Annuity Risk Management.” With respect to new business, we intend to be disciplined in our risk selection, innovative in our product design and we intend to seek to diversify our product mix. Beginning in 2013, we began to shift our new annuity business towards products with diversifying market and contract holder behavioral risk attributes and improved risk-adjusted cash returns. Examples of this include transitioning from the sale of variable annuities with guaranteed minimum income benefits (“GMIB”) to the sale of variable annuities with guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefits (“GMWB”), and our increased emphasis on Brighthouse Shield Level SelectorSM Annuity (formerly known as MetLife Shield Level SelectorSM) (“Shield Level Selector”), a single premium deferred index-linked annuity product for which we had new deposits of approximately $0.5 billion and $1.7 billion for the three months ended March 31, 2017 and the year ended December 31, 2016, respectively.

 



 

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Life

We are also one of the largest life insurance companies in the United States based on ordinary and term life insurance issued, with approximately 1.4 million policies in-force and approximately $653 billion of life insurance face amount in-force as of December 31, 2016. Our in-force book of life insurance includes variable life, term life, universal life and whole life policies. Our life insurance product offerings are designed to address our policyholders’ needs for financial security and protected wealth transfer, which may be provided on a tax-advantaged basis. In addition to contributing to our revenues and earnings, mortality protection-based products offered by our Life segment permit us to diversify the longevity and other risks in our Annuities segment.

Beginning with the first quarter of 2017 we have focused on term life and universal life without secondary guarantees and therefore suspended new sales of ULSG as well as participating whole life. We seek to be innovative in introducing new life products that meet the needs of our target markets and distribution partners and increase value for our shareholders. For example, starting in 2013, we significantly scaled back our sales of ULSG products with lifetime guarantees. In 2015, we introduced a universal life policy with levelized commissions over time that provides clients with death benefit protection with a cash value that may increase over time and no secondary guarantees. Consistent with our strategy of prioritizing the value of the new business we write over sales volume, we expect our total face amount of life insurance policies to decline, but, over time, for our new life insurance business to provide better shareholder value creation. With the suspension of all new ULSG sales, we moved results associated with ULSG products from our Life segment into our Run-off segment in the fourth quarter of 2016 retrospectively for all periods presented. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Executive Summary — Certain Business Events — ULSG Re-segmentation.”

Run-off

This segment consists of operations related to products which we are not actively selling and which are separately managed, including structured settlements, company-owned life insurance (“COLI”) policies, bank-owned life insurance (“BOLI”) policies, funding agreements and ULSG. With the exception of ULSG, these legacy business lines were not part of MetLife’s former Retail segment, but were issued by certain of the legal entities that are now part of Brighthouse. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Executive Summary — Overview.”

Corporate & Other

Corporate & Other contains the excess capital not allocated to the segments, the results of part of MetLife’s ancillary international operations and U.S. direct business sold directly to consumers, which were written out of our insurance entities prior to the separation, and interest expense related to the majority of our outstanding debt, as well as expenses associated with certain legal proceedings and income tax audit issues. Additionally, Corporate & Other includes certain assumed reinsurance and the elimination of intersegment amounts.

Market Environment and Opportunities

We believe the shift away from defined benefit plans and the concern over government social safety net programs, occurring at a time of significant demographic change in the United States, as baby boomers transition to retirement, present an opportunity to assist individuals in planning for their long-term financial security. We believe we are well positioned to benefit from this environment and the changes and trends affecting it, including the following:

 

  Largest individual insurance market in the world. The U.S. life insurance market has $2.75 trillion1 net assets in annuities and approximately $11.9 trillion of individual life insurance face amount in-force. This

 

1  Insured Retirement Institute, IRI Fact Book 2017.

 



 

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represents a large opportunity pool for the Company from which we expect to benefit because of the scale and scope of our life and annuity products, risk management and distribution capabilities, and our ability to operate nationally.

 

  Shifting of responsibility for retirement planning and life time income security from employers and other institutions to individuals. The shift away from traditional defined benefit plans, together with increased life expectancy, has increased the burden on individuals for retirement planning and financial security and created a significant risk that many people will outlive their retirement assets. The Employee Benefit Research Institute estimates that participation in an employment-based defined benefit plan among private sector workers declined from 38% in 1979 to 13% in 2013. Fifty-one percent of households have no retirement savings in a defined contribution plan or IRA,2 and Social Security provides an average of 40% of the retirement income of retired households.3 According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, among the 48% of households age 55 and older with some retirement savings, the median amount is approximately $109,000.4 The individual life insurance and retirement industry has traditionally offered solutions that address this underserved need among consumers, such as annuities, which represent an alternative means of generating pension-like income to permit contract holders to secure guaranteed income for life. We believe our simplified suite of annuity products will be attractive to consumers as a supplement to Social Security or employer provided pension income.

 

  Favorable demographic trends. There are several demographic trends that we believe we can take advantage of, including:

 

    The ongoing transition of baby boomers into retirement offers opportunities for the accumulation of wealth, as well as its distribution and transfer. According to the Insured Retirement Institute, each day 10,000 Americans reach the age of 65 and this is expected to continue through at least 2030.5 One of the market segments we target, the Secure Seniors, includes individuals from the baby boomer demographic and is projected to grow by 15% between 2015 and 2025.6 See “— Our Business Strategy — Focus on target market segments.”

 

    The emergence of Generation X and Millennials as a larger and fast growing, potentially ethnically diverse segment of the U.S population. Many of these individuals are in their prime earning years and we believe they will increase their focus on savings for wealth and protection products. As Generation X and Millennials continue to age into the Middle Aged Strivers and Diverse and Protected segments that we target, we believe we have an opportunity to increase our share of the industry profit pool represented by these groups. See “— Our Business Strategy — Focus on target market segments.”

 

  Underinsured and underserved population is growing. According to a recent survey, 41% of U.S. households believe that they need more life insurance.7 Close to six in 10 Americans have life insurance,8 but ownership of individual coverage has declined over a 50-year period.9 We believe the products and solutions we offer will address the financial security needs of the under-insured portion of the U.S. population, which are our target segments.

 

2  LIMRA, The Retirement Income Reference Book, 2015.
3  LIMRA, The Retirement Income Reference Book, 2015.
4  U.S. Government Accountability Office, “Retirement Security: Report to the Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security, Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, U.S. Senate,” May 2015.
5  Insured Retirement Institute, IRI Fact Book 2017.
6  MetLife Accelerating Value Consumer Survey, June 2015; Census projections.
7  LIMRA, The Facts of Life and Annuities, 2016 Update.
8  LIMRA, 2017 Insurance Barometer Study.
9  LIMRA, The Facts of Life and Annuities, 2016 Update.

 



 

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  Regulatory changes. Regulatory and compliance requirements in the insurance and financial services industries have increased over the past several years and resulted in new regulation and enhanced supervision. For example, the DOL issued new rules on April 6, 2016 that, if not repealed, raise the standards for sales of variable and index-linked annuities into retirement accounts to a fiduciary standard, meaning that sales must consider the customer’s interest above all factors. The DOL has released its final rule delaying the original applicable date for 60 days from April 10, 2017 to June 9, 2017. See “Regulation — Insurance Regulation — Department of Labor and ERISA Considerations.” These rules are expected to require meaningful changes to distribution practices and disclosures and affect sales of annuity products from providers with proprietary distribution. We believe our history of navigating a changing regulatory environment and our transition to independent distribution may present us with an opportunity to capture market share from those who are less able to adapt to changing regulatory requirements.

We believe these trends, together with our competitive strengths and strategy discussed below, provide us a unique opportunity to increase the value of our business.

Our Competitive Strengths

We believe that our large in-force book of business, strong balance sheet, risk management strategy, experienced management team and focus on expense reduction will allow us to capitalize on the attractive market environment and opportunities as we complete our separation from MetLife and develop and grow our business on an independent basis.

 

  Large in-force book of business. We are a major provider of life insurance and annuity products in the United States, with approximately 2.8 million insurance policies and annuity contracts as of March 31, 2017. We believe our size and long-standing market presence position us well for potential future growth and margin expansion following the completion of our transition to a separate company.

 

    Our size provides opportunities to achieve economies of scale, permitting us to spread our fixed general and administrative costs, including expenditures on branding, over a large revenue base, resulting in a competitive expense ratio.

 

    Our large policyholder base provides us with an opportunity to leverage underlying data to develop risk and policyholder insights as well as implement operational best practices, permitting us to effectively differentiate ourselves from our competitors with the design and management of our products.

 

    Our in-force book of business was sold by a wide range of distribution partners to whom we continue to pay trail commissions on the policies and contracts sold by them. For the year ended December 31, 2016, over 1,000 distribution firms or general agencies of our distributors received trail commissions. We believe this enhances our ability to maintain connectivity and relevance to those distributors.

 

  Strong balance sheet. As of March 31, 2017, we had total assets of $223 billion; total policyholder liabilities and other policy-related balances, including separate accounts, of $189 billion; and total shareholder’s net investment of $15.1 billion, including AOCI. Following the separation, we intend to maintain and improve the strong statutory capitalization and financial strength ratings of our insurance company subsidiaries, as well as the diversity of invested asset classes.

 

   

Our insurance company subsidiaries had combined statutory total adjusted capital (“Combined TAC”) of approximately $5.4 billion resulting in a combined company action level risk-based capital (“Combined RBC”) ratio of approximately 525% as of December 31, 2016. After giving effect to the formation of Brighthouse Reinsurance Company of Delaware (“BRCD”) and other restructuring and separation related transactions, including an expected capital contribution to Brighthouse Insurance at the time of separation, Combined TAC would have increased by approximately $2 billion in the insurance company subsidiaries, resulting in a Combined RBC ratio in excess of 650%. See

 



 

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“Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Combined Financial Statements.” We intend to support our variable annuity business with assets consistent with a CTE95 standard (defined as the average amount of assets required to satisfy contract holder obligations across market environments in the worst five percent of 1,000 capital market scenarios over the life of the contracts (“CTE95”), consistent with guidelines promulgated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (the “NAIC”)). As of December 31, 2016, assuming the transactions to be executed in connection with the separation had occurred on such date, we estimate that we would have held approximately $2.3 billion of assets in excess of CTE95 to support our variable annuity book, which would be equivalent to holding assets at approximately a CTE98 standard as of such date (defined as the average amount of assets required to satisfy contract holder obligations across market environments in the worst two percent of 1,000 capital market scenarios over the life of the contracts (“CTE98”), consistent with guidelines promulgated by the NAIC).

 

    We have strong financial strength ratings from the rating agencies that rate us. Financial strength ratings represent the opinions of the rating agencies regarding the ability of our insurance company subsidiaries to meet their financial obligations to policyholders and contract holders and are not designed or intended for use by investors in evaluating our securities.

 

    We have a diversified, high quality investment portfolio with $79.3 billion of general account assets as of March 31, 2017, comprised of over 76% fixed maturity securities, of which over 95% were investment grade and 58% were U.S. corporate, government and agency securities.

 

    Following MetLife’s policyholder assumption review of variable annuities issued by its U.S. insurance companies we have updated our actuarial assumptions and strengthened the GAAP reserves of our insurance company subsidiaries based on a range of possible market scenarios and expected policyholder behavior.

 

  Proven risk management and capital management expertise. We will bring to Brighthouse the strong risk management culture which we inherited as part of MetLife as demonstrated by our product decisions in recent years and our focused risk and capital management strategies for our existing book of business. We believe we have initially capitalized our insurance company subsidiaries with capital which is sufficient to maintain our financial strength ratings notwithstanding modest fluctuations in equity markets and interest rates in any given period. Further, over time by increasing the proportion of non-derivative, income-generating invested assets compared to derivative instruments supporting our variable annuity book of business, we believe our capital profile will be stronger and more able to mitigate a broader range of risk exposures.

 

  Experienced senior management team with a proven track record of execution including producing cost savings. Our senior management team has an average of 20 years of insurance industry experience. They have worked together to manage our business and reduce the cost base prior to this distribution and will continue to manage our business as a separate and focused individual life insurance and annuity company. The senior management team has taken significant actions over the last four years, including the following:

 

    In 2012, MetLife announced a multi-year $1 billion gross expense savings initiative, which was substantially completed in 2015. This management team delivered approximately $200 million of expense savings with respect to MetLife’s former Retail segment under that initiative.

 

    The merger of three affiliated life insurance companies and a former offshore, reinsurance company affiliate that mainly reinsured guarantees associated with variable annuity products issued by MetLife affiliates to form our largest operating subsidiary, Brighthouse Insurance.

 

    The consolidation of MetLife’s former Retail segment in Charlotte, North Carolina, which, in addition to generating expense savings noted above, permitted our management to work together collaboratively at the same geographic location.

 



 

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    The sale of MetLife’s former Retail segment’s proprietary distribution channel, MetLife Premier Client Group (“MPCG”), to Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (“MassMutual”), completing our transition to a more efficient acquisition cost distribution model through independent, third-party channel partners. As part of the sale, MetLife reduced its former Retail segment employee base by approximately 3,900 advisors and over 2,000 support employees, which we estimate will result in a net reduction in our annual expenses of approximately $125 million. The sale of the proprietary distribution channel will also enable us to pursue a simplified, capital efficient product suite and reduce our fixed expense structure.

 

    On July 31, 2016, MetLife entered into a multi-year outsourcing arrangement for the administration of certain in-force policies currently housed on up to 20 systems. Pursuant to this arrangement, at least 13 of such systems will be consolidated down to one. We expect this arrangement to result in a phased net reduction in our overall expenses for policyholder and contract holder maintenance over the next three to five years. We intend to pursue similar opportunities to take advantage of technology and systems improvements and flexible, modular operating models to reduce costs.

Summary Risk Factors

Our business generally and the separation and distribution in particular is subject to a number of risks that could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. The following high-level summary of these risks is not exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with the information in the section captioned “Risk Factors,” for a more thorough description of these and other risks, and the other sections of this information statement.

 

  Risks related to the separation and distribution

 

    MetLife’s plan to separate into two independent publicly traded companies is subject to various risks and uncertainties and may not be completed in accordance with the expected plans or anticipated timeline, or at all, and will involve significant time and expense, which could disrupt or adversely affect our business.

 

    Our separation from MetLife could adversely affect our business and profitability due to MetLife’s strong brand and reputation.

 

    The terms of our arrangements with MetLife may be more favorable than we would be able to obtain from an unaffiliated third party and we may be unable to replace the services MetLife provides to us in a timely manner or on comparable terms.

 

    After the distribution, we will have a very large number of shareholders which may impact the efficacy of shareholder votes and will result in increased costs.

 

    We have no history of operating as an independent company and we expect to incur increased administrative and other costs following the separation by virtue of our status as an independent public company. Our historical combined financial data are not necessarily representative of the results we would have achieved as a separate company and may not be a reliable indicator of our future results.

 

    If the distribution were to fail to qualify for non-recognition treatment for U.S. federal income tax purposes, then MetLife, we and our shareholders could be subject to significant tax liabilities.

 

    We may be unable to achieve some or all of the benefits that we expect to achieve from the separation and the cost of achieving such benefits may be more than we estimated.

 

    We will incur substantial indebtedness in connection with the separation, and the degree to which we will be leveraged following completion of the distribution and separation may materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

 



 

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    After the distribution, certain of our directors and officers may have actual or potential conflicts of interest because of their MetLife equity ownership or their former MetLife positions.

 

  Risks related to our business

 

    Differences between actual experience and actuarial assumptions and the effectiveness of our actuarial models may adversely affect our financial results, capitalization and financial condition.

 

    Guarantees within certain of our products may decrease our earnings, decrease our capitalization, increase the volatility of our results, result in higher risk management costs and expose us to increased counterparty risk.

 

    Our proposed variable annuity exposure management strategy may not be fully implemented prior to the distribution, may not be effective, may result in net income volatility and may negatively affect our statutory capital. Our proposed ULSG asset requirement target may not ensure we have sufficient assets to meet our future ULSG policyholder obligations and may result in net income volatility.

 

    We may be required to hold additional statutory reserves against our variable annuities as a result of Actuarial Guideline 43 (“AG 43”), which could impair our ability to make distributions to our shareholders.

 

    A sustained period of low equity market prices and interest rates that are lower than those we assumed when we issued our variable annuity products, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, capitalization and financial condition.

 

    Elements of our business strategy are new and may not be effective in accomplishing our objectives.

 

    A downgrade or a potential downgrade in our financial strength ratings, which are important to maintaining public confidence in our products and our competitive condition, could result in a loss of business and materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

 

    Reinsurance may not be available, affordable or adequate to protect us against losses. If the counterparties to our reinsurance or indemnification arrangements or to the derivatives we use to hedge our business risks default or fail to perform, we may be exposed to risks we had sought to mitigate, which could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

 

    We may not be able to take credit for reinsurance, our statutory life insurance reserve financings may be subject to cost increases and new financings may be subject to limited market capacity.

 

    Factors affecting our competitiveness may adversely affect our market share and profitability.

 

    The failure of third parties to provide various services that are important to our operations could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

    If difficult conditions in the capital markets and the U.S. economy generally persist or are perceived to persist, they may materially adversely affect our business and results of operations. Adverse capital and credit market conditions may significantly affect our ability to meet liquidity needs and our access to capital. We are exposed to significant financial and capital markets risks which may adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and may cause our net investment income and net income to vary from period to period.

 

    Our insurance businesses are highly regulated, and changes in regulation and in supervisory and enforcement policies may materially impact our capitalization or cash flows, reduce our profitability and limit our growth. A decrease in the risk-based capital (“RBC”) ratio (as a result of a reduction in statutory surplus and/or increase in RBC requirements) of our insurance subsidiaries could result in increased scrutiny by insurance regulators and rating agencies and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

 



 

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    We are subject to U.S. federal, state and other securities and state insurance laws and regulations which, among other things, require that we distribute certain of our products through a registered broker-dealer; failure to comply with those laws, including a failure to have a registered broker-dealer, or changes in those laws may have a material adverse effect on our operations and our profitability.

 

    Litigation and regulatory investigations are increasingly common in our businesses and may result in significant financial losses and/or harm to our reputation.

 

    As a holding company, Brighthouse Financial, Inc. will depend on the ability of its subsidiaries to pay dividends. We cannot assure you that we will pay dividends on our common stock, and our indebtedness could limit our ability to pay dividends on our common stock.

 

    Changes in accounting standards issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) or other standard-setting bodies may adversely affect our financial statements.

Our Business Strategy

Our objective is to leverage our competitive strengths, to distinguish ourselves in the individual life insurance and annuity markets and over time increase the amount of statutory distributable cash generated by our business. We will seek to achieve this by being a focused product manufacturer with an emphasis on independent distribution, while having a competitive expense ratio relative to our competitors. We intend to achieve our goals by executing on the following strategies:

 

    Focus on target market segments. We intend to focus our sales and marketing efforts on those specific market segments where we believe we will best be able to sell products capable of producing attractive long-term value to our shareholders.

In 2015 we conducted a survey of 7,000 U.S. customers with the goal of understanding our different market segments. Ultimately, the study revealed seven distinct segments based on both traditional demographic information including socio-economic information and an analysis of customer needs, attitudes and behaviors. Our review of the customer segmentation data resulted in our focusing product design and marketing on the following target customer segments:

 

    Secure Seniors. This segment represents approximately 15% of the current U.S. population. Because the customer segments are designed to reflect attitudes and behaviors, in addition to other factors, this segment includes a broad range in age, but is composed primarily of individuals between the ages of 55 to 70 about to retire or already in retirement, of which a majority have investible assets of greater than $500,000. Secure Seniors have higher net worth relative to the other customer segments and exhibit a strong desire to work with financial advisors. The larger share of assets, relative to the other segments, may make Secure Seniors an attractive market for financial security products and solutions.

 

    Middle Aged Strivers. This segment represents approximately 23% of the current U.S. population and is the largest customer segment of those identified by our survey. There is more diversity in this segment compared to the Secure Seniors in terms of amount of investible assets, age, life stage and potential lifetime value to us. The study indicates that these individuals tend to be in the early to later stages of family formation. Almost half of the population in this segment is between the ages of 40 and 55. They are focused on certain core needs, such as paying bills, reducing debt and protecting family wealth. We believe Middle Aged Strivers are an attractive market for protection products and many of these individuals will graduate to wealth and retirement products in their later years.

 

   

Diverse and Protected. This is the most diverse segment of the population, but is also the smallest constituting only 8% of the current U.S. population. While this segment has lower

 



 

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income and investible assets than Secure Seniors and Middle Aged Strivers, our study indicates that they are active purchasers of insurance products. We believe that a portion of this segment, as they become older and more affluent, may purchase our annuity products in addition to our insurance products.

We believe that these three customer segments represent a significant portion of the market opportunity, and by focusing our product development and marketing efforts to meeting the needs of these segments we will be able to offer a targeted set of products which will benefit our expense ratio thereby increasing our profitability. Our study also indicates that Secure Seniors, Middle Aged Strivers and Diverse and Protected customer segments are open to financial guidance and, accordingly, will be receptive to the products we intend to sell and we can share our insights about these segments to our distribution partners to increase the targeting efficiency of our sales efforts with them.

 

  Focused manufacturer, with a simpler product suite designed to meet our customers’ and distributors’ needs. We intend to be financially disciplined in terms of the number of products which we offer and their risk-adjusted return profile, while being responsive to the needs of our customers and distribution partners.

 

    We seek to manage our existing book of annuity business to mitigate the effects of severe market downturns and other economic effects on our statutory capital while preserving the ability to benefit from positive changes in equity markets and interest rates through our selection of derivative instruments.

 

    We intend to offer products designed to produce statutory distributable cash flows on a more accelerated basis than those of some of our legacy in-force products. We will also focus on offering products which are more capital efficient with lower RBC requirements than our pre-2013 generation of products. Our product design and sales strategies will focus on achieving long-term risk-adjusted distributable cash flows, rather than generating sales volumes or purchasing market share. We believe this approach aligns well with long-term value creation for our shareholders.

 

    Shield Level Selector and our latest generation life insurance products, represent examples of products which we believe are responsive to our customers’ and distributors’ needs while allowing us to generate statutory distributable cash flows on a more accelerated basis than our pre-2013 generation of products. Shield Level Selector is an individual-customer, single-premium, deferred index-linked annuity that provides contract holders with a specified level of market downside protection, sharing the balance of market downside risk with the contract holder, along with offering the contract holder tax-deferred accumulation. In addition, we believe Shield Level Selector permits us to more effectively manage the market risk exposure inherent in our variable annuities with living benefit riders. Since its state-by-state phased introduction beginning in 2013, Shield Level Selector has received positive market acceptance and has been a meaningful contributor to our sales. In addition, a recent example of our latest generation life insurance products is a universal life policy with levelized commissions over time and no secondary guarantees. We expect these products to produce attractive risk-adjusted margins and product level cash flows.

 

  Independent distribution with enhanced support and collaboration with key distributors. We believe that the completion of our transition from a captive sales force to an independent and diverse distribution network will enhance our distribution focus and improve our profitability and capital efficiency.

 

    We have proactively chosen to focus on independent distribution, which we believe aligns with our focus on product manufacturing. We believe distributing our products through only the independent distribution channel will enhance our ability to control our fixed costs, target our resources more appropriately and increase our profitability because we will be better able to leverage our product development and wholesale distribution capabilities.

 

   

Since 2001 we have successfully built third-party distribution relationships. Following the sale of MPCG to MassMutual, we are dedicated to supporting and expanding these relationships. These

 



 

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relationships have been strengthened by a focus on fulfilling customer needs and better alignment with our distribution partners on product development and sales support. We therefore seek to become a leading provider of insurance and annuity products for our leading distribution partners by leveraging our marketing strengths which include customer segmentation, distribution servicing and sales support as well as our product management competencies. We believe that our distribution strategy will result in deeper relationships with these distribution partners.

 

    We will also pursue a collaborative approach with key distributors and leverage our product design expertise to seek to provide white label type product arrangements for their distribution systems. An example of this collaborative approach is the recent agreement with MassMutual pursuant to which we are exploring the joint development of certain annuity products that may be distributed through the thousands of agents in the MassMutual career agency channel, including agents formerly affiliated with MetLife.

 

  Maintain strong statutory capitalization through an exposure management program intended to be effective across market environments.

 

    The principal objective of our exposure management programs is to manage the risk to our statutory capitalization resulting from changes to equity markets and interest rates. This permits us to focus on the management of the long-term statutory distributable cash flow profile of our business and the underlying long-term returns of our product guarantees. See “Business — Description of our Segments, Products and Operations — Variable Annuity Risk Management.”

 

    Our variable annuity exposure management program has four components:

 

    We intend to support our variable annuities with assets consistent with those required at a CTE95 standard. As of December 31, 2016, assuming the transactions to be executed in connection with the separation had occurred as of such date, we estimate that we would have held approximately $2.3 billion in assets in excess of CTE95, which would be equivalent to holding assets at approximately a CTE98 standard as of such date. We believe these excess assets will permit us to absorb modest losses, which may be temporary, from changes in equity markets and interest rates without adversely affecting our financial strength ratings.

 

    We will continue to enter into derivative instruments to offset the impact on our statutory capital from more significant changes to equity markets and interest rates.

 

    We believe the earnings from our large and seasoned block of in-force business will provide an additional means of increasing and regenerating our statutory capital organically to the extent it has been eroded due to periodic changes in equity markets and interest rates.

 

    We intend to invest a portion of the assets supporting our variable annuity asset requirements in income-generating investments, which we believe will provide an additional means to increase or regenerate our statutory capital.

 

    We have a large in-force block of life insurance policies and annuity contracts that we intend to more actively manage to improve profitability, prudently minimize exposures, grow cash margins and release capital for shareholders in the medium to long-term.

 

  Focus on operating cost and flexibility. A key element of our strategy is to leverage our infrastructure over time to be a lean, flexible cost competitive operator.

 

    We will continue our focus on reducing our cost base while maintaining strong service levels for our policyholders and contract holders. As part of separating our business processes and systems from MetLife, we are taking a phased approach to re-engineering our processes and systems across all functional areas. This phased transition is expected to occur through 2020. We are planning on run-rate operating cost reductions as part of this initiative. See “Business — Select Financial Targets.”

 



 

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    We have identified and are actively pursuing several initiatives that we expect will make our business less complex, more flexible and better able to adapt to changing market conditions. Consistent with this strategy, MetLife recently sold MPCG to MassMutual, completing our transition to a more efficient acquisition cost distribution model and reducing its former Retail segment employee base by approximately 5,900 employees.

 

    We intend to leverage emerging technology and outsourcing arrangements to become more profitable. An example of this is our senior management team’s recent agreement to outsource the administration of certain in-force policies housed on up to 20 systems. Pursuant to this arrangement at least 13 of such systems will be consolidated down to one.

Select Financial Targets

We intend to manage our businesses with a focus on statutory financial results in order to improve cash flow, allowing us to reinvest in our businesses and distribute cash to shareholders over time. We have established targets for select financial metrics that we believe best measure the execution of our business strategy and align with our shareholders’ interests. It is our goal to achieve or surpass the following targets:

 

    Cash flow to shareholders: 50%-70%+ of operating earnings by approximately 2020;

 

    Growth in operating earnings per share (Operating EPS): Mid- to high- single digit annual growth; and

 

    Operating return on equity (Operating ROE): Approximately 9%.

These targets assume our baseline business plan scenario, which we refer to as our “Base Case Scenario.” Our Base Case Scenario assumes 6.5% annual separate account returns, the 10 year U.S. Treasury rate rising ratably over 10 years to 4.25% and our current best estimate actuarial assumptions. Actual results related to these targets may vary depending on various factors, including actual capital market outcomes, changes in actuarial models or emergence of actual experience, changes in regulation, as well as the other risks and factors discussed in “Business — Select Financial Targets,” “Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors.” Operating EPS and Operating ROE are performance measures that are not based on GAAP. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Non-GAAP and Other Financial Disclosures” and “Business — Select Financial Targets” for definitions of and further information on these measures and cash flow to shareholders.

Our Corporate Information

Until the time of the distribution, we will be a wholly owned subsidiary of MetLife, Inc., a global provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. Brighthouse is a holding company incorporated in Delaware on August 1, 2016.

Our principal executive office is located at the Gragg Building, 11225 North Community House Road, Charlotte, North Carolina 28277 and our telephone number is (980) 365-7100. Our website address is www.brighthousefinancial.com. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not part of, and is not incorporated into, this information statement.

 



 

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We operate our businesses through a number of direct and indirect subsidiaries. The following organizational chart presents the expected ownership of our principal subsidiaries following the distribution:

LOGO

The Distribution

Overview

To effect the separation, first, MetLife will undertake the restructuring described under “Formation of Brighthouse and the Restructuring” and “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions — Agreements Between Us and MetLife — Master Separation Agreement.” Following the restructuring, MetLife, Inc. will distribute at least 80.1% of Brighthouse’s common stock to MetLife’s shareholders, and Brighthouse will become a separate, publicly traded company.

Prior to the distribution, we intend to enter into a Master Separation Agreement and several other agreements with MetLife related to the distribution. These agreements will govern the relationship between MetLife and us up to and after completion of the distribution and allocate between MetLife and us various assets, liabilities, rights and obligations, including employee benefits, intellectual property and tax-related assets and liabilities. See “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions” for more detail.

In addition, we will incur substantial indebtedness in connection with the separation, including $1.5 billion aggregate principal amount of 3.700% Senior Notes due 2027 and $1.5 billion aggregate principal amount of 4.700% Senior Notes due 2047 (collectively, the “2027 Senior Notes and 2047 Senior Notes”), which we issued on June 22, 2017, and we will use a significant portion of the proceeds of this indebtedness to make a distribution to MetLife as

 



 

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partial consideration for MetLife’s transfer of assets to Brighthouse. The amount of indebtedness will allow us to achieve the following goals at the time of the distribution: (i) adequate liquidity at the Brighthouse holding company level; (ii) a debt-to-capital ratio of approximately 25%; and (iii) $2.0 billion to $3.0 billion of assets in excess of CTE95 to support our variable annuity contracts.

The distribution described in this information statement is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of a number of conditions. In addition, MetLife has the right not to complete the distribution if, at any time, MetLife’s board of directors (the “MetLife Board”) determines, in its sole and absolute discretion, that the distribution is not in the best interests of MetLife or its shareholders or is otherwise not advisable. See “The Separation and Distribution — Conditions to the Distribution” for more detail.

Questions and answers about the distribution

The following provides only a summary of the terms of the distribution. You should read the section entitled “The Separation and Distribution” in this information statement for a more detailed description of the matters described below.

Q: Why am I receiving this information statement?

A: MetLife is delivering this document to you because you were a holder of MetLife common stock on the record date for the distribution of shares of our common stock. Accordingly, you are entitled to receive one share of our common stock for every eleven shares of MetLife common stock that you held on the record date. No action is required for you to participate in the distribution.

Q: What is the distribution?

A: The distribution is the method by which we will separate from MetLife. In the distribution, MetLife will distribute to its shareholders at least 80.1% of the shares of our common stock. Following the distribution, we will be separate from MetLife and publicly traded. MetLife will retain no more than 19.9% ownership interest in us.

Q: What will be the relationship between MetLife and Brighthouse after the distribution?

A: MetLife and Brighthouse will each be separate, publicly traded companies. MetLife and Brighthouse are entering into several agreements to govern their relationship after separation. See “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions — Relationship with MetLife Following the Separation.”

Q: Will the number of MetLife shares I own change as a result of the distribution?

A: No, the number of shares of MetLife common stock you own will not change as a result of the distribution.

Q: What are the motivations for the separation?

A: The separation is motivated in whole or in substantial part by the following corporate business purposes:

 

    To facilitate investors’ ability to independently value Brighthouse and MetLife based on their respective operational and financial characteristics.

 

    To enable MetLife to address certain regulatory issues, including MetLife’s potential redesignation as a non-bank systemically important financial institution, as well as the DOL Fiduciary Rule.

 



 

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    To increase the predictability of distributable cash flows for MetLife over time as part of MetLife’s Accelerating Value strategic initiative and allow Brighthouse to make the necessary decisions and investments to serve the U.S. retail marketplace.

 

    To enable Brighthouse to take advantage of a retail dedicated platform to increase responsiveness to the needs of our customers and distribution partners.

Q: Why is the separation of Brighthouse structured as a spin-off?

A: MetLife believes that a distribution of our shares is the most efficient way to separate our business from MetLife in a manner that will achieve the above objectives and permit MetLife’s shareholders to make their own investment decisions going forward as to whether or not they wish to retain their exposure to the retail life and annuity business, independent of their exposure to the continuing operations of MetLife.

Q: What is being distributed in the distribution?

A: MetLife will distribute approximately 98,301,919 shares of our common stock in the distribution, based on the 1,081,321,114 shares of MetLife common stock outstanding as of March 31, 2017. The actual number of shares of our common stock that MetLife will distribute will depend on the number of shares of MetLife common stock outstanding on the record date. For more information on the shares being distributed in the distribution, see “Description of Capital Stock — Authorized Capital Stock — Common Stock.”

Q: What will I receive in the distribution?

A: As a holder of MetLife common stock, you will receive one share of our common stock for every eleven shares of MetLife common stock you hold on the record date. The distribution agent will distribute only whole shares of our common stock in the distribution. See “— How will fractional shares be treated in the distribution?” for more information on the treatment of the fractional shares you would otherwise have been entitled to receive in the distribution. Your proportionate interest in MetLife will not change as a result of the distribution. For a more detailed description, see “The Separation and Distribution — Treatment of Fractional Shares.”

Q: What is the record date for the distribution?

A: MetLife will determine record ownership as of the close of business on July 19, 2017 (the “record date”).

Q: When will the distribution occur?

A: The distribution will be effective as of 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on August 4, 2017 (the “distribution date”). On or shortly after the distribution date, the whole shares of our common stock will be credited in book-entry accounts for shareholders entitled to receive the shares in the distribution. We expect the distribution agent to distribute promptly to MetLife shareholders any cash in lieu of the fractional shares they would otherwise have been entitled to receive. Trust beneficiaries of the trust established under the plan of reorganization of MLIC (the “MetLife Policyholder Trust”) will receive their shares in the distribution and cash in lieu of any fractional shares from the custodian of the MetLife Policyholder Trust in accordance with the terms of the trust agreement. See “— How will MetLife distribute shares of our common stock?” for more information on how to access your book-entry account or your bank, brokerage or other account holding the Brighthouse common stock you receive in the distribution.

 



 

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Q: Can MetLife decide to cancel the distribution of Brighthouse common stock, even if all the conditions have been satisfied?

A: Yes. Until the distribution has occurred, the MetLife Board has the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate the distribution, even if all the conditions have been satisfied. See “The Separation and the Distribution — Conditions to the Distribution” included elsewhere in this information statement.

Q: How will MetLife vote any shares of our common stock it retains?

A: MetLife has agreed to vote any shares of our common stock that it retains in proportion to the votes cast by our other shareholders and will grant us a proxy with respect to such shares. For additional information on these voting arrangements, see “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions — Relationship with MetLife Following the Separation.”

Q: What does MetLife intend to do with any shares of our common stock it retains?

A: MetLife currently plans to dispose of all of our shares as soon as practicable following the distribution, but in no event later than five years after the distribution, while seeking to maximize overall value to its shareholders, pursuant to a dividend distribution or one or more public offerings of its remaining shares of our common stock or an offer to the MetLife shareholders to exchange all or a portion of their MetLife shares for Brighthouse shares.

Q: What do I have to do to participate in the distribution?

A: You are not required to take any action, but we urge you to read this document carefully. Shareholders of MetLife common stock on the record date will not need to pay any cash or deliver any other consideration, including any shares of MetLife common stock, in order to receive shares of our common stock in the distribution. In addition, no shareholder approval of the distribution is required. We are not asking you for a vote and are not requesting that you send us a proxy card.

Q: If I sell my shares of MetLife common stock on or before the distribution date, will I still be entitled to receive shares of Brighthouse common stock in the distribution?

A: If you hold shares of MetLife common stock on the record date and decide to sell them on or before the distribution date, you may choose to sell your MetLife common stock with or without your entitlement to our common stock. You should discuss these alternatives with your bank, broker or other nominee. See “The Separation and Distribution — Trading Prior to the Distribution Date” for more information.

Q: How will MetLife distribute shares of our common stock?

A: Registered shareholders: If you are a registered shareholder (meaning you hold physical MetLife stock certificates or you own your shares of MetLife common stock directly through an account with MetLife’s transfer agent, Computershare Inc.), our transfer agent will credit the whole shares of our common stock you receive in the distribution by way of direct registration in book-entry form under the Direct Registration System (the “DRS”) to your DRS book-entry account on or shortly after the distribution date. Registration in book-entry form refers to a method of recording share ownership where no physical stock certificates are issued to shareholders, as is the case in the distribution. The transfer agent will keep a record of your shares of common stock on our record of owners. You will be able to access information regarding your DRS account holding the Brighthouse shares at Computershare Trust Company, N.A. using the following website www.computershare.com/brighthouse or via our transfer agent’s interactive voice response system at (888)-670-

 



 

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4771. If you are entitled to receive whole shares of our common stock in the distribution, promptly after the distribution date, the distribution agent will mail you a DRS account statement that reflects the number of whole shares of our common stock you own, along with a check for any cash in lieu of fractional shares you would otherwise have been entitled to receive.

Street name” or beneficial shareholders: If you own your shares of MetLife common stock beneficially through a bank, broker or other nominee, the bank, broker or other nominee holds the shares in “street name” and records your ownership on its books. In this case, your bank, broker or other nominee will credit your account with the whole shares of our common stock you receive in the distribution on or shortly after the distribution date. Please contact your bank, broker or other nominee for further information about your account.

Trust beneficiaries: If you are a beneficiary of the MetLife Policyholder Trust established in connection with the demutualization of MLIC in April 2000, the trustee of the MetLife Policyholder Trust is the record owner of the shares of MetLife common stock to which you are beneficially entitled consistent with your beneficial interests, or “trust interests,” in the MetLife Policyholder Trust. In this case, the trustee will transfer any whole shares of our common stock you receive in the distribution to the custodian of the MetLife Policyholder Trust, which in turn will transfer shares to our transfer agent. The transfer agent will issue such shares electronically to you by way of direct registration in book-entry form under the DRS. Registration in book-entry form refers to a method of recording share ownership where no physical stock certificates are issued to shareholders, as is the case in the distribution. The transfer agent will keep a record of your shares of our common stock on our record of owners. You will be able to access information regarding your DRS account holding the Brighthouse shares at Computershare Trust Company, N.A. using the following website www.computershare.com/brighthouse or via our transfer agent’s interactive voice response system at (888)-670-4771. If you are entitled to receive whole shares of our common stock in the distribution, promptly after the distribution date, the distribution agent will mail to you a DRS account statement. The DRS account statement will indicate the number of whole shares of our common stock that have been registered in book-entry form under the DRS in your name, and will be accompanied by a check for any cash in lieu of any fractional shares you would otherwise have been entitled to receive.

The distribution agent will distribute only whole shares of our common stock. See “— How will fractional shares be treated in the distribution?” for more information about the treatment of fractional shares you would otherwise have been entitled to receive in the distribution.

We will not issue any physical stock certificates to any shareholders, even if requested. See “The Separation and Distribution — When and how you will Receive Brighthouse Shares” for a more detailed explanation.

Q: How will fractional shares be treated in the distribution?

A: The distribution agent will not distribute any fractional shares of our common stock to you in connection with the distribution. Instead, the distribution agent will aggregate all fractional shares into whole shares and sell, or cause to be sold, the whole shares in the open market at prevailing market prices on behalf of MetLife shareholders entitled to receive fractional shares. The distribution agent will then distribute the aggregate cash proceeds of the sales, net of brokerage fees and other costs, pro rata, to these holders (net of any required withholding for taxes applicable to each holder). We anticipate that the distribution agent will sell, or cause to be sold, these aggregated fractional shares commencing on the first trading day after the distribution date. See “The Separation and Distribution — Treatment of Fractional Shares” for a more detailed explanation of the treatment of fractional shares.

Q: What are the U.S. federal income tax consequences of the distribution to me?

A: The distribution is conditioned on the (i) continued validity of a private letter ruling from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”), which MetLife has received, regarding certain significant issues under the

 



 

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Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), and (ii) the receipt and continued validity of a tax opinion of a nationally recognized accounting firm (“tax counsel”) to the effect that, among other things, the distribution will qualify for non-recognition of gain or loss to MetLife and MetLife’s shareholders pursuant to Sections 355 and 361 of the Code, except to the extent of cash received in lieu of fractional shares, each subject to the accuracy of and compliance with certain representations, assumptions and covenants.

As described more fully in “The Separation and Distribution — Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences of the Distribution,” a U.S. holder (as defined in that section) generally will not recognize any gain or loss, and will not include any amount in income, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, upon receiving our common stock in the distribution, except for any gain or loss recognized with respect to cash the shareholder receives in lieu of fractional shares. In addition, each U.S. holder’s aggregate basis in its MetLife common stock and our common stock received in the distribution, including any fractional shares to which the U.S. holder would otherwise have been entitled, will equal the aggregate basis the U.S. holder had in its MetLife common stock immediately prior to the distribution, allocated in proportion to MetLife’s and our common stock’s fair market value at the time of the distribution. See “The Separation and Distribution — Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences of the Distribution” for information regarding the determination of fair market value for purposes of allocating basis.

Tax matters are complicated. The tax consequences to you of the distribution depend on your individual situation. You should consult your own tax advisor regarding those consequences, including the applicability and effect of any U.S. federal, state and local, as well as foreign, tax laws and of changes in applicable tax laws, which may result in the distribution being taxable to you. See “Risk Factors — Risks Relating to the Distribution — If the distribution were to fail to qualify for non-recognition treatment for U.S. federal income tax purposes, then MetLife, we and our shareholders could be subject to significant tax liabilities,” “Risk Factors —Risks Relating to the Distribution — We could have an indemnification obligation to MetLife if the distribution does not qualify for non-recognition treatment or if certain other steps that are part of the separation do not qualify for their intended tax treatment, which could materially adversely affect our financial condition” and “The Separation and Distribution — Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences of the Distribution.”

Q: Does Brighthouse intend to pay cash dividends?

A: As a separate company, we do not currently anticipate declaring or paying regular cash dividends on our common stock in the near term. Any future declaration and payment of dividends or other distributions of capital will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend upon our financial condition, earnings, cash needs, regulatory constraints, capital requirements (including requirements of our subsidiaries) and any other factors that our Board deems relevant in making such a determination. See “Dividend Policy” for more information.

Q: How will Brighthouse common stock trade?

A: Currently, there is no public market for our common stock. We have applied to list our common stock on NASDAQ under the symbol “BHF”.

We anticipate that trading in our common stock will begin on a “when-issued” basis as early as two trading days prior to the record date for the distribution and will continue up to and including the distribution date. When-issued trading in the context of a spin-off refers to a sale or purchase made conditionally on or before the distribution date because the securities of the spun-off entity have not yet been distributed. When-issued trades generally settle within four trading days after the distribution date. On the first trading day following the distribution date, any when-issued trading of our common stock will end and “regular-way” trading will begin. Regular-way trading refers to trading after the security has been distributed and typically involves a trade that

 



 

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settles on the third full trading day following the date of the trade. See “The Separation and Distribution —Trading Prior to the Distribution Date” for more information. We cannot predict the trading prices for our common stock before, on or after the distribution date.

Q: Will the distribution affect the trading price of my MetLife common stock?

A: Assuming no significant intervening events, we expect the trading price of shares of MetLife common stock immediately following the distribution to be lower than immediately prior to the distribution because the trading price will no longer reflect the value of Brighthouse. Furthermore, until the market has fully analyzed the value of MetLife without Brighthouse, the trading price of shares of MetLife common stock may fluctuate. There can be no assurance that, following the distribution, the combined trading prices of the MetLife common stock and the Brighthouse common stock will equal or exceed what the trading price of MetLife common stock would have been in the absence of the distribution.

It is possible that after the distribution, the combined equity value of MetLife and Brighthouse will be less than MetLife’s equity value before the distribution.

Q: Will my shares of MetLife common stock continue to trade following the distribution?

A: Yes. MetLife common stock will continue to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “MET”.

Q: Do I have appraisal rights in connection with the distribution?

A: No. Holders of MetLife common stock are not entitled to appraisal rights in connection with the distribution.

Q: Who is the transfer agent and registrar for Brighthouse common stock?

A: Following the distribution, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. will serve as transfer agent and registrar for our common stock. In addition, Computershare, Inc. has the following two roles in the distribution:

 

    Computershare, Inc. currently serves and will continue to serve as MetLife’s transfer agent and registrar.

 

    In addition, Computershare, Inc. will serve as the distribution agent in the distribution and will assist MetLife in the distribution of our common stock to MetLife’s shareholders.

Q: Are there risks associated with owning shares of Brighthouse common stock?

A: Yes. Our business faces both general and specific risks and uncertainties. Our business also faces risks relating to the separation. Following the separation, we will also face risks associated with being a separate, publicly traded company. Accordingly, you should read carefully the information set forth in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in this information statement.

Q: Where can I get more information?

A: If you have any questions relating to the mechanics of the distribution, you should contact the distribution agent at:

Computershare Trust Company, N.A.

P.O. Box 505000

Louisville, KY 40233-5000

Phone: 1-888-670-4771

Email: web.queries@computershare.com

 



 

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Before the separation, if you have any questions relating to the distribution, you should contact MetLife at:

Investor Relations

MetLife, Inc.

200 Park Avenue

New York, New York 10166-0188

Phone: (212) 578-7888

Email: john.a.hall@metlife.com

After the distribution, if you have any questions relating to Brighthouse, you should contact us at:

Investor Relations

Brighthouse Financial, Inc.

Gragg Building, 11225 North Community House Road

Charlotte, North Carolina 28277

Phone: (980) 365-7100

Email: Investor.relations@brighthousefinancial.com

After the distribution, if you have any questions relating to MetLife, you should contact MetLife at:

Investor Relations

MetLife, Inc.

200 Park Avenue

New York, New York 10166-0188

Phone: (212) 578-7888

Email: john.a.hall@metlife.com

Summary of the Distribution

 

Distributing Company

MetLife, Inc., a Delaware corporation that holds all of our common stock issued and outstanding prior to the distribution. After the distribution, MetLife will retain no more than 19.9% of our common stock.

 

Distributed Company

Brighthouse Financial, Inc., a Delaware corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary of MetLife. At the time of the distribution, we will hold, directly or through our subsidiaries, the assets and liabilities of MetLife’s Brighthouse Financial segment. See “Formation of Brighthouse and the Restructuring” and “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions” for more detail. After the distribution, we will be a separate, publicly traded company.

 

Distributed Securities

At least 80.1% of the shares of our common stock owned by MetLife. Based on the 1,081,321,114 shares of MetLife common stock outstanding on March 31, 2017, and applying the distribution ratio of one share of Brighthouse common stock for every eleven shares of MetLife common stock, approximately 98,301,919 shares of Brighthouse common stock will be distributed.

 

Record Date

The record date is the close of business on July 19, 2017.

 



 

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Distribution Date

The distribution date is 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on August 4, 2017.

 

Restructuring

Brighthouse will own, directly or indirectly, certain subsidiaries of MetLife including Brighthouse Insurance, Brighthouse Insurance NY, NELICO and Brighthouse Investment Advisers, LLC (“Brighthouse Advisers”), formerly known as MetLife Advisers, LLC (“MetLife Advisers”), and an affiliated reinsurance company and other entities. Prior to the distribution, these entities were, directly or indirectly, wholly owned by MetLife, Inc.

 

  In order to position Brighthouse to effectively compete as a focused product manufacturer of retail life insurance and annuity products with national distribution, MetLife will undertake several actions including an internal reorganization involving its former Retail segment and certain affiliated reinsurance companies, predominantly through equity transfers, mergers and the sale or assignment of certain assets and liabilities among applicable companies within Brighthouse and MetLife, as well as the unwinding of several intercompany reinsurance transactions. The objective of these actions is to both create the desired post-distribution structure for Brighthouse as well as reduce ongoing affiliation and interdependencies between MetLife and Brighthouse.

See “Formation of Brighthouse and the Restructuring” and “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions” for a description of the restructuring.

 

Distribution Ratio

Each holder of MetLife common stock will receive one share of our common stock for every eleven shares of MetLife common stock it holds on the record date. The distribution agent will distribute only whole shares of our common stock in the distribution. See “The Separation and Distribution — Treatment of Fractional Shares” for more detail. Please note that if you sell your shares of MetLife common stock on or before the distribution date, the buyer of those shares may in some circumstances be entitled to receive the shares of our common stock issuable in respect of the MetLife shares that you sold. See “The Separation and Distribution — Trading Prior to the Distribution Date” for more detail.

 

The Distribution

On the distribution date, MetLife will release the shares of our common stock to the distribution agent to distribute to MetLife shareholders. Our transfer agent will credit the whole shares of our common stock you receive in the distribution by way of direct registration in book-entry form. We will not issue any physical stock certificates. Our transfer agent, or your bank, broker or other nominee, will credit your shares of our common stock to your book-entry account, or your bank, brokerage or other account, on or shortly after the distribution date. You will not be required to make any payment, surrender or exchange your shares of MetLife common stock or take any other action to receive your shares of our common stock.

 



 

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Fractional Shares

The distribution agent will not distribute any fractional shares of our common stock to MetLife shareholders. Instead, the distribution agent will first aggregate fractional shares into whole shares, then sell, or cause to be sold, the whole shares in the open market at prevailing market prices on behalf of MetLife shareholders who would otherwise have been entitled to receive a fractional share, and finally distribute the aggregate cash proceeds of the sales, net of brokerage fees and other costs, pro rata, to these holders (net of any required withholding for taxes applicable to each holder). If you receive cash in lieu of fractional shares, you will not be entitled to any interest on the proceeds. Your receipt of cash in lieu of fractional shares generally will, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, be taxable as described under “The Separation and Distribution — Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences of the Distribution” and “The Separation and Distribution — Treatment of Fractional Shares.”

 

Conditions to the Distribution

The distribution is subject to the satisfaction of the following conditions or the MetLife Board’s waiver of the following conditions. MetLife may waive, subject to applicable law, any of the following conditions, unless otherwise noted:

 

    the MetLife Board, or a committee thereof, will, in its sole and absolute discretion, have authorized and approved (i) the restructuring (as described under “Formation of Brighthouse and the Restructuring” and “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions”), (ii) any other transfers of assets and assumptions of liabilities contemplated by the Master Separation Agreement and any related agreements and (iii) the distribution, and will not have withdrawn that authorization and approval;

 

    the MetLife Board will have declared the distribution of shares of our common stock to MetLife’s shareholders;

 

    the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) will have declared the registration statement on Form 10, of which this information statement is a part, effective under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), no stop order suspending the effectiveness of the registration statement will be in effect, no proceedings for that purpose will be pending before or threatened by the SEC and notice of internet availability of this information statement will have been mailed to MetLife’s shareholders; MetLife may not waive this condition;

 

    NASDAQ will have accepted our common stock for listing, subject to official notice of issuance;

 

    the restructuring (as described under “Formation of Brighthouse and the Restructuring” and “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions”) will have been completed;

 

   

the private letter ruling from the IRS regarding certain significant issues under the Code, subject to the accuracy of and

 



 

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compliance with certain representations, assumptions and covenants, will remain in effect as of the distribution date;

 

    MetLife will have received an opinion from tax counsel, in form and substance satisfactory to MetLife in its sole and absolute discretion, to the effect that, subject to the accuracy of and compliance with certain representations, assumptions and covenants, the distribution will qualify for non-recognition of gain or loss to MetLife and MetLife’s shareholders pursuant to Sections 355 and 361 of the Code, except to the extent of cash received in lieu of fractional shares;

 

    no order, injunction or decree that would prevent the consummation of the distribution will be threatened, pending or issued (and still in effect) by any governmental entity of competent jurisdiction, no other legal restraint or prohibition preventing the consummation of the distribution will be in effect, and no other event outside the control of MetLife will have occurred or failed to occur that would prevent the consummation of the distribution; MetLife may not waive this condition;

 

    no other events or developments will have occurred prior to the distribution that, in the judgment of the MetLife Board, or a committee thereof, would result in the distribution having a material adverse effect on MetLife or its shareholders; and

 

    MetLife and we will have executed and delivered the Master Separation Agreement, Registration Rights Agreement, Investment Management Agreements, Transition Services Agreements, Intellectual Property License Agreement, Tax Receivables Agreement, Tax Separation Agreement (each as defined herein), certain services agreements and all other ancillary agreements related to the distribution.

 

  The fulfillment of the above conditions will not create any obligation on MetLife’s part to effect the distribution. We are not aware of any material federal, foreign or state regulatory requirements with which we must comply, other than SEC rules and regulations, or any material approvals that we must obtain, other than the approval for listing of our common stock, the SEC’s declaration of the effectiveness of the registration statement, in connection with the distribution, and state insurance department approval of the separation and restructuring. MetLife has the right not to complete the distribution if, at any time, the MetLife Board determines, in its sole and absolute discretion, that the distribution is not in the best interests of MetLife or its shareholders or is otherwise not advisable.

 

Trading Market and Symbol

We have applied to list our common stock on NASDAQ under the symbol “BHF”. We anticipate that, as early as two trading days prior to the record date, trading of shares of our common stock will begin on a “when-issued” basis and will continue up to and including the distribution date, and we expect that “regular-way” trading of our

 



 

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common stock will begin the first trading day after the distribution date. We also anticipate that, as early as two trading days prior to the record date, there will be two markets in MetLife common stock: (i) a “regular-way” market on which shares of MetLife common stock will trade with an entitlement for the purchaser of MetLife common stock to shares of our common stock to be distributed in the distribution, and (ii) an “ex-distribution” market on which shares of MetLife common stock will trade without an entitlement for the purchaser of MetLife common stock to shares of our common stock to be distributed in the distribution. See “The Separation and Distribution — Trading Prior to the Distribution Date.”

 

U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences of the Distribution

The distribution is conditioned on the continued validity as of the distribution date of a private letter ruling from the IRS, which MetLife has received, and an opinion from tax counsel, as described above under “— Conditions to the Distribution.” As described more fully in “The Separation and Distribution — Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences of the Distribution,” a U.S. holder (as defined in that section) generally will not recognize any gain or loss, and will not include any amount in income, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, upon receiving our common stock in the distribution, except for any gain or loss recognized with respect to cash the shareholder receives in lieu of fractional shares.

 

  Notwithstanding the receipt of the private letter ruling and an opinion from tax counsel, the IRS could determine that the distribution should be treated as a taxable transaction if it determines that any of the representations, assumptions or covenants on which the private letter ruling is based are untrue or have been violated or if it disagrees with the tax opinion regarding matters not covered by the private letter ruling. See “Risk Factors — Risks Relating to the Distribution — If the distribution were to fail to qualify for non-recognition treatment for U.S. federal income tax purposes, then MetLife, we and our shareholders could be subject to significant tax liabilities” and “Risk Factors — Risks Relating to the Distribution — We could have an indemnification obligation to MetLife if the distribution does not qualify for non-recognition treatment or if certain other steps that are part of the separation do not qualify for their intended tax treatment, which could materially adversely affect our financial condition.”

 

  Tax matters are complicated. The tax consequences to you of the distribution depend on your individual situation. You should consult your own tax advisor as to the specific tax consequences of the distribution to you, including the effect of any U.S. federal, state, local or foreign tax laws and of changes in applicable tax laws. See “The Separation and Distribution — Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences of the Distribution.”

 



 

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Relationship with MetLife after the Distribution

We intend to enter into several agreements with MetLife related to the restructuring and distribution, which will govern the relationship between MetLife and us up to and after completion of the distribution and allocate between MetLife and us various assets, liabilities, rights and obligations. These agreements include:

 

    a Master Separation Agreement that will set forth MetLife’s and our agreements regarding the principal actions that we will take in connection with the distribution and aspects of our relationship following the distribution, including certain mutual rights with respect to indemnification;

 

    a Registration Rights Agreement providing MetLife with certain rights requiring us to register under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), the shares of our common stock held by MetLife following the distribution;

 

    a Transition Services Agreement, pursuant to which MetLife and we will provide each other specified services on a transitional basis to help ensure an orderly transition following the distribution and certain service agreements, pursuant to which MetLife and we will provide each other specified services on a go-forward basis;

 

    a Tax Receivables Agreement that provides for payments to MetLife as partial consideration for its contribution of assets to us based on certain tax benefits we may realize as a result of certain transactions involved in the Separation and a Tax Separation Agreement that will allocate responsibility for taxes incurred before and after the distribution and include indemnification rights with respect to tax matters and restrictions to preserve the tax-free status of the distribution; and

 

    an Intellectual Property License Agreement, and certain provisions in the Master Separation Agreement, that will provide for ownership, licensing and other arrangements to facilitate MetLife’s and our ongoing use of intellectual property.

 

  On January 1, 2017, we entered into (i) Investment Management Agreements, pursuant to which an affiliate of MetLife, MetLife Investment Advisors, LLC (“MLIA”), will manage our and our insurance company subsidiaries’ general account investment portfolio, as well as certain separate account assets of certain of our insurance company subsidiaries, including related derivatives trading, for a period following the distribution and (ii) Investment Finance Services Agreements, pursuant to which MLIA will provide certain investment finance and reporting services in respect of the assets allocated to it under the Investment Management Agreements.

 

 

We describe these arrangements as well as other agreements between MetLife and us in greater detail under “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions,” and describe some of the risks related

 



 

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to these arrangements under “Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Separation from, and Continuing Relationship with, MetLife.”

 

Dividend Policy

As a separate company, we do not currently anticipate declaring or paying regular cash dividends on our common stock in the near term. Any future declaration and payment of dividends or other distributions of capital will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend upon our financial condition, earnings, cash needs, regulatory constraints, capital requirements (including requirements of our subsidiaries) and any other factors that our Board deems relevant in making such a determination. See “Risk Factors — Risks Relating to Our Common Stock and the Capital Markets — We do not anticipate declaring or paying regular dividends on our common stock, and our indebtedness could limit our ability to pay dividends on our common stock” and “Dividend Policy.”

 

Transfer Agent

Computershare Trust Company, N.A. will serve as transfer agent for our common stock.

 

Risk Factors

Our business faces both general and specific risks and uncertainties. Our business also faces risks relating to the distribution. Following the distribution, we will also face risks associated with being a separate, publicly traded company. Accordingly, you should read carefully the information set forth under “Risk Factors.”

 



 

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Summary Historical Combined Financial Information

The following tables set forth summary historical combined financial information for the MetLife U.S. Retail Separation Business. The summary historical combined financial information as of December 31, 2016 and 2015 and for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 has been derived from the audited combined financial statements of the MetLife U.S. Retail Separation Business that are included elsewhere in this information statement and should be read in conjunction with, and is qualified by reference to, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the audited combined financial statements and the related notes included herein. The summary historical combined financial information as of March 31, 2017, and for the three months ended March 31, 2017 and 2016, has been derived from the unaudited interim condensed combined financial statements of the MetLife U.S. Retail Separation Business and the related notes included elsewhere herein and should be read in conjunction with, and is qualified by reference to, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the unaudited interim condensed combined financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere herein. The following combined statements of operations and combined balance sheet data have been prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”).

 

     Three Months Ended
March 31,
    Years Ended December 31,  
     2017     2016     2016     2015     2014  
     (In millions)  

Statement of Operations Data

          

Total revenues

   $ 965     $ 2,389     $ 3,018     $ 8,891     $ 9,448  

Fees and other revenues

   $ 1,027     $ 1,016     $ 4,518     $ 4,432     $ 4,870  

Premiums

   $ 176     $ 393     $ 1,222     $ 1,679     $ 1,500  

Net investment income

   $ 782     $ 748     $ 3,207     $ 3,099     $ 3,090  

Net investment gains (losses)

   $ (55   $ (61   $ (78   $ 7     $ (435

Net derivative gains (losses) (1)

   $ (965   $ 293     $ (5,851   $ (326   $ 423  

Total expenses (2)

   $ 1,555     $ 1,825     $ 7,723     $ 7,429     $ 7,920  

Policyholder benefits and claims

   $ 864     $ 737     $ 3,903     $ 3,269     $ 3,334  

Interest credited to policyholder account balances

   $ 275     $ 290     $ 1,165     $ 1,259     $ 1,278  

Amortization of DAC and VOBA

   $ (148   $ 246     $ 371     $ 781     $ 1,109  

Other expenses

   $ 564     $ 552     $ 2,123     $ 2,120     $ 2,199  

Net income (loss)

   $ (349   $ 407     $ (2,939   $ 1,119     $ 1,159  

 



 

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     March 31,      December 31,  
     2017      2016      2015      2014  
     (In millions)  

Balance Sheet Data

           

Total assets

   $ 223,188      $ 221,930      $ 226,725      $ 231,620  

Total investments and cash and cash equivalents

   $ 85,105      $ 85,860      $ 85,199      $ 81,141  

Separate account assets

   $ 115,365      $ 113,043      $ 114,447      $ 122,922  

Long-term financing obligations:

           

Debt (3)

   $ 807      $ 810      $ 836      $ 928  

Reserve financing debt (4)

   $ 1,100      $ 1,100      $ 1,100      $ 1,100  

Collateral financing arrangement (5)

   $ 2,797      $ 2,797      $ 2,797      $ 2,797  

Policyholder liabilities (6)

   $ 73,617      $ 73,943      $ 71,881      $ 69,992  

Variable annuities liabilities:

           

Future policy benefits

   $ 3,542      $ 3,562      $ 2,937      $ 2,346  

Policyholder account balances

   $ 11,132      $ 11,517      $ 7,379      $ 5,781  

Other policy-related balances

   $ 87      $ 89      $ 99      $ 104  

Non-variable annuities liabilities:

           

Future policy benefits

   $ 30,080      $ 29,810      $ 28,266      $ 27,296  

Policyholder account balances

   $ 25,854      $ 26,009      $ 30,142      $ 31,645  

Other policy-related balances

   $ 2,922      $ 2,956      $ 3,058      $ 2,820  

Total shareholder’s net investment

   $ 15,116      $ 14,862      $ 16,839      $ 17,525  

Shareholder’s net investment

   $ 13,610      $ 13,597      $ 15,316      $ 14,810  

Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)

   $ 1,506      $ 1,265      $ 1,523      $ 2,715  

 

(1) See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Results of Operations” for a discussion of net derivative gains (losses).
(2) Total expenses for the year ended December 31, 2016 include a goodwill impairment of $161 million.
(3) This balance includes surplus notes in aggregate principal amount of $750 million issued by Brighthouse Insurance to a financing trust. On February 10, 2017 MetLife, Inc. became the sole beneficial owner of the financing trust. In connection with the restructuring, (i) the financing trust was terminated in accordance with its terms on March 23, 2017, (ii) MetLife, Inc. became the owner of the surplus notes, and (iii) on June 16, 2017, MetLife, Inc. forgave the obligation of Brighthouse Insurance to pay the principal under the surplus notes. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations —Liquidity and Capital Resources — The Company — Outstanding Debt and Collateral Financing Arrangement — Surplus Notes - Affiliated (Excluding Reserve Financing Surplus Notes -Affiliated).”
(4) Includes long-term financing of statutory reserves supporting level premium term life and ULSG policies provided by surplus notes issued to MetLife. These surplus notes were eliminated in April 2017 in connection with the restructuring of existing reserve financing arrangements. See “Formation of Brighthouse and the Restructuring — Formation of Brighthouse” and “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions” for a discussion of the new affiliated reinsurance structure and reserve financing arrangements.
(5) Supports statutory reserves relating to level premium term and ULSG policies pursuant to credit facilities entered into by MetLife, Inc. and an unaffiliated financial institution. These facilities were replaced in April 2017 in connection with the restructuring of existing reserve financing arrangements. See “Formation of Brighthouse and the Restructuring — Formation of Brighthouse” and “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions” for a discussion of the new affiliated reinsurance structure and reserve financing arrangements.
(6) Includes future policy benefits, policyholder account balances and other policy-related balances.

 



 

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RISK FACTORS

You should carefully consider all of the information in this information statement and each of the risks described below, which we believe are the principal risks that we face. Some of the risks relate to our business, others to the separation and distribution. Some risks relate principally to the securities markets and ownership of our common stock.

Any of the following risks could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and the actual outcome of matters as to which forward-looking statements are made in this information statement. While we believe we have identified and discussed below the material risks affecting our business, there may be additional risks and uncertainties that we do not presently know or that we do not currently believe to be material that may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations in the future.

Risks Related to Our Business

Differences between actual experience and actuarial assumptions and the effectiveness of our actuarial models may adversely affect our financial results, capitalization and financial condition

Our earnings significantly depend upon the extent to which our actual claims experience and benefit payments on our products are consistent with the assumptions we use in setting prices for our products and establishing liabilities for future policy benefits and claims. Such amounts are established based on estimates by actuaries of how much we will need to pay for future benefits and claims. To the extent that actual claims and benefits experience is less favorable than the underlying assumptions we used in establishing such liabilities, we could be required to increase our liabilities. We make assumptions regarding policyholder behavior at the time of pricing and in selecting and utilizing the guaranteed options inherent within our products based in part upon expected persistency of the products, which change the probability that a policy or contract will remain in force from one period to the next. Persistency within our annuities business may be significantly affected by the value of guaranteed minimum benefits contained in many of our variable annuities being higher than current account values in light of poor equity market performance or extended periods of low interest rates as well as other factors. Persistency could be adversely affected generally by developments affecting policyholder perception of us, including perceptions arising from adverse publicity. The pricing of certain of our variable annuity products that contain certain living benefit guarantees is also based on assumptions about utilization rates, or the percentage of contracts that will utilize the benefit during the contract duration, including the timing of the first lifetime income withdrawal. Results may vary based on differences between actual and expected benefit utilization. A material increase in the valuation of the liability could result to the extent emerging and actual experience deviates from these policyholder option utilization assumptions, and in certain circumstances this deviation may impair our solvency.

We use actuarial models to assist us in establishing reserves for liabilities arising from our insurance policies and annuity contracts. We periodically review the effectiveness of these models, their underlying logic and assumptions and, from time to time, implement refinements to our models based on these reviews. We only implement refinements after rigorous testing and validation and, even after such validation and testing our models remain subject to inherent limitations. Accordingly, no assurances can be given as to whether or when we will implement refinements to our actuarial models, and, if implemented, the extent of such refinements. Furthermore, if implemented, any such refinements could cause us to increase the reserves we hold for our insurance policy and annuity contract liabilities which would adversely affect our risk-based capital ratio and the amount of variable annuity assets we hold in excess of CTE95 and, in the case of any material model refinements, could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Due to the nature of the underlying risks and the uncertainty associated with the determination of liabilities for future policy benefits and claims, we cannot determine precisely the amounts which we will ultimately pay to

 

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settle our liabilities. Such amounts may vary materially from the estimated amounts, particularly when those payments may not occur until well into the future. We evaluate our liabilities periodically based on accounting requirements, which change from time to time, the assumptions and models used to establish the liabilities, as well as our actual experience. If the liabilities originally established for future benefit payments and claims prove inadequate, we must increase them. Such increases would adversely affect our earnings and could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition including our capitalization and our ability to receive statutory dividends from our operating insurance companies, as well as a material adverse effect on the financial strength ratings which are necessary to support our product sales. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Policyholder Liabilities.”

Guarantees within certain of our products may decrease our earnings, decrease our capitalization, increase the volatility of our results, result in higher risk management costs and expose us to increased counterparty risk

Certain of the variable annuity products we offer include guaranteed benefits, including guaranteed minimum death benefits (“GMDBs”), GMWBs and guaranteed minimum accumulation benefits (“GMABs”). While we continue to have GMIBs in force with respect to which we are obligated to perform, we no longer offer GMIBs. We also offer index-linked annuities with guarantees against a defined floor on losses. These guarantees are designed to protect contract holders against significant changes in equity markets and interest rates. Any such periods of significant and sustained negative or low separate account returns, increased equity volatility, or reduced interest rates could result in an increase in the valuation of our liabilities associated with those products. In addition, if the separate account assets consisting of fixed income securities, which support the guaranteed index-linked return feature are insufficient to reflect a period of sustained growth in the equity-index on which the product is based, we may be required to support such separate accounts with assets from our general account and increase our liabilities. An increase in these liabilities would result in a decrease in our net income and depending on the magnitude of any such increase, could materially and adversely affect our financial condition, including our capitalization and our ability to receive statutory dividends from our operating insurance companies, as well as the financial strength ratings which are necessary to support our product sales. See “Business — Description of our Segments, Products and Operations — Variable Annuity Risk Management.”

Additionally, we make assumptions regarding policyholder behavior at the time of pricing and in selecting and utilizing the guaranteed options inherent within our products (e.g., utilization of option to annuitize within a GMIB product). An increase in the valuation of the liability could result to the extent emerging and actual experience deviates from these policyholder option utilization assumptions. MetLife generally conducts an annual actuarial assumption review, including those assumptions relating to policyholder behavior, in the third quarter of each year. MetLife accelerated its 2016 annual variable annuity actuarial assumption review from the third quarter to the second quarter of 2016. As a result of this review, we recorded a non-cash charge to net income of $1.7 billion, net of DAC and income tax. Approximately $1.0 billion of this charge was attributable to changes in policyholder behavior assumptions and the remainder was related to changes in economic and other actuarial assumptions. Consistent with MetLife’s past practice, we conducted the remainder of our annual actuarial assumption review, which related to products that we issue other than variable annuities, in the third quarter of 2016. The impact resulting from the remainder of this review was not material. If we update our assumptions based on our annual actuarial assumption review in future years, we could be required to increase the liabilities we record for future policy benefits and claims to a level that may materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition which, in certain circumstances, could impair our solvency. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Executive Summary — Actuarial Assumption Review.”

We also use hedging and other risk management strategies to mitigate the liability exposure primarily related to capital market risks. These strategies involve the use of reinsurance and derivatives, which may not be completely effective. For example, in the event that reinsurers, derivative counterparties or central clearinghouses are unable or unwilling to pay, we remain liable for the guaranteed benefits. See “— Our proposed variable

 

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annuity exposure management strategy may not be fully implemented prior to the distribution, may not be effective, may result in net income volatility and may negatively affect our statutory capital.”

In addition, capital markets hedging instruments may not effectively offset the costs of guarantees or may otherwise be insufficient in relation to our obligations. Furthermore, we are subject to the risk that changes in policyholder behavior or mortality, combined with adverse market events, could produce economic losses not addressed by the risk management techniques employed. These, individually or collectively, may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, including net income, capitalization, financial condition or liquidity including our ability to receive dividends from our insurance operating companies. See “Business — Description of our Segments, Products and Operations — Annuities — Current Products — Variable Annuities” for further consideration of the risks associated with guaranteed benefits.

Our proposed variable annuity exposure management strategy may not be fully implemented prior to the distribution, may not be effective, may result in net income volatility and may negatively affect our statutory capital

We intend to modify our variable annuity exposure management strategy to emphasize as an objective the mitigation of the potential adverse effects of changes in equity markets and interest rates on our statutory capitalization and statutory distributable cash flows. The principal focus of our proposed exposure risk management program will be to maintain assets supporting our variable annuity contract guarantees at the variable annuity target funding level, which we intend to be CTE95 (the “Variable Annuity Target Funding Level”). As of December 31, 2016, assuming the transactions to be executed in connection with the separation had occurred as of such date, we estimate that we would have held approximately $2.3 billion of assets in excess of CTE95.

As of March 31, 2017 we have made significant progress towards the transition to our proposed exposure risk management program by increasing the amount of assets supporting our variable annuity contracts and entering into certain derivative transactions intended to support our Variable Annuity Target Funding Level. However, we anticipate the transition from our current strategy to our proposed strategy will continue throughout the separation process. The ultimate timing and manner of the final implementation of our hedge strategy will be determined by MetLife and Brighthouse and will be subject to conditions in the capital markets as well as regulatory requirements, including potential changes to regulatory requirements. Although we intend to select and acquire OTC and exchange traded derivatives which are generally available in the capital markets, the derivative instruments we require may not be available when we seek to enter into them and, if available, may not be obtainable on economically attractive terms and conditions. During this transition we may experience additional net income (losses) and/or volatility depending on capital market conditions and timing of trade execution.

We intend to hold assets supporting our variable annuity contracts at our Variable Annuity Target Funding Level to sustain asset adequacy during modest market downturns without the use of derivative instruments and, accordingly, reduce the need for hedging the daily or weekly fluctuations from small movements in capital markets. We intend to focus our hedging activities primarily on mitigating the risk from larger movements in capital markets, which may deplete contract holder account values and may increase long-term guarantee claims. We also intend to make greater use of longer dated derivative instruments. We believe this will result in our being less exposed to the risk that we will be unable to roll-over expiring derivative instruments into new derivative instruments consistent with our hedge strategy on economically attractive terms and conditions. We also believe this strategy may allow us to reduce net hedge costs over time and increase long-term value for our shareholders. However, our proposed hedging strategy may not be fully effective and implemented prior to the distribution. In connection with our exposure risk management program we may determine to seek the approval of applicable regulatory authorities to permit us to increase our hedge limits consistent with those contemplated by the program. Although we expect to receive any such approvals, if requested, no assurance can be given that the approvals will be obtained prior to the distribution, or at all, and whether any such approvals would be subject to qualifications, limitations or conditions. In addition, the hedging instruments we enter into may not effectively

 

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offset the costs of variable annuity contract guarantees or may otherwise be insufficient in relation to our obligations. If our capital is depleted in the event of persistent market downturns, we will need to replenish it by holding additional capital, which we may have allocated for other uses, or purchasing additional hedging protection through the use of more expensive derivatives with strike levels at the current market level. Under our new hedging strategy, changes from period to period in the valuation of our policyholder benefits and claims and net derivative gains (losses) will result in more significant volatility, which in certain circumstances could be material, to our results of operations and financial condition under GAAP and the statutory capital levels of our insurance subsidiaries than has been the case historically.

In addition, estimates and assumptions we make in connection with hedging activities may fail to reflect or correspond to our actual long-term exposure in respect of our guarantees. Further, the risk of increases in the costs of our guarantees not covered by our hedging and other capital and risk management strategies may become more significant due to changes in policyholder behavior driven by market conditions or other factors. The use of assets and derivative instruments may not effectively mitigate the effect of changes in policyholder behavior.

Finally, the cost of our proposed hedging program may be greater than anticipated because adverse market conditions can limit the availability and increase the costs of the derivatives we intend to employ and such costs may not be recovered in the pricing of the underlying products we offer. The above factors, individually or collectively, may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, capitalization and liquidity. See “— Guarantees within certain of our products may decrease our earnings, decrease our capitalization, increase the volatility of our results, result in higher risk management costs and expose us to increased counterparty risk” and “Business — Description of our Segments, Products and Operations — Variable Annuity Risk Management.”

Our proposed ULSG asset requirement target may not ensure we have sufficient assets to meet our future ULSG policyholder obligations and may result in net income volatility

We intend to more actively manage the market risk sensitivity related to our in-force ULSG exposure specifically to adapt to changes in interest rates.

We have utilized our NY Regulation 126 Cash Flow Testing (“ULSG CFT”) modeling approach as the basis for setting our ULSG asset requirement target for our affiliated reinsurance companies. For the business that remains in the operating companies, we set our ULSG asset requirement target to equal the actuarially determined statutory reserves under stressed conditions, which, taken together with our ULSG asset requirement target of our affiliated reinsurers, comprises our total ULSG asset requirement target (“ULSG Target”). Under this approach we assume that interest rates remain flat or decline as compared to current levels and our actuarial assumptions include a provision for adverse deviation.

We seek to mitigate exposure to interest rate risk associated with these liabilities by maintaining ULSG Assets at or in excess of our ULSG Target in different interest rate environments. We define “ULSG Assets” as (i) total general account assets supporting statutory reserves and capital, and (ii) interest rate derivative instruments dedicated to mitigate ULSG interest rate exposures.

Our ULSG Target is sensitive to the actual and future expected level of long-term U.S. interest rates. If interest rates fall, our ULSG Target increases, and if interest rates rise, our ULSG Target declines. We use primarily interest rate swaps to better protect statutory capitalization from potential losses due to an increase in reserves to achieve our ULSG Target in lower interest rate environments. We implemented a dedicated interest rate risk mitigation program for our ULSG business in the third quarter of 2016 and we intend to maintain adequate liquid investments in our investment portfolio supporting our ULSG business to support the contingent collateral posting requirement in our interest rate swaps. This risk mitigation strategy may negatively impact the statutory and/or GAAP capitalization of Brighthouse Insurance and Brighthouse Financial, Inc. in circumstances in which interest rates are rising, because of the insensitivity of the liabilities to market conditions.

 

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While we intend this risk mitigation strategy to reduce our risk to statutory capitalization and long-term economic exposures from sustained levels of low interest rates, it will likely result in higher net income volatility due to the insensitivity of GAAP liabilities to changes in interest rates. Our interest rate derivative instruments may not effectively offset the costs of our ULSG policyholder obligations or may otherwise be insufficient in relation to our objectives. In addition, the assumptions we make in connection with our risk mitigation strategy may fail to reflect or correspond to actual long-term exposure to our ULSG policyholder obligations. If our liquid investments are depleted we will need to replenish our liquid portfolio by selling higher-yielding less liquid assets, which we may have allocated for other uses. The above factors, individually or collectively, may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, capitalization or liquidity. See “Business — Description of our Segments, Products and Operations — Run-off — ULSG Market Risk Exposure Management.”

We may be required to hold additional statutory reserves against our variable annuities as a result of AG 43, which could impair our ability to make distributions to our shareholders

We are required to calculate the statutory reserves which support our variable annuity products in conformity with AG 43. The principal components of the AG 43 reserve calculation are a calculation referred to as the Conditional Tail Expectation Amount (the “CTE Amount”) utilizing stochastic analysis across 1,000 capital market scenarios and a deterministic calculation based on a single standard scenario (the “Standard Scenario Reserve Amount”). The reserves we carry for our variable annuity contracts are required under AG 43 to include the greater of the CTE Amount or the Standard Scenario Reserve Amount. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — Parent Company — Liquidity — Constraints on Parent Company Liquidity.”

We intend to support our variable annuity contracts with assets which are $2.0 billion to $3.0 billion in excess of the average amount of assets required under CTE95. Under our Base Case Scenario (which, although we believe reasonable, does not incorporate all capital markets and other scenarios relevant to asset adequacy and reserving) in the early years following the distribution we anticipate the assets we hold to support our variable annuity contracts at CTE95 will exceed the amount required by AG 43. Under this scenario, we anticipate that beginning in approximately 2020 under AG 43 as currently in effect the Standard Scenario Reserve Amount will exceed the amount that would be required to be held consistent with CTE95 (although still less than CTE95 plus $2.0 billion to $3.0 billion), and that the amount of such excess will increase materially in subsequent years.

During the period that the Standard Scenario Reserve Amount materially exceeds CTE95, our insurance company subsidiaries’ RBC ratios and surplus will be adversely affected to the extent we make distributions to our shareholders. Notwithstanding this impact, and although no assurances can be given, under our Base Case Scenario we believe that during this period our excess reserving requirements under the standard scenario will allow us to maintain our Combined RBC ratio, surplus and financial strength ratings at levels necessary to market and sell our products in accordance with our business plan. If anticipated regulatory reform fails to bring AG 43 calculations in line with current RBC C3 Phase II requirements, which require us to hold assets to support our variable annuity contracts at a CTE90 standard, we may be required to pay extraordinary dividends from Brighthouse Insurance, which would be subject to regulatory approval, in order to make distributions to our shareholders. Furthermore, absent such regulatory reform, we may seek regulatory relief or engage in transactions, including restructuring or financing transactions, to mitigate the effect of the standard scenario on the surplus and RBC ratios of our insurance company subsidiaries.

The primary objective of our variable annuity exposure management program is to mitigate the impact on our statutory balance sheet from any increase in CTE95 total asset requirements under capital market stress conditions. We seek to accomplish this by using derivatives instruments together with holding $2.0 billion to $3.0 billion in excess of the CTE95 requirement to fund the first dollar increase in CTE95 requirements under stressed capital market conditions. We do not currently intend our exposure management program to address any potential increase in excess standard scenario requirements above CTE95 under stressed market conditions. Under moderate to extreme market conditions, this may result in deterioration in the RBC ratio of our insurance

 

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company subsidiaries, until capital markets recover, although under these conditions we still expect to maintain the RBC ratio of our insurance company subsidiaries significantly in excess of minimum regulatory requirements. Our current intentions notwithstanding, we may, in the future, opportunistically consider adding incremental hedge protection to mitigate the impact of capital market stress conditions on standard scenario reserve funding requirements in excess of CTE95.

Although we believe the assumptions underlying our Base Case Scenario are reasonable, no assurances can be given that they can or will be realized. In addition, our liquidity, statutory capitalization, results of operations and financial condition will be affected by a broad range of capital market scenarios, which, depending on whether they positively or adversely affect account values, could materially positively or adversely affect our reserving requirements under AG 43. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — Parent Company — Liquidity — Constraints on Parent Company Liquidity” and “Business — Description of our Segments, Products and Operations — Variable Annuity Risk Management.”

A sustained period of low equity market prices and interest rates that are lower than those we assumed when we issued our variable annuity products could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, capitalization and financial condition

Future policy benefit liabilities for guaranteed minimum death benefits and guaranteed minimum living benefits (“GMLBs”) under our variable annuity contracts are based on the value of the benefits we expect to be payable under such contracts in excess of the contract holders’ projected account balances. We determine the fees we charge for providing these guarantees in substantial part on the basis of assumptions we make with respect to the growth of the account values relating to these contracts, including assumptions with respect to investment performance. If the actual growth in account values differs from our initial assumptions we may need to increase or decrease the amount of future benefit liabilities we record to the extent that other factors we consider in estimating the expected value of benefits payable, including policyholder behavior, do not offset the impact of changes in our assumptions with respect to investment performance. Although extreme declines or shocks in equity markets and interest rates can increase the level of reserves we need to hold to fund guarantees, other types of economic scenarios can also impact the adequacy of our reserves. For example, certain scenarios involving sustained stagnation in equity markets and low interest rates would adversely affect growth in account values and could require us to materially increase our benefit liabilities. As a result, in the absence of incremental management actions and not taking into account the effects of new business, our ability to retain the ratings necessary to market and sell our products, as well as our ability to repay or refinance indebtedness for borrowed money, could be materially adversely affected and our solvency could be impaired.

Elements of our business strategy are new and may not be effective in accomplishing our objectives

Our objective is to leverage our competitive strengths to distinguish ourselves in the individual life insurance and annuity markets and, over the longer term, to generate more distributable cash from our business. We will seek to achieve this by being a focused product manufacturer with an emphasis on independent distribution, while having the goal of achieving a competitive expense ratio through financial discipline. We intend to achieve our goals by focusing on target market segments, concentrating on product manufacturing, maintaining a strong balance sheet and using the scale of our seasoned in-force business to support the effectiveness of our risk management program, and focusing on operating cost and flexibility. See “Business —Our Business Strategy.”

This strategy is different than that of our current ultimate parent company, MetLife, Inc., and has not yet been fully implemented. Our initial product offering includes products that we believe are consistent with our business strategy. We may experience delays in obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals resulting in certain of these products not being included in our initial product offering, which could adversely impact the success of our business strategy. There can be no assurance that our strategy will be successful as it may not adequately alleviate the risks relating to less diverse product offerings; volatility of, and capital requirements with respect to,

 

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variable annuities; risk of loss with respect to use of derivatives in hedging transactions; and greater dependence on a relatively small number of independent distributors to market our products and generate most of our sales. Furthermore, such distributions may be subject to differing commission structures depending on the product sold and there can be no assurance that these new commission structures will be acceptable. See “— General Risks —We may experience difficulty in marketing and distributing products through our distribution channels.” We may also be unable to reduce operating costs and enhance efficiencies, at least initially, due to the increased costs related to our separation from MetLife, as well as the cost and duration of transitional services agreements. See “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions.” Furthermore, many of the Brighthouse associates who conduct our business, including management, will be former employees of MetLife. As a result, we will need to provide training to all the Brighthouse associates who conduct our business regarding our new strategy, which may not be successful and may divert management time and attention from other matters. For these reasons no assurances can be given that we will be able to execute our strategy or that our strategy will achieve our objectives.

We will incur significant indebtedness in connection with the separation that for a period of time will not provide us with liquidity or interest-expense tax deductions and the terms of which could restrict our operations and use of funds that may result in a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition

We expect to borrow a significant amount of funds in connection with the separation in the form of bank debt or debt securities issued to third-party lenders or investors. These initial borrowings may reduce our capacity to access credit markets for additional liquidity until such time as our equity and credit position are strengthened. We intend to use a significant portion of the proceeds of these initial borrowings to make a distribution to MetLife as partial consideration for MetLife’s transfer of assets to Brighthouse and, accordingly, we will be required to service the initial borrowings with cash at Brighthouse and dividends from our insurance companies and other operating company subsidiaries. The amount of borrowing will allow us to achieve the following goals at the time of the distribution: (i) adequate liquidity at the Brighthouse holding company level; (ii) a debt-to-capital ratio of approximately 25%; and (iii) $2.0 billion to $3.0 billion of assets in excess of CTE95 to support our variable annuity contracts. The funds needed to service these initial borrowings will not be available to meet any short-term liquidity needs we may have, invest in our business or pay dividends on our common stock. Furthermore, Brighthouse Financial, Inc. was incorporated in 2016 and our life insurance subsidiaries will not be transferred to it until the completion of the restructuring prior to the distribution. Therefore, pursuant to current IRS regulations, Brighthouse Financial, Inc. will not be permitted to join in the filing of a U.S. consolidated federal income tax return with our insurance subsidiaries for a period of five taxable years following the distribution. As a result, during such time we may not be able to fully deduct the interest payments on certain initial indebtedness we incur at the Brighthouse Financial, Inc. level in connection with the separation or certain other borrowings from the taxable income of our insurance subsidiaries during such five-year period. See “— Risks Relating to the Distribution — We will incur substantial indebtedness in connection with the separation, and the degree to which we will be leveraged following completion of the distribution and separation may materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.”

We have entered into a $3.0 billion three-year senior unsecured delayed draw term loan agreement, dated December 2, 2016 (the “term loan agreement”), and a $2.0 billion five-year senior unsecured revolving credit facility, dated December 2, 2016 (the “revolving credit facility” and together with the term loan agreement, the “Brighthouse Credit Facilities”), which may provide significant support to our liquidity position at the holding company when alternative sources of credit are limited. The Brighthouse Credit Facilities contain certain administrative, reporting, legal and financial covenants, including requirements to maintain a specified minimum consolidated net worth and to maintain a ratio of indebtedness to total capitalization not in excess of a specified percentage, and limitations on the dollar amount of indebtedness that may be incurred by our subsidiaries, which could restrict our operations and use of funds. Borrowings under the term loan agreement may be accessed only prior to the separation, and the net proceeds in excess of $500 million from debt issuances to third party investors will result in a reduction of the term loan agreement commitments. On June 22, 2017, we issued the 2027 Senior Notes and 2047 Senior Notes to third-party investors. The issuance of the 2027 Senior Notes and 2047 Senior

 

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Notes has reduced the term loan agreement commitments by approximately $2.5 billion. See “Recapitalization” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — Parent Company — Capital.”

The right to borrow funds under the Brighthouse Credit Facilities will be subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions, including compliance with all covenants, and the ability to borrow thereunder will also be subject to the continued willingness and ability of the lenders that are or will be parties to the Brighthouse Credit Facilities to provide funds. Failure to comply with the covenants in the Brighthouse Credit Facilities or fulfill the conditions to borrowings, or the failure of lenders to fund their lending commitments (whether due to insolvency, illiquidity or other reasons) in the amounts provided for under the terms of the Brighthouse Credit Facilities, would restrict the ability to access the Brighthouse Credit Facilities when needed and, consequently, could have a material adverse effect on our liquidity, results of operations and financial condition.

A downgrade or a potential downgrade in our financial strength or credit ratings could result in a loss of business and materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations

Financial strength ratings are published by various nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (“NRSROs”) and similar entities not formally recognized as NRSROs. They indicate the NRSROs’ opinions regarding an insurance company’s ability to meet contract holder and policyholder obligations, and are important to maintaining public confidence in our products and our competitive position. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — The Company — Rating Agencies” for additional information regarding our financial strength ratings, including current rating agency ratings and outlooks.

Downgrades in our financial strength ratings or changes to our ratings outlooks could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations in many ways, including:

 

    reducing new sales of insurance products and annuity products;

 

    adversely affecting our relationships with independent sales intermediaries;

 

    increasing the number or amount of policy surrenders and withdrawals by contract holders and policyholders;

 

    requiring us to reduce prices for many of our products and services to remain competitive;

 

    providing termination rights for the benefit of our derivative instrument counterparties;

 

    providing termination rights to cedents under assumed reinsurance contracts;

 

    adversely affecting our ability to obtain reinsurance at reasonable prices, if at all; and

 

    subjecting us to potentially increased regulatory scrutiny.

In response to the initial filing on October 5, 2016 of the registration statement on Form 10, of which this information statement forms a part, the following rating agencies announced the following rating actions:

 

    On October 5, 2016, Moody’s Investor Service (“Moody’s”) downgraded the insurance financial strength ratings of Brighthouse Insurance and NELICO from “Aa3” to “A3.” The ratings outlook was revised to stable from negative. Moody’s does not currently rate Brighthouse Insurance NY.

 

    On October 5, 2016, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its “A+” insurance financial strength ratings of MetLife USA, now Brighthouse Insurance, NELICO and FMLI, now Brighthouse Insurance NY. The ratings outlook remains negative.

 

    On October 6, 2016, Fitch Ratings downgraded the insurance financial strength ratings of MetLife USA, now Brighthouse Insurance and NELICO from “AA-” to “A+.” The ratings outlook was revised to stable from negative. Fitch Ratings does not currently rate FMLI, now Brighthouse Insurance NY.

 

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    On October 7, 2016, A.M. Best downgraded the insurance financial strength ratings of MetLife USA, now Brighthouse Insurance, NELICO and FMLI, now Brighthouse Insurance NY from “A+” to “A.” The ratings outlook was revised to stable from negative.

In addition to the financial strength ratings of our insurance subsidiaries, the following rating agencies announced the following rating actions:

 

    On March 2, 2017, Moody’s assigned “Baa3” long-term issuer ratings to Brighthouse Financial, Inc. and Brighthouse Holdings, LLC (“Brighthouse Intermediate Company”) with a stable outlook. On June 15, 2017, Moody’s assigned a senior unsecured rating of “Baa3” to the 2027 Senior Notes and 2047 Senior Notes of Brighthouse Financial, Inc. On June 19, 2017, Moody’s assigned a rating of “Baa3” to the Fixed Rate Cumulative Preferred Units, Series A of Brighthouse Intermediate Company (the “Series A Preferred Units”).

 

    On March 2, 2017, S&P Global Ratings assigned its preliminary “BBB+” long-term counterparty credit rating to Brighthouse Financial, Inc. and Brighthouse Intermediate Company with a negative outlook. On June 15, 2017, S&P Global Ratings assigned a senior unsecured rating of “BBB+” to the 2027 Senior Notes and 2047 Senior Notes of Brighthouse Financial, Inc. On June 19, 2017, S&P Global Ratings assigned a rating of “BBB-” to the Series A Preferred Units of Brighthouse Intermediate Company.

 

    On February 28, 2017, Fitch Ratings announced that it expects to assign issuer default ratings of “A-” to Brighthouse Financial, Inc. and Brighthouse Intermediate Company with a stable outlook, which on May 31, 2017, Fitch Ratings downgraded one notch to “BBB+” with a stable outlook. On June 15, 2017, Fitch Ratings assigned a senior unsecured rating of “BBB” to the 2027 Senior Notes and 2047 Senior Notes of Brighthouse Financial, Inc. On June 20, 2017, Fitch Ratings assigned a rating of “BBB-” to the Series A Preferred Units of Brighthouse Intermediate Company.

Credit ratings are opinions of each agency with respect to specific securities and contractual financial obligations and the issuer’s ability and willingness to meet those obligations when due, and are important factors in our overall financial profile, including funding profiles, and our ability to access certain types of liquidity. Downgrades in our credit or financial strength ratings or changes to our rating outlook could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations in many ways, including limiting our access to distributors, restricting our ability to generate new sales because our products depend on strong financial strength ratings to compete effectively, limiting our access to capital markets, and potentially increasing the cost of debt, which could adversely affect our liquidity.

In view of the difficulties experienced by many financial institutions as a result of the financial crisis and ensuing global recession, including our competitors in the insurance industry, we believe it is possible that the NRSROs will continue to heighten the level of scrutiny that they apply to insurance companies, will continue to increase the frequency and scope of their credit reviews, will continue to request additional information from the companies that they rate, and may adjust upward the capital and other requirements employed in the models for maintenance of certain ratings levels. On May 31, 2017, Fitch Ratings downgraded the insurance financial strength ratings of Brighthouse Insurance and NELICO from “A+” to “A.” The ratings outlook remains stable. Although we cannot predict at this time the impact of this downgrade on our ability to generate new premiums and deposits, the Fitch Ratings action could result in a reduction in new sales of our insurance products, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. Our ratings could be further downgraded at any time and without notice by any NRSRO. See “Business — Select Financial Targets — Exposure Management of Our VA In-Force — Sensitivity of Our Variable Annuity Target Funding Level to Capital Markets.”

Reinsurance may not be available, affordable or adequate to protect us against losses

As part of our overall risk management strategy, our insurance subsidiaries purchase reinsurance from third-party reinsurers for certain risks we underwrite. While reinsurance agreements generally bind the reinsurer for

 

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the life of the business reinsured at generally fixed pricing, market conditions beyond our control determine the availability and cost of the reinsurance protection for new business. In certain circumstances, the price of reinsurance for business already reinsured may also increase. Also, under certain of our reinsurance arrangements, it is common for the reinsurer to have a right to increase reinsurance rates on in-force business if there is a systematic deterioration of mortality in the market as a whole. Any decrease in the amount of reinsurance will increase our risk of loss and any increase in the cost of reinsurance will, absent a decrease in the amount of reinsurance, reduce our earnings. Accordingly, we may be forced to incur additional expenses for reinsurance or may not be able to obtain sufficient reinsurance on acceptable terms, which could adversely affect our ability to write future business or result in the assumption of more risk with respect to those policies we issue. See “Business — Annuity and Life Reinsurance.”

If the counterparties to our reinsurance or indemnification arrangements or to the derivatives we use to hedge our business risks default or fail to perform, we may be exposed to risks we had sought to mitigate, which could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations

We use reinsurance, indemnification and derivatives to mitigate our risks in various circumstances. In general, reinsurance, indemnification and derivatives do not relieve us of our direct liability to our policyholders, even when the reinsurer is liable to us. Accordingly, we bear credit risk with respect to our reinsurers, indemnitors, counterparties and central clearinghouses. A reinsurer’s, indemnitor’s, counterparty’s or central clearinghouse’s insolvency, inability or unwillingness to make payments under the terms of reinsurance agreements, indemnity agreements or derivatives agreements with us or inability or unwillingness to return collateral could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. See “Business — Annuity and Life Reinsurance.”

In addition, we use derivatives to hedge various business risks. We enter into a variety of derivatives, including options, forwards, interest rate, credit default and currency swaps with a number of counterparties on a bilateral basis for uncleared OTC derivatives and with clearing brokers and central clearinghouses for OTC-cleared derivatives. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Derivatives.” If our counterparties, clearing brokers or central clearinghouses fail or refuse to honor their obligations under these derivatives, our hedges of the related risk will be ineffective. This risk is more pronounced in light of the stresses recently suffered by financial institutions. Such failure could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Extreme mortality events resulting from catastrophes may adversely impact liabilities for policyholder claims and reinsurance availability

Our life insurance operations are exposed to the risk of catastrophic mortality, such as a pandemic or other event that causes a large number of deaths. For example, significant influenza pandemics have occurred three times in the last century. The likelihood, timing, and severity of a future pandemic cannot be predicted. A significant pandemic could have a major impact on the global economy or the economies of particular countries or regions, including travel, trade, tourism, the health system, food supply, consumption, overall economic output, as well as on the financial markets. In addition, a pandemic that affected our employees or the employees of our distributors or of other companies with which we do business could disrupt our business operations. The effectiveness of external parties, including governmental and non-governmental organizations, in combating the spread and severity of such a pandemic could have a material impact on the losses we experience. These events could cause a material adverse effect on our results of operations in any period and, depending on their severity, could also materially and adversely affect our financial condition.

Consistent with industry practice and accounting standards, we establish liabilities for claims arising from a catastrophe only after assessing the probable losses arising from the event. We cannot be certain that the liabilities we have established will be adequate to cover actual claim liabilities. While we attempt to limit our exposure to acceptable levels, a catastrophic event or multiple catastrophic events could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. Conversely, improvements in medical care and other

 

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developments which positively affect life expectancy can cause our assumptions with respect to longevity, which we use when we price our products, to become incorrect and, accordingly, can adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

We may not be able to take credit for reinsurance, our statutory life insurance reserve financings may be subject to cost increases and new financings may be subject to limited market capacity

We currently utilize capital markets solutions to finance a portion of our statutory reserve requirements for several products, including, but not limited to, our level premium term life products subject to the NAIC Valuation of Life Insurance Policies Model Regulation (“Regulation XXX”), and ULSG subject to NAIC Actuarial Guideline 38 (“Guideline AXXX”). We are currently restructuring our financing facilities for certain previously written products, which are subject to cost increases upon the occurrence of specified ratings downgrades of MetLife or are subject to periodic repricing. Any resulting cost increases could negatively impact our financial results. Following the receipt of all approvals from applicable regulators, effective April 28, 2017, we merged certain of our affiliate reinsurance companies into BRCD, a single newly formed and licensed reinsurance subsidiary of Brighthouse. We expect that a single, larger reinsurance subsidiary will provide certain benefits to Brighthouse, including (i) enhancing the ability to hedge the interest rate risk of the reinsured liabilities, (ii) allowing increased allocation flexibility in managing an investment portfolio, and (iii) improving operating flexibility and administrative cost efficiency, but there can be no assurance that such benefits will materialize. BRCD obtained statutory reserve financing through a new funding structure involving a single financing arrangement supported by a pool of highly rated third-party reinsurers, which financing will be at a lower cost than previous financing arrangements, which were terminated effective April 28, 2017. The restructured financing facility has a term of 20 years, but the liabilities being supported by such facility have a duration, in some cases, of more than 30 years. Therefore, we may need to refinance the new facility in the future and any such refinancing may not be at costs attractive to us or may not be available at all. If such financing cannot be obtained on favorable terms, our statutory capitalization, results of operations and financial condition, as well as our competitiveness, could be adversely affected. See “Formation of Brighthouse and the Restructuring — Formation of Brighthouse — Certain Affiliated Reinsurance Companies.”

Future capacity for these statutory reserve funding structures in the marketplace is not guaranteed. During 2014, the NAIC approved a new regulatory framework applicable to the use of captive insurers in connection with Regulation XXX and Guideline AXXX transactions. Among other things, the framework called for more disclosure of an insurer’s use of captives in its statutory financial statements, and narrows the types of assets permitted to back statutory reserves that are required to support the insurer’s future obligations. In 2014, the NAIC implemented the framework through an actuarial guideline (“AG 48”), which requires the actuary of the ceding insurer that opines on the insurer’s reserves to issue a qualified opinion if the framework is not followed. The requirements of AG 48 became effective as of January 1, 2015 in all states, without any further action necessary by state legislatures or insurance regulators to implement them, and apply prospectively to new policies issued and new reinsurance transactions entered into on or after January 1, 2015.

At the NAIC’s Fall National Meeting in December 2016, the NAIC adopted a revised version of AG 48 (“Updated AG 48”), which applies to new policies issued and new reinsurance transactions entered into on or after January 1, 2017. AG 48 and Updated AG 48 do not affect reinsurance arrangements that were in existence as of January 1, 2015, and the changes set forth in Updated AG 48 do not affect reinsurance arrangements that were in existence as of January 1, 2017. At the NAIC’s Fall National Meeting in December 2016, the NAIC also adopted a new model regulation containing the same substantive requirements as Updated AG 48. This new model regulation now has to be adopted by the states. To the extent the types of assets permitted under AG 48, Updated AG 48 and/or under the new model regulation to back statutory reserves relating to these captive transactions are not available in the future to back such transactions, we would not be able to take some or all statutory reserve credit for such transactions and could consequently be required to materially affect the statutory capitalization of Brighthouse Insurance, which would materially and adversely affect our financial condition.

 

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Factors affecting our competitiveness may adversely affect our market share and profitability

We believe competition among insurance companies is based on a number of factors, including service, product features, scale, price, actual or perceived financial strength, claims-paying ratings, credit ratings, e-business capabilities and name recognition. We compete with a large number of other insurance companies, as well as non-insurance financial services companies, such as banks, broker-dealers and asset managers. Some of these companies offer a broader array of products, have more competitive pricing or, with respect to other insurance companies, have higher claims paying ability and financial strength ratings. Some may also have greater financial resources with which to compete. In some circumstances, national banks that sell annuity products of life insurers may also have a pre-existing customer base for financial services products. These competitive pressures may adversely affect the persistency of our products, as well as our ability to sell our products in the future. If, as a result of competitive factors or otherwise, we are unable to generate a sufficient return on insurance policies and annuity products we sell in the future, we may stop selling such policies and products, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. See “Business — Annuity and Life Competition.”

We believe becoming cost-competitive will be one of our primary competitive advantages. However, we have limited control over many of our costs. For example, we have limited control over the cost of third-party reinsurance, the cost of meeting changing regulatory requirements, and our cost to access capital or financing. There can be no assurance that we will be able to achieve or maintain a cost advantage over our competitors. If our cost structure increases and we are not able to achieve or maintain a cost advantage over our competitors, it could have a material adverse effect on our ability to execute our strategy, as well as on our results of operations and financial condition. As a publicly traded company, if we hold substantially more capital than is needed to support credit ratings that are commensurate with our business strategy, over time, our competitive position will be adversely affected.

In addition, since numerous aspects of our business are subject to regulation, legislative and other changes affecting the regulatory environment for our business may have, over time, the effect of supporting or burdening some aspects of the financial services industry. This can affect our competitive position within the life insurance industry and within the broader financial services industry. See “Regulation.”

The failure of third parties to provide various services that are important to our operations could have a material adverse effect on our business

A key part of our operating strategy is to outsource certain services important to our business. In July 2016, we entered into a multi-year outsourcing arrangement for the administration of certain in-force policies currently housed on up to 20 systems. Pursuant to this arrangement, at least 13 of such systems will be consolidated down to one. We may further reduce the remaining seven in-scope systems in the future. We intend to focus on further outsourcing opportunities with third-party vendors after the Transition Services Agreement, Investment Management Agreements and other agreements with MetLife companies expire. See “— Risks Related to Our Separation from, and Continuing Relationship with, MetLife —The terms of our arrangements with MetLife may be more favorable than we would be able to obtain from an unaffiliated third party. We may be unable to replace the services MetLife provides to us in a timely manner or on comparable terms” for information regarding the potential effect that the separation of our business from MetLife will have on the pricing of such services. It may be difficult and disruptive for us to replace some of our third-party vendors in a timely manner if they were unwilling or unable to provide us with these services in the future (as a result of their financial or business conditions or otherwise), and our business and operations likely could be materially adversely affected. In addition, if a third-party provider fails to provide the core administrative, operational, financial, and actuarial services we require, fails to meet contractual requirements, such as compliance with applicable laws and regulations, or suffers a cyber-attack or other security breach, our business could suffer economic and reputational harm that could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations. See “— Operational Risks — The failure in cyber- or other information security systems, as well as the occurrence of events unanticipated in Brighthouse’s and MetLife’s disaster recovery systems and management continuity

 

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planning could result in a loss or disclosure of confidential information, damage to our reputation and impairment of our ability to conduct business effectively.”

If our business does not perform well, we may be required to recognize an impairment of our goodwill or other long-lived assets or to establish a valuation allowance against the deferred income tax asset, which could adversely affect our results of operations or financial condition

We perform our goodwill impairment testing using the fair value approach, which requires the use of estimates and judgment, at the “reporting unit” level. A reporting unit is the operating segment or a component of an operating segment if the segment manager reviews operating results of the component.

The estimated fair value of the reporting unit is impacted by the performance of the business, which may be adversely impacted by prolonged market declines. If it is determined that the goodwill has been impaired, we must write down the goodwill by the amount of the impairment, with a corresponding charge to net income. Such writedowns could have an adverse effect on our results of operations or financial position. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Summary of Critical Accounting Estimates — Goodwill.”

Long-lived assets, including assets such as real estate, also require impairment testing. This testing is done to determine whether changes in circumstances indicate that we will be unable to recover the carrying amount of the asset group. Such writedowns could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial position.

Deferred income tax represents the tax effect of the differences between the book and tax bases of assets and liabilities. Deferred tax assets are assessed periodically by management to determine whether they are realizable. Factors in management’s determination include the performance of the business including the ability to generate future taxable income. If, based on available information, it is more likely than not that the deferred income tax asset will not be realized, then a valuation allowance must be established with a corresponding charge to net income. Such charges could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial position. In addition, changes in the corporate tax rates could affect the value of our deferred tax assets and may require a write-off of some of those assets. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Summary of Critical Accounting Estimates.”

If our business does not perform well or if actual experience versus estimates used in valuing and amortizing DAC and VOBA vary significantly, we may be required to accelerate the amortization and/or impair the DAC and VOBA, which could adversely affect our results of operations or financial condition

We incur significant costs in connection with acquiring new and renewal insurance business. Costs that are related directly to the successful acquisition of new and renewal insurance business are deferred and referred to as DAC. Value of business acquired (“VOBA”) represents the excess of book value over the estimated fair value of acquired insurance and annuity contracts in-force at the acquisition date. The estimated fair value of the acquired liabilities is based on actuarially determined projections, by each block of business, of future policy and contract charges, premiums, mortality and morbidity, separate account performance, surrenders, operational expenses, investment returns, nonperformance risk adjustment and other factors. DAC and VOBA related to fixed and variable life and deferred annuity contracts are amortized in proportion to actual and expected future gross profits and for most participating contracts in proportion to actual and expected future gross margins. The amount of future gross profit or margin is dependent principally on investment returns in excess of the amounts credited to policyholders, mortality, morbidity, persistency, interest crediting rates, dividends paid to policyholders, expenses to administer the business, creditworthiness of reinsurance counterparties and certain economic variables, such as inflation. Of these factors, we anticipate that investment returns are most likely to impact the rate of amortization of DAC for the aforementioned contracts.

If actual gross profits or margins are less than originally expected, then the amortization of such costs would be accelerated in the period the actual experience is known and would result in a charge to net income. Significant or sustained equity market declines could result in an acceleration of amortization of DAC and

 

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VOBA related to variable annuity and variable life contracts, resulting in a charge to net income. Such adjustments could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Summary of Critical Accounting Estimates — Deferred Policy Acquisition Costs and Value of Business Acquired” for a discussion of how significantly lower net investment spreads may cause us to accelerate amortization, thereby reducing net income in the affected reporting period.

Economic Environment and Capital Markets-Related Risks

If difficult conditions in the capital markets and the U.S. economy generally persist or are perceived to persist, they may materially adversely affect our business and results of operations

Our business and results of operations are materially affected by conditions in the capital markets and the U.S. economy generally, as well as by the global economy to the extent it affects the U.S. economy. In addition, while our operations are entirely in the United States, we have foreign investments in our general and separate accounts and, accordingly, conditions in the global capital markets can affect the value of our general account and separate account assets, as well as our financial results. Stressed conditions, volatility and disruptions in financial asset classes or various capital markets can have an adverse effect on us, both because we have a large investment portfolio and our benefit and claim liabilities are sensitive to changing market factors. In addition, perceived difficult conditions in the capital markets may discourage individuals from making investment decisions and purchasing our products. Market factors include interest rates, credit spreads, equity and commodity prices, derivative prices and availability, real estate markets, foreign exchange rates and the volatility and the returns of capital markets. Our business operations and results may also be affected by the level of economic activity, such as the level of employment, business investment and spending, consumer spending and savings; monetary and fiscal policies and their resulting impact on economic activity and conditions like inflation and credit formation. Accordingly, both market and economic factors may affect our business results by adversely affecting our business volumes, profitability, cash flow, capitalization and overall financial condition, our ability to receive dividends from our insurance subsidiaries and meet our obligations at our holding company. Disruptions in one market or asset class can also spread to other markets or asset classes. Upheavals and stagnation in the financial markets can also affect our financial condition (including our liquidity and capital levels) as a result of the impact of such events on our assets and liabilities.

At times throughout the past several years, volatile conditions have characterized financial markets. Significant market volatility, and government actions taken in response, may exacerbate some of the risks we face. Continued unconventional easing of monetary policy from the major central banks, continued impact of weakness in the energy, metal and mining sectors, uncertainties associated with the United Kingdom’s (the “U.K.”) proposed withdrawal from the European Union (the “EU”) and concerns about the political and/or economic stability of Puerto Rico and certain countries outside the EU have contributed to market volatility in the United States. This market volatility has affected, and may continue to affect the performance of the various asset classes in which we invest, as well as separate account values. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Investments — Current Environment” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Industry Trends and Uncertainties — Financial and Economic Environment.”

To the extent these uncertain financial market conditions persist, our revenues, reserves and net investment income, as well as the demand for certain of our products, are likely to come under pressure. Similarly, sustained periods of low interest rates and risk asset returns could reduce income from our investment portfolio, increase our liabilities for claims and future benefits, and increase the cost of risk transfer measures such as hedging, causing our profit margins to erode as a result of reduced income from our investment portfolio and increase in insurance liabilities. Extreme declines in equity markets could cause us to incur significant capital and/or operating losses due to, among other reasons, the impact on us of guarantees related to our annuity products, including from increases in liabilities, increased capital requirements, and/or collateral requirements associated with our risk transfer arrangements. Even in the absence of a financial market downturn, sustained periods of low market returns and/or low level of U.S. interest rates and/or heightened market volatility may increase the cost of

 

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our insurance liabilities, which could have a material adverse effect on the statutory capital and earnings of our insurance subsidiaries as well as impair our financial strength ratings.

Variable annuity products issued through separate accounts are a significant portion of our in-force business. The account values of these products decrease as a result of declining equity markets. Lower interest rates generally increase account values in the near term, as life insurance and annuity products may be relatively more attractive to consumers. However, lower interest rates may result in lower returns in the future due to lower returns on our investments. Decreases in account values reduce certain fees generated by these products, cause the amortization of DAC to accelerate, could increase the level of insurance liabilities we must carry to support such products issued with any associated guarantees and could require us to provide additional funding to our affiliated reinsurer. Even absent declining equity and bond markets, periods of sustained stagnation in these markets, which are characterized by multiple years of low annualized total returns impacting the growth in separate accounts and/or low level of U.S. interest rates, may materially increase our liabilities for claims and future benefits due to inherent market return guarantees in these liabilities. In an economic downturn characterized by higher unemployment, lower family income, lower corporate earnings, lower business investment and lower consumer spending, the demand for our annuity and insurance products could be adversely affected as customers are unwilling or unable to purchase our products. In addition, we may experience an elevated incidence of claims, adverse utilization of benefits relative to our best estimate expectations and lapses or surrenders of policies. Furthermore, our policyholders may choose to defer paying insurance premiums or stop paying insurance premiums altogether. Such adverse changes in the economy could negatively affect our earnings and capitalization and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

Difficult conditions in the U.S. capital markets and the economy generally may also continue to raise the possibility of legislative, judicial, regulatory and other governmental actions. The Trump administration has released a memorandum that generally delayed all pending regulations from publication in the Federal Register pending their review and approval by a department or agency head appointed or designated by President Trump, and has issued an executive order that calls for a comprehensive review of Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”). We cannot predict what other proposals may be made or what legislation may be introduced or enacted, or what impact any such legislation may have on our business, results of operations and financial condition. See “— Regulatory and Legal Risks — Our insurance businesses are highly regulated, and changes in regulation and in supervisory and enforcement policies may materially impact our capitalization or cash flows, reduce our profitability and limit our growth” and “— Risks Related to Our Business — Factors affecting our competitiveness may adversely affect our market share and profitability.”

Adverse capital and credit market conditions may significantly affect our ability to meet liquidity needs and our access to capital

The capital and credit markets may be subject to periods of extreme volatility. Disruptions in capital markets could adversely affect our liquidity and credit capacity or limit our access to capital which may in the future be needed to operate our business and meet policyholder obligations.

We need liquidity at our holding company to pay our operational expenses, pay interest on indebtedness we may incur as of or following completion of the distribution and dividends on our capital stock, provide our subsidiaries with cash or collateral, maintain our securities lending activities and replace certain maturing liabilities. Without sufficient liquidity, we could be forced to curtail our operations and limit the investments necessary to grow our business.

For our insurance company subsidiaries, the principal sources of liquidity are insurance premiums and fees paid in connection with annuity products, and cash flow from our investment portfolio to the extent consisting of cash and readily marketable securities.

In the event capital market or other conditions have an adverse impact on our capital and liquidity, or our stress-testing indicates that such conditions could have such an impact beyond expectations and our current resources do not satisfy our needs or regulatory requirements, we may have to seek additional financing to

 

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enhance our capital and liquidity position. The availability of additional financing will depend on a variety of factors such as the then current market conditions, regulatory capital requirements, availability of credit to us and the financial services industry generally, our credit ratings and credit capacity, and the perception of our customers and lenders regarding our long- or short-term financial prospects if we incur large operating or investment losses or if the level of our business activity decreases due to a market downturn. Similarly, our access to funds may be impaired if regulatory authorities or rating agencies take negative actions against us. Our internal sources of liquidity may prove to be insufficient and, in such case, we may not be able to successfully obtain additional financing on favorable terms, or at all.

In addition, our liquidity requirements may change if, among other things, we are required to return significant amounts of cash collateral on short notice under securities lending agreements or other collateral requirements. See “— Investments-Related Risks — Should the need arise, we may have difficulty selling certain holdings in our investment portfolio or in our securities lending program in a timely manner and realizing full value given that not all assets are liquid,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements — Collateral for Securities Lending, Repurchase Programs and Derivatives” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — The Company — Liquidity.”

Such conditions may limit our ability to replace, in a timely manner, maturing liabilities, satisfy regulatory capital requirements, and access the capital necessary to grow our business. See “— Regulatory and Legal Risks — Our insurance businesses are highly regulated, and changes in regulation and in supervisory and enforcement policies may materially impact our capitalization or cash flows, reduce our profitability and limit our growth.” As a result, we may be forced to delay raising capital, issue different types of securities than we would have otherwise, less effectively deploy such capital, issue shorter tenor securities than we prefer, or bear an unattractive cost of capital, which could decrease our profitability and significantly reduce our financial flexibility. Our results of operations, financial condition, cash flows and statutory capital position could be materially adversely affected by disruptions in the financial markets.

We are exposed to significant financial and capital markets risks which may adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and may cause our net investment income and net income to vary from period to period

We are exposed to significant financial and capital markets risks both in the United States and in global markets generally to the extent they influence U.S. financial and capital markets, including changes in interest rates, credit spreads, equity markets, real estate markets, the performance of specific obligors, including governments, included in our investment portfolio, derivatives and other factors outside our control. From time to time we may also have exposure through our investment portfolio to foreign currency and commodity price volatility.

Interest rate risk

Some of our current or anticipated future products, principally traditional life, universal life and fixed annuities, as well as funding agreements and structured settlements, expose us to the risk that changes in interest rates will reduce our investment margin or “net investment spread,” or the difference between the amounts that we are required to pay under the contracts in our general account and the rate of return we earn on general account investments intended to support obligations under such contracts. Our net investment spread is a key component of our net income.

We are affected by the monetary policies of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Federal Reserve Board”) and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (collectively, with the Federal Reserve Board, the “Federal Reserve”) and other major central banks, as such policies may adversely impact the level of interest rates and, as discussed below, the income we earn on our investments or the level of product sales.

In a low interest rate environment, we may be forced to reinvest proceeds from investments that have matured or have been prepaid or sold at lower yields, which will reduce our net investment spread. Moreover,

 

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borrowers may prepay or redeem the fixed income securities and commercial, agricultural or residential mortgage loans in our investment portfolio with greater frequency in order to borrow at lower market rates, thereby exacerbating this risk. Although reducing interest crediting rates can help offset decreases in net investment spreads on some products, our ability to reduce these rates is limited to the portion of our in-force product portfolio that has adjustable interest crediting rates, and could be limited by the actions of our competitors or contractually guaranteed minimum rates and may not match the timing or magnitude of changes in asset yields. As a result, our net investment spread would decrease or potentially become negative, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Policyholder Liabilities.”

Our estimation of future net investment spreads is an important component in the amortization of DAC and VOBA. Significantly lower than anticipated net investment spreads reduce our net income and may cause us to accelerate amortization, thereby reducing net income in the affected reporting period and thereby potentially negatively affecting our credit instrument covenants or rating agency assessment of our financial condition.

During periods of declining interest rates, life insurance and annuity products may be relatively more attractive investments to consumers. This could result in increased premium payments on products with flexible premium features, repayment of policy loans and increased persistency, or a higher percentage of insurance policies remaining in-force from year to year, during a period when our new investments carry lower returns. A decline in market interest rates could also reduce our return on investments that do not support particular policy obligations. During periods of sustained lower interest rates, our reserves for policy liabilities may not be sufficient to meet future policy obligations and may need to be strengthened. Accordingly, declining and sustained lower interest rates may materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition, ability to take dividends from operating insurance companies and significantly reduce our profitability.

Increases in interest rates could also negatively affect our profitability. In periods of rapidly increasing interest rates, we may not be able to replace, in a timely manner, the investments in our general account with higher yielding investments needed to fund the higher crediting rates necessary to keep interest rate sensitive products competitive. We, therefore, may have to accept a lower credit spread and, thus, lower profitability or face a decline in sales and greater loss of existing contracts and related assets. In addition, policy loans, surrenders and withdrawals may tend to increase as policyholders seek investments with higher perceived returns as interest rates rise. This process may result in cash outflows requiring that we sell investments at a time when the prices of those investments are adversely affected by the increase in interest rates, which may result in realized investment losses. Unanticipated withdrawals, terminations and substantial policy amendments may cause us to accelerate the amortization of DAC and VOBA, which reduces net income and potentially negatively affects our credit instrument covenants and rating agency assessment of our financial condition. An increase in interest rates could also have a material adverse effect on the value of our investment portfolio, for example, by decreasing the estimated fair values of the fixed income securities and mortgage loans that comprise a significant portion of our investment portfolio. Finally, an increase in interest rates could result in decreased fee revenue associated with a decline in the value of variable annuity account balances invested in fixed income funds.

We manage interest rate risk as part of our asset and liability management strategies, which include (i) maintaining an investment portfolio with diversified maturities that has a weighted average duration that is approximately equal to the duration of our estimated liability cash flow profile, and (ii) a hedging program. For certain of our liability portfolios, it is not possible to invest assets to the full liability duration, thereby creating some asset/liability mismatch. Where a liability cash flow may exceed the maturity of available assets, as is the case with certain retirement products, we may support such liabilities with equity investments, derivatives or interest rate mismatch strategies. Although we take measures to manage the economic risks of investing in a changing interest rate environment, we may not be able to mitigate the interest rate risk of our fixed income investments relative to our interest sensitive liabilities. The level of interest rates also affects our liabilities for benefits under our annuity contracts. As interest rates decline we may need to increase our reserves for future benefits under our annuity contracts, which would adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. See “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.”

 

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In addition, while we use a risk mitigation strategy relating to our ULSG portfolio intended to reduce our risk to statutory capitalization and long-term economic exposures from sustained low levels of interest rates, this strategy will likely result in higher net income volatility due to the insensitivity of GAAP liabilities to the change in interest rate levels. This strategy may adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. See “Business — Description of our Segments, Products and Operations — Run-off — ULSG Market Risk Exposure Management.”

Significant volatility in the markets could cause changes in the risks described above which, individually or in tandem, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, liquidity or cash flows through realized investment losses, derivative losses, change in insurance liabilities, impairments, increased valuation allowances, increases in reserves for future policyholder benefits, reduced net investment income and changes in unrealized gain or loss positions.

Credit spread risk

Our exposure to credit spreads primarily relates to market price volatility. Market price volatility can make it difficult to value certain of our securities if trading becomes less frequent, as was the case, for example, during the financial crisis commencing in 2008. In such case, valuations may include assumptions or estimates that may have significant period-to-period changes, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition and may require additional reserves. If there is a resumption of significant volatility in the markets, it could cause changes in credit spreads and defaults and a lack of pricing transparency which, individually or in tandem, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition or liquidity. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Investments — Investment Risks.” An increase in credit spreads relative to U.S. Treasury benchmarks can also adversely affect the cost of our borrowing if we need to access credit markets.

Equity risk

While we have a limited exposure to equity securities issued by third parties in our general account, our primary exposure to equity relates to the potential for lower earnings associated with certain of our businesses where fee income is earned based upon the estimated market value of the separate account assets and other assets related to our variable annuity business. Because these products generate fees related primarily to the value of separate account assets and other assets under management, a decline in the equity markets could reduce our revenues as a result of the reduction in the value of the investments supporting those products and services. The variable annuity business in particular is highly sensitive to equity markets, and a sustained weakness or stagnation in the equity markets could decrease revenues and earnings with respect to those products. Furthermore, certain of our variable annuity products offer guaranteed benefits which increase our potential benefit exposure should equity markets decline or stagnate. We seek to mitigate the impact of such increased potential benefit exposures from market declines through the use of derivatives, reinsurance and capital management. However, such derivatives and reinsurance may become less available and, to the extent available, their price could materially increase in a period characterized by volatile equity markets. The risk of stagnation in equity market returns cannot be addressed by hedging; however, it is monitored and addressed through asset adequacy and capital management. See “Business — Description of our Segments, Products and Operations — Annuities — Current Products — Variable Annuities” for details regarding sensitivity of our variable annuity business to capital markets.

In addition, a portion of our investments are in leveraged buy-out funds, hedge funds and other private equity funds. The amount and timing of net investment income from such funds tends to be uneven as a result of the performance of the underlying investments. The timing of distributions from such funds, which depends on particular events relating to the underlying investments, as well as the funds’ schedules for making distributions and their needs for cash, can be difficult to predict. As a result, the amount of net investment income from these investments can vary substantially from period to period. Significant volatility could adversely impact returns

 

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and net investment income on these alternative investments. In addition, the estimated fair value of such investments may be impacted by downturns or volatility in equity markets. See “— Investments-Related Risks — Our valuation of securities and investments and the determination of the amount of allowances and impairments taken on our investments are subjective and, if changed, could materially adversely affect our results of operations or financial condition.” In addition, we will rely on MLIA for a period following the separation to provide the services required to manage the portfolio.

Real estate risk

A portion of our investment portfolio consists of mortgage loans on commercial, agricultural and residential real estate. Our exposure to this risk stems from various factors, including the supply and demand of leasable commercial space, creditworthiness of tenants and partners, capital markets volatility, interest rate fluctuations, agricultural prices and farm incomes, which have recently been declining. Although we manage credit risk and market valuation risk for our commercial, agricultural and residential real estate assets through geographic, property type and product type diversification and asset allocation, general economic conditions in the commercial, agricultural and residential real estate sectors will continue to influence the performance of these investments. These factors, which are beyond our control, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, liquidity or cash flows. In addition, we will rely on MLIA for a period following the separation to provide the services required to manage the portfolio.

Obligor-related risk

Fixed income securities and mortgage loans represent a significant portion of our investment portfolio. We are subject to the risk that the issuers, or guarantors, of fixed income securities and mortgage loans we own may default on principal and interest payments they owe us. We are also subject to the risk that the underlying collateral within asset-backed securities, including mortgage-backed securities, may default on principal and interest payments causing an adverse change in cash flows. The occurrence of a major economic downturn, acts of corporate malfeasance, widening mortgage or credit spreads, or other events that adversely affect the issuers, guarantors or underlying collateral of these securities and mortgage loans could cause the estimated fair value of our portfolio of fixed income securities and mortgage loans and our earnings to decline and the default rate of the fixed income securities and mortgage loans in our investment portfolio to increase.

Derivatives risk

We use the payments we receive from counterparties pursuant to derivative instruments we have entered into to offset future changes in the fair value of our assets and liabilities and current or future changes in cash flows. We enter into a variety of derivative instruments, including options, futures, forwards, and interest rate and credit default swaps with a number of counterparties. Amounts that we expect to collect under current and future derivatives are subject to counterparty risk. Our obligations under our products are not changed by our hedging activities and we are liable for our obligations even if our derivative counterparties do not pay us. Such defaults could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Substantially all of our derivatives require us to pledge or receive collateral or make payments related to any decline in the net estimated fair value of such derivatives executed through a specific broker at a clearinghouse or entered into with a specific counterparty on a bilateral basis. In addition, ratings downgrades or financial difficulties of derivative counterparties may require us to utilize additional capital with respect to the impacted businesses.

Summary

In addition to the economic or counterparty risks described above which, individually or in tandem, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, liquidity or cash flows through realized investment losses, derivative losses, change in insurance liabilities, impairments, increased valuation allowances, increases in reserves for future policyholder benefits, reduced net investment income and changes in

 

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unrealized gain or loss positions, we are also exposed to volatility risk with respect to any one or more of these economic risks. Significant volatility in the markets could cause changes in the risks set forth above which, individually or in tandem, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, liquidity or cash flows through realized investment losses, derivative losses, change in insurance liabilities, impairments, increased valuation allowances, increases in reserves for future policyholder benefits, reduced net investment income and changes in unrealized gain or loss positions.

Regulatory and Legal Risks

Our insurance businesses are highly regulated, and changes in regulation and in supervisory and enforcement policies may materially impact our capitalization or cash flows, reduce our profitability and limit our growth

Our insurance operations are subject to a wide variety of insurance and other laws and regulations. See “Regulation.” Our insurance company operating subsidiaries are domiciled in Delaware, Massachusetts and New York. Each entity is subject to regulation by its primary state regulator, and is also subject to other regulation in states in which it operates.

NAIC - Existing and proposed insurance regulation

The NAIC is an organization whose mission is to assist state insurance regulatory authorities in serving the public interest and achieving the insurance regulatory goals of its members, the state insurance regulatory officials. State insurance regulators may act independently or adopt regulations proposed by the NAIC. State insurance regulators and the NAIC regularly re-examine existing laws and regulations applicable to insurance companies and their products. Some NAIC pronouncements take effect automatically in the various states, particularly with respect to accounting issues. Statutes, regulations and interpretations may be applied with retroactive impact, particularly in areas such as accounting and reserve requirements. Changes in existing laws and regulations, or in interpretations thereof, can sometimes lead to additional expense for the insurer and, thus, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

During 2014, the NAIC approved a new regulatory framework applicable to the use of captive insurers in connection with Regulation XXX and Guideline AXXX transactions. This could impact our competitiveness and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. See “— Risks Related to Our Business — We may not be able to take credit for reinsurance, our statutory life insurance reserve financings may be subject to cost increases and new financings may be subject to limited market capacity.”

In 2015, the NAIC commissioned an initiative to identify changes to the statutory framework for variable annuities that can remove or mitigate the motivation for insurers to engage in captive reinsurance transactions. In September 2015, a third-party consultant engaged by the NAIC provided the NAIC with a preliminary report covering several sets of recommendations regarding AG 43 and RBC C3 Phase II reserve requirements. These recommendations generally focus on (1) addressing inconsistencies between the statutory reserve and RBC regimes, (2) mitigating the asset-liability accounting mismatch between hedge instruments and statutory instruments and statutory liabilities, (3) removing the non-economic volatility in statutory total asset requirements and the resulting solvency ratios and (4) facilitating greater harmonization across insurers and products for greater comparability. An updated variable annuity reserve and capital framework proposal was presented at the August 2016 NAIC meeting, followed by a 90-day comment period on the proposal. This updated proposal included the initial recommendations from 2015, but also some new aspects. The standard scenario floor for reserves may incorporate multiple paths instead of the current single deterministic scenario, also known as the standard scenario. The stochastic calculations may include alternative calibration criteria for equities and other market risk factors, and the RBC C3 Phase II component may reflect a new level of capitalization. The NAIC is continuing its consideration of these recommendations. These recommendations, if adopted, would likely apply to all existing business and may materially change the sensitivity of reserve and

 

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capital requirements to capital markets including interest rate, equity markets and volatility as well as prescribed assumptions for policyholder behavior. It is not possible at this time to predict whether the amount of reserves or capital required to support our variable annuity contracts would increase or decrease if the NAIC adopts any new model laws, regulations and/or other standards applicable to variable annuity business after considering such recommendations, nor is it possible to predict the materiality of any such increase or decrease. It is also not possible to predict the extent to which any such model laws, regulations and/or other standards would affect the effectiveness and design of our risk mitigation and hedging programs. Furthermore, no assurances can be given to whether any such model laws, regulations and/or other standards will be adopted or to the timing of any such adoption.

The NAIC has also been working on reforms relating to the calculation of life insurance reserves, including principle-based reserving, which became operative on January 1, 2017 in those states where it has been adopted, to be followed by a three-year phase-in period for new business. With respect to the states in which our insurance subsidiaries are domiciled, the Delaware Insurance Department implemented principle-based reserving on January 1, 2017, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) has publicly stated its intention to implement this approach beginning in January 2018, subject to a working group of the NYDFS establishing the necessary reserves safeguards, and the Massachusetts legislature is considering legislation in this area. We cannot predict how principle-based reserving will impact the reserves or compliance costs, if any, of our insurance subsidiaries domiciled in Delaware and New York. See “Regulation — Insurance Regulation — NAIC.”

State insurance guaranty associations

Most of the jurisdictions in which we transact business require life insurers doing business within the jurisdiction to participate in guaranty associations. These associations are organized to pay contractual benefits owed pursuant to insurance policies issued by impaired, insolvent or failed insurers, or those that may become impaired, insolvent or fail, for example, following the occurrence of one or more catastrophic events. These associations levy assessments, up to prescribed limits, on all member insurers in a particular state on the basis of the proportionate share of the premiums written by member insurers in the lines of business in which the impaired, insolvent or failed insurer is engaged. In addition, certain states have government owned or controlled organizations providing life insurance to their citizens. The activities of such organizations could also place additional stress on the adequacy of guaranty fund assessments. Many of these organizations also have the power to levy assessments similar to those of the guaranty associations described above. Some states permit member insurers to recover assessments paid through full or partial premium tax offsets. See “Regulation — Insurance Regulation — Guaranty Associations and Similar Arrangements.”

While in the past five years, the aggregate assessments levied against us have not been material, it is possible that a large catastrophic event could render such guaranty funds inadequate and we may be called upon to contribute additional amounts, which may have a material impact on our financial condition or results of operations in a particular period. We have established liabilities for guaranty fund assessments that we consider adequate, but additional liabilities may be necessary. See “Regulation — Insurance Regulation — Guaranty Associations and Similar Arrangements.”

Federal - Insurance regulation

Currently, the U.S. federal government does not directly regulate the business of insurance. However, Dodd-Frank established the Federal Insurance Office (“FIO”) within the Department of the Treasury, which has the authority to, among other things, collect information about the insurance industry and recommend prudential standards. On December 12, 2013, the FIO issued a report, mandated by Dodd-Frank, which, among other things, urged the states to modernize and promote greater uniformity in insurance regulation. The report raised the possibility of a greater role for the federal government if states do not achieve greater uniformity in their laws and regulations. Following the transition occurring in the federal government and the priorities of the Trump administration, we cannot predict whether any such legislation or regulatory changes will be adopted, or what

 

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impact they will have on our business, financial condition or results of operations. See “Regulation — Insurance Regulation — Federal Initiatives.” The Trump administration and the majority party have expressed goals to dismantle or roll back Dodd-Frank and President Trump has issued an executive order that calls for a comprehensive review of Dodd-Frank in light of certain enumerated core principles of financial system regulation. We are not able to predict whether any such proposal to roll back Dodd-Frank would have a material effect on our business operations and cannot currently identify the risks, if any, that may be posed to our businesses as a result of changes to, or legislative replacements for, Dodd-Frank.

Federal legislation and administrative policies can significantly and adversely affect insurance companies, including policies regarding financial services regulation, securities regulation, derivatives regulation, pension regulation, privacy, tort reform legislation and taxation. In addition, various forms of direct and indirect federal regulation of insurance have been proposed from time to time, including proposals for the establishment of an optional federal charter for insurance companies.

MetLife had been designated by the Federal Stability Oversight Council (“FSOC”) as a non-bank systemically important financial institution (“non-bank SIFI”) subject to regulation by the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), as well as to enhanced supervision and prudential standards, by the FSOC. Although the D.C. District Court ordered that the designation of MetLife as a non-bank SIFI by the FSOC be rescinded, the FSOC has appealed the D.C. District Court’s order to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and oral argument was heard on October 24, 2016. In a Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of the Treasury dated April 21, 2017, President Trump directed the Secretary of the Treasury to review the FSOC SIFI designation process for transparency, due process and other factors, and, pending the completion of the review and submission of the Secretary’s recommendations, to refrain from voting for any non-emergency designations. The Secretary’s review and report are due by October 18, 2017. On April 24, 2017, MetLife requested that the D.C. Circuit Court issue an order holding the appeal in abeyance pending the upcoming determination of the Secretary of the Treasury, and on May 4, 2017, while the FSOC did not take a position on MetLife’s motion, it requested that the D.C. Circuit Court refrain from action for 60 days to allow for additional deliberation among FSOC members. On May 12, 2017, the D.C. Circuit Court agreed to hold the appeal in abeyance for 60 days. If the FSOC prevails on appeal or the FSOC re-designates MetLife as a non-bank SIFI, MetLife could once again be subject to such regulations, enhanced supervision and prudential standards. If MetLife were re-designated as a non-bank SIFI prior to the distribution or while MetLife is deemed to control us, our business and competitive position could be materially and adversely affected by any requirement of the Federal Reserve Board requiring insurers that are non-bank SIFIs to comply with capital standards or regimes that do not take into account the insurance business model and the differences between banks and insurers. Enhanced capital requirements could adversely affect our ability to compete with other insurers that are not subject to those requirements, and our ability to issue guarantees could be constrained. We could have to raise the price of the products we offer, reduce the amount of risk we take on, or stop offering certain products altogether. Brighthouse, because of its size, could be separately evaluated by the FSOC and designated as a non-bank SIFI. There can be no assurance that Brighthouse will not be so designated by the FSOC or that any actions taken in furtherance of the separation of Brighthouse will affect any decision the FSOC may make to re-designate MetLife as a non-bank SIFI.

The Trump administration has released a memorandum that generally delayed all pending regulations from publication in the Federal Register pending their review and approval by a department or agency head appointed or designated by President Trump. President Trump has also issued an executive order that calls for a comprehensive review of Dodd-Frank and requires the Secretary of the Treasury to consult with the heads of the member agencies of FSOC to identify any laws, regulations or requirements that inhibit federal regulation of the financial system in a manner consistent with the core principles identified in the executive order. In late April 2017, President Trump issued another executive order that suspends the designation of non-bank SIFIs for 180 days. On June 8, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, which proposes to amend or repeal various sections of Dodd-Frank. This proposed legislation will now be considered by the U.S. Senate. See “Regulation — Insurance Regulation — Federal Initiatives.” We cannot predict what

 

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other proposals may be made or what legislation may be introduced or enacted, or what impact any such legislation may have on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

MetLife may consider further structural and other business alternatives that may be available to it in response to any re-designation of MetLife as a non-bank SIFI, and we cannot predict the impact that any such alternatives, if implemented, may have on Brighthouse or its security holders prior to the distribution. See “Regulation — Potential Regulation as a Non-Bank SIFI: Enhanced Prudential Standards and Other Regulatory Requirements Under Dodd-Frank” for additional information regarding potential regulation of MetLife as a non-bank SIFI and the potential impact of such regulation on Brighthouse.

In 2015, the Financial Stability Board (“FSB”), with input from the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (“IAIS”), again designated MetLife as a global systemically important insurer (“G-SII”) as part of the FSB’s initiative to identify and manage global systemically important financial institutions. However, MetLife will not be subject to G-SII policy measures adopted by the FSB and IAIS unless such policy measures are implemented by a regulator with appropriate jurisdiction over MetLife. We believe that, following the distribution, any implementing regulations will not directly or indirectly impose obligations or restrictions on us, as we will no longer be controlled by MetLife.

Department of Labor and ERISA considerations

We manufacture annuities for third parties to sell to tax-qualified pension plans, retirement plans and individual retirement accounts, as well as individual retirement annuities sold to individuals that are subject to ERISA or the Code. Also, a portion of our in-force life insurance products are held by tax-qualified pension and retirement plans. While we currently believe manufacturers do not have as much exposure to ERISA and the Code as distributors, certain activities are subject to the restrictions imposed by ERISA and the Code, including the requirement under ERISA that fiduciaries must perform their duties solely in the interests of ERISA plan participants and beneficiaries, and those fiduciaries may not cause a covered plan to engage in certain prohibited transactions. The prohibited transaction rules of ERISA and the Code generally restrict the provision of investment advice to ERISA plans and participants and individual retirement accounts and individual retirement annuities (collectively, “IRAs”) if the investment recommendation results in fees paid to the individual advisor, the firm that employs the advisor or their affiliates that vary according to the investment recommendation chosen. Similarly, without an exemption, fiduciary advisors are prohibited from receiving compensation from third parties in connection with their advice. ERISA also affects certain of our in-force insurance policies and annuity contracts as well as insurance policies and annuity contracts we may sell in the future.

The DOL issued new regulations on April 6, 2016, expanding the definition of “investment advice” (as described further below), with an original applicable date for most provisions of April 10, 2017, although on April 4, 2017, the DOL released its final rule delaying the original applicable date for 60 days until June 9, 2017. The DOL has indicated that the applicable date for the Fiduciary Rule and related exemptions will not be further extended. However, in a memorandum dated February 3, 2017, the President directed the DOL to conduct an examination of the Fiduciary Rule to determine whether it may adversely affect the ability of Americans to gain access to retirement information and financial advice. The DOL is engaging in a careful analysis of the issues raised in the President’s memorandum and it is possible, based on the results of the examination, that additional changes will be proposed. On April 4, 2017, the DOL issued a news release regarding the delay stating that, as of June 9, 2017, the definition of fiduciary under the final regulations and the impartial conduct or “best interest” standard must be met for all retail sales of life and annuity products. The DOL also indicated that the Best Interest Contract Exemption (“BIC”) contract and point of sale disclosures required under BIC and prohibited transaction exemption 84-24 would be delayed until January 1, 2018, except for the impartial conduct standards (i.e., compliance with the “best interest” standard, reasonable compensation, and no misleading statements), which are applicable June 9, 2017. Application of these standards on June 9, 2017 is likely to create further confusion among our distribution partners that could negatively impact product sales. The change of administration and DOL officials leaves uncertainty over whether the regulations will be substantially modified or repealed. We

 

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cannot predict what other proposals may be made, what legislation may be introduced or enacted, or what impact any such legislation may have on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

These rules will substantially expand the definition of “investment advice” and thereby broaden the circumstances under which we or our representatives, in providing investment advice with respect to ERISA plans, plan participants or IRAs, could be deemed a fiduciary under ERISA or the Code. Pursuant to the final rule, certain communications with plans, plan participants and IRA holders, including the marketing of products, and marketing of investment management or advisory services, could be deemed fiduciary investment advice, thus causing increased exposure to fiduciary liability if the distributor does not recommend what is in the client’s best interests. While the final rule also provides that, to a limited extent, contracts sold and advice provided prior to the applicable date would not have to be modified to comply with the new investment advice regulations, there is lack of clarity surrounding some of the conditions for qualifying for this limited exception. There can be no assurance that the DOL will agree with our interpretation of these provisions, in which case the DOL and IRS could assess significant penalties against a portion of products sold prior to the applicable date of the new regulations. The assessment of such penalties could also trigger substantial litigation risk. Any such penalties and related litigation could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

The DOL also issued amendments to certain of its prohibited transaction exemptions, and issued BIC, a new exemption that applies more onerous disclosure and contact requirements to, and increase fiduciary requirements and fiduciary liability exposure in respect of, transactions involving ERISA plans, plan participants and IRAs.

While we continue to analyze the impact of the final regulation on our business, we believe it could have an adverse effect on sales of annuity products to ERISA qualified plans such as IRAs through our independent distribution partners. A significant portion of our annuity sales are to IRAs. The new regulation deems advisors, including independent distributors, who sell fixed index-linked annuities to IRAs, IRA rollovers or 401(k) plans, fiduciaries and prohibits them from receiving compensation unless they comply with a prohibited transaction exemption. The exemption requires advisors to comply with impartial conduct standards and may require us to exercise additional oversight of the sales process. Compliance with the prohibited transaction exemptions will likely result in increased regulatory burdens on us and our independent distribution partners, changes to our compensation practices and product offerings and increased litigation risk, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. See “Regulation — Insurance Regulation — Department of Labor and ERISA Considerations.”

Other

From time to time, regulators raise issues during examinations or audits of us that could, if determined adversely, have a material adverse effect on us. In addition, the interpretations of regulations by regulators may change and statutes may be enacted with retroactive impact, particularly in areas such as accounting or statutory reserve requirements. Compliance with applicable laws and regulations is time consuming and personnel-intensive, and changes in these laws and regulations may materially increase our direct and indirect compliance and other expenses of doing business, thus having a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

A decrease in the RBC ratio (as a result of a reduction in statutory surplus and/or increase in RBC requirements) of our insurance subsidiaries could result in increased scrutiny by insurance regulators and rating agencies and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition

The NAIC has established model regulations that provide minimum capitalization requirements based on RBC formulas for insurance companies. The RBC formula for life insurance companies establishes capital requirements relating to asset, insurance, interest rate, market and business risks, including equity, interest rate and expense recovery risks associated with variable annuities that contain certain guaranteed minimum death and living benefits. Each of our insurance subsidiaries is subject to RBC standards and/or other minimum statutory capital and surplus requirements imposed under the laws of its respective jurisdiction of domicile. See “Regulation — Insurance Regulation — Surplus and Capital; Risk-Based Capital.”

 

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In any particular year, statutory surplus amounts and RBC ratios may increase or decrease depending on a variety of factors, including the amount of statutory income or losses generated by the insurance subsidiary (which itself is sensitive to equity market and credit market conditions), the amount of additional capital such insurer must hold to support business growth, changes in equity market levels, the value and credit ratings of certain fixed-income and equity securities in its investment portfolio, the value of certain derivative instruments that do not receive hedge accounting and changes in interest rates, as well as changes to the RBC formulas and the interpretation of the NAIC’s instructions with respect to RBC calculation methodologies. Our financial strength and credit ratings are significantly influenced by statutory surplus amounts and RBC ratios. In addition, rating agencies may implement changes to their own internal models, which differ from the RBC capital model, that have the effect of increasing or decreasing the amount of statutory capital we or our insurance subsidiaries should hold relative to the rating agencies’ expectations. Under stressed or stagnant capital market conditions and with the aging of existing insurance liabilities, without offsets from new business, the amount of additional statutory reserves that an insurance subsidiary is required to hold may materially increase. This increase in reserves would decrease the statutory surplus available for use in calculating the subsidiary’s RBC ratios. To the extent that an insurance subsidiary’s RBC ratio is deemed to be insufficient, we may seek to take actions either to increase the capitalization of the insurer or to reduce the capitalization requirements. If we were unable to accomplish such actions, the rating agencies may view this as a reason for a ratings downgrade.

The failure of any of our insurance subsidiaries to meet its applicable RBC requirements or minimum capital and surplus requirements could subject it to further examination or corrective action imposed by insurance regulators, including limitations on its ability to write additional business, supervision by regulators or seizure or liquidation. Any corrective action imposed could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. A decline in RBC ratios, whether or not it results in a failure to meet applicable RBC requirements, may still limit the ability of an insurance subsidiary to make dividends or distributions to us, could result in a loss of customers or new business, and could be a factor in causing ratings agencies to downgrade the insurer’s financial strength ratings, each of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

The Dodd-Frank provisions compelling the liquidation of certain types of financial institutions could materially and adversely affect us, as such a financial institution and as an investor in or counterparty to other such financial institutions, as well as our respective investors

Under provisions of Dodd-Frank, if we or another financial institution were to become insolvent or were in danger of defaulting on our or its respective obligations and it was determined that such default would have serious effects on financial stability in the United States, we or such other financial institution could be compelled to undergo liquidation with the FDIC as receiver. Under this new regime an insurance company such as Brighthouse Insurance, Brighthouse Insurance NY or NELICO would be resolved in accordance with state insurance law. If the FDIC were to be appointed as the receiver for another type of company (including an insurance holding company such as Brighthouse), the liquidation of that company would occur under the provisions of the new liquidation authority, and not under the Bankruptcy Code, which ordinarily governs liquidations. In an FDIC-managed liquidation, holders of a company’s debt could in certain respects be treated differently than they would be under the Bankruptcy Code and similarly situated creditors could be treated differently. In particular, unsecured creditors and shareholders are intended to bear the losses of the company being liquidated. These provisions could apply to some financial institutions whose debt securities Brighthouse holds in its investment portfolios and could adversely affect their respective positions as creditors and the value of their respective holdings.

Dodd-Frank also provides for the assessment of charges against certain financial institutions, including non-bank SIFIs and bank holding companies, to cover the costs of liquidating any financial company subject to the new liquidation authority. The liquidation authority could increase the funding charges assessed against Brighthouse.

 

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The Trump administration has issued an executive order that calls for a comprehensive review of Dodd-Frank. On June 8, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, which proposes to amend or repeal various sections of Dodd-Frank. This proposed legislation will now be considered by the U.S. Senate. We cannot predict what proposals may be made or what legislation may be introduced or enacted, or what impact any such legislation may have on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We are subject to U.S. federal, state and other securities and state insurance laws and regulations which, among other things, require that we distribute certain of our products through a registered broker-dealer; failure to comply with these laws, including a failure to have a registered broker-dealer, or changes to these laws may have a material adverse effect on our operations and our profitability

Federal and state securities laws and regulations apply to insurance products that are also “securities,” including variable annuity contracts and variable life insurance policies, to the separate accounts that issue them, and to certain fixed interest rate or index-linked contracts (“registered fixed annuity contracts”). Such laws and regulations require that we distribute these products through a broker-dealer that is registered with the SEC and certain state securities regulators and is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”). Accordingly, our offering and selling of variable annuity contracts, variable life insurance policies and registered fixed annuity contracts, and in managing certain proprietary mutual funds associated with those products, are subject to extensive regulation under federal and state securities laws as well as FINRA rules. Costs related to compliance with these securities laws will be greater than for our unregistered products. Due to the increased operating and compliance costs, the profitability of issuing these products is uncertain.

While in the past we relied on a MetLife-affiliated broker-dealer to distribute our variable and registered fixed products, we currently and in the future will utilize Brighthouse Securities, LLC (“Brighthouse Securities”), a subsidiary we will acquire from MetLife in the distribution. Brighthouse Securities has become registered as a broker-dealer with the SEC, approved as a member of FINRA and has become registered as a broker-dealer with the applicable state regulators.

Federal and state securities laws and regulations are primarily intended to ensure the integrity of the financial markets, to protect investors in the securities markets, and to protect investment advisory or brokerage clients. These laws and regulations generally grant regulatory and self-regulatory agencies broad rulemaking and enforcement powers, including the power to adopt new rules impacting new and/or existing products, regulate the issuance, sale and distribution of our products and limit or restrict the conduct of business for failure to comply with securities laws and regulations.

As a result of Dodd-Frank, there have been a number of proposed or adopted changes to the laws and regulations that govern the conduct of our variable and registered fixed insurance products business and the firms that distribute these products. The future impact of recently adopted revisions to laws and regulations, as well as revisions that are still in the proposal stage, on the way we conduct our business and the products we sell is unclear. Such impact could adversely affect our operations and profitability, including increasing the regulatory and compliance burden upon us, resulting in increased costs, or limiting the type, amount or structure of compensation arrangements into which we may enter with certain of our employees, negatively impacting our ability to compete with other companies in recruiting and maintaining key personnel. See “Regulation — Insurance Regulation — Federal Initiatives.” However, following the change of administration, we cannot predict with certainty whether any such proposals will be adopted, or what impact adopted revisions will have on our business, financial condition or results of operations. See “— Our insurance businesses are highly regulated, and changes in regulation and in supervisory and enforcement policies may materially impact our capitalization or cash flows, reduce our profitability and limit our growth” for information regarding the Trump administration’s expressed goals to dismantle or roll back Dodd-Frank.

The global financial crisis has led to significant changes in economic and financial markets that have, in turn, led to a dynamic competitive landscape for variable and registered fixed annuity contract issuers. Our ability to react to rapidly changing market and economic conditions will depend on the continued efficacy of provisions we have incorporated into our product design allowing frequent and contemporaneous revisions of

 

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key pricing elements and our ability to work collaboratively with federal securities regulators. Changes in regulatory approval processes, rules and other dynamics in the regulatory process could adversely impact our ability to react to such changing conditions.

Changes in tax laws or interpretations of such laws could reduce our earnings and materially impact our operations by increasing our corporate taxes and making some of our products less attractive to consumers

Changes in federal or state tax laws could have a material adverse effect on our profitability and financial condition, and could result in our incurring materially higher corporate taxes. Higher tax rates may adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and liquidity. Conversely, if income tax rates decline it could adversely affect the desirability of our products.

In June 2016, House Republicans issued a policy paper (called the “Blueprint”) setting forth certain proposals for significant tax reforms. President Trump also issued a high-level outline of his tax reform plan during his campaign that is consistent with the Blueprint in many respects. The Blueprint generally proposes, among other things, to eliminate the deductibility of net interest expense and reduce income tax rates. To the extent that any such legislation is enacted in the future, we could be adversely affected. Congress has from time to time also considered material changes to the estate tax, which both the Blueprint and President Trump’s outline propose to repeal. Some of our products are sold to customers in order to help them meet their estate tax planning needs. To the extent that legislation is enacted in the future that would materially change the estate tax, sales of such products could be adversely affected. The Trump administration and Congress have publicly stated that fundamental U.S. tax reform is a priority. In April 2017, the Trump administration released a high level set of tax reform principles, which, like the Blueprint and President Trump’s previous outline, included a reduction in income tax rates and the elimination of the estate tax. While current tax reform proposals generally include a reduction of the U.S. corporate tax rate, given the overall U.S. budget deficit it is likely that any tax reform will include revenue raisers. The substance, timing and likelihood of any future tax reform are uncertain. Any such reform could impact our corporate taxes and products, whether favorably or adversely. A decrease in corporate tax rates and/or a decrease in the dividends received deduction (“DRD”) could result in valuation charges that could have a material, negative impact on our financial condition.

In addition, we anticipate that we will derive tax benefits from certain items, including but not limited to tax exempt investment income, DRDs, various tax credits and insurance reserve deductions. There is a risk that, in the context of deficit reduction or overall tax reform, federal and/or state tax legislation could modify or eliminate these or other items, impacting us, our investments, investment strategies, and/or our policyholders. Although the specific form of any such legislation is uncertain, modification of the DRD or changes to the taxation of reserving methodologies for insurance companies could increase our actual tax rate, thereby reducing earnings. We may also be impacted by changes to the deduction for insurance reserves that may be required under current tax law to conform to the introduction of principle-based reserves (“PBR”). As detailed guidance has not been issued by the IRS on PBR, we are not able to evaluate the potential impact of PBR on our insurance reserves tax deduction.

Moreover, many of the products that we sell benefit from one or more forms of tax-favored status under current federal and state income tax regimes. For example, annuity contracts allow contract holders to defer the recognition of taxable income earned within the contract. Additionally, changes in the taxation of life insurance and/or annuity contracts may impact future sales. However, if the treatment of earnings accrued inside an annuity contract was changed prospectively, and the tax-favored status of existing contracts was grandfathered, holders of existing contracts would be less likely to surrender or rollover their contracts, which would impact our business in ways that are difficult to predict. Conversely, we expect the taxation of earnings from annuity or similar contracts would reduce demand for our products. A shift away from life insurance and annuity contracts and other tax-deferred products by our customers would reduce our income from sales of these products, as well as the asset base upon which we earn investment income and fees, thereby reducing our earnings and potentially affecting the value of our deferred tax assets.

 

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Litigation and regulatory investigations are increasingly common in our businesses and may result in significant financial losses and/or harm to our reputation

We face a significant risk of litigation and regulatory investigations and actions in the ordinary course of operating our businesses, including the risk of class action lawsuits. Our pending legal and regulatory actions include proceedings specific to us, as well as other proceedings that raise issues that are generally applicable to business practices in the industries in which we operate. In connection with our insurance operations, plaintiffs’ lawyers may bring or are bringing class actions and individual suits alleging, among other things, issues relating to sales or underwriting practices, claims payments and procedures, product design, disclosure, administration, investments, denial or delay of benefits and breaches of fiduciary or other duties to customers. Plaintiffs in class action and other lawsuits against us may seek very large and/or indeterminate amounts, including punitive and treble damages. Due to the vagaries of litigation, the outcome of a litigation matter and the amount or range of potential loss at particular points in time may normally be difficult to ascertain. Uncertainties can include how fact finders will evaluate documentary evidence and the credibility and effectiveness of witness testimony, and how trial and appellate courts will apply the law in the context of the pleadings or evidence presented, whether by motion practice, or at trial or on appeal. Disposition valuations are also subject to the uncertainty of how opposing parties and their counsel will themselves view the relevant evidence and applicable law. Material pending litigation and regulatory matters affecting us and risks to our business presented by these proceedings, if any, are discussed in Note 16 of the notes to the combined financial statements.

A substantial legal liability or a significant federal, state or other regulatory action against us, as well as regulatory inquiries or investigations, could harm our reputation, result in material fines or penalties, result in significant legal costs and otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Even if we ultimately prevail in the litigation, regulatory action or investigation, our ability to attract new customers, retain our current customers and recruit and retain employees could be materially and adversely impacted. Regulatory inquiries and litigation may also cause volatility in the price of stocks of companies in our industry.

Current claims, litigation, unasserted claims probable of assertion, investigations and other proceedings against us could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. It is also possible that related or unrelated claims, litigation, unasserted claims probable of assertion, investigations and proceedings may be commenced in the future, and we could become subject to further investigations and have lawsuits filed or enforcement actions initiated against us. Increased regulatory scrutiny and any resulting investigations or proceedings in any of the jurisdictions where we operate could result in new legal actions and precedents and industry-wide regulations that could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Investments-Related Risks

Should the need arise, we may have difficulty selling certain holdings in our investment portfolio or in our securities lending program in a timely manner and realizing full value given that not all assets are liquid

There may be a limited market for certain investments we hold in our investment portfolio, making them relatively illiquid. These include privately-placed fixed maturity securities, derivative instruments such as options, mortgage loans, policy loans, leveraged leases, other limited partnership interests, and real estate equity, such as real estate joint ventures and funds. In the past, even some of our very high quality investments experienced reduced liquidity during periods of market volatility or disruption. If we were forced to sell certain of our investments during periods of market volatility or disruption, market prices may be lower than our carrying value in such investments. This could result in realized losses which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition, as well as our financial ratios, which could affect compliance with our credit instruments and rating agency capital adequacy measures.

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this program, we obtain collateral, usually cash, at the inception of a loan and typically purchase securities with the cash collateral. Upon the return to us of these loaned securities, we must return to the third-party the cash collateral we received. If the cash collateral has been invested in securities, we need to sell the securities. However, in some cases, the maturity of those securities may exceed the term of the related securities on loan and the estimated fair value of the securities we need to sell may fall below the amount of cash received.

If we are required to return significant amounts of cash collateral in connection with our securities lending or otherwise need significant amounts of cash on short notice and we are forced to sell securities, we may have difficulty selling such collateral that is invested in securities in a timely manner, be forced to sell securities in a volatile or illiquid market for less than we otherwise would have been able to realize under normal market conditions, or both. In the event of a forced sale, accounting guidance requires the recognition of a loss for securities in an unrealized loss position and may require the impairment of other securities based on our ability to hold those securities, which would negatively impact our financial condition, as well as our financial ratios, which could affect compliance with our credit instruments and rating agency capital adequacy measures. In addition, under stressful capital market and economic conditions, liquidity broadly deteriorates, which may further restrict our ability to sell securities. Furthermore, if we decrease the amount of our securities lending activities over time, the amount of net investment income generated by these activities will also likely decline. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Investments — Securities Lending.”

Our requirements to pledge collateral or make payments related to declines in estimated fair value of derivatives transactions or specified assets in connection with OTC-cleared, OTC-bilateral transactions and exchange traded derivatives may adversely affect our liquidity, expose us to central clearinghouse and counterparty credit risk, and increase our costs of hedging

Many of our derivatives transactions require us to pledge collateral related to any decline in the net estimated fair value of such derivatives transactions executed through a specific broker at a clearinghouse or entered into with a specific counterparty on a bilateral basis. The amount of collateral we may be required to pledge and the payments we may be required to make under our derivatives transactions may increase under certain circumstances and will increase as a result of the requirement to pledge initial margin for OTC-cleared transactions entered into after June 10, 2013 and for OTC-bilateral transactions entered into after the phase-in period, which would be applicable to us in 2020 as a result of the adoption by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”), the Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, Farm Credit Administration and Federal Housing Finance Agency (collectively, the “Prudential Regulators”) and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) of final margin requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives. Although the final rules allow us to pledge a broad range of non-cash collateral as initial and variation margin, the Prudential Regulators, CFTC, central clearinghouses and counterparties may restrict or eliminate certain types of previously eligible collateral, or charge us to pledge such non-cash collateral, which would increase our costs and could adversely affect our liquidity and the composition of our investment portfolio. See “Regulation — Regulation of Over-the-Counter Derivatives.”

Gross unrealized losses on fixed maturity and equity securities and defaults, downgrades or other events may result in future impairments to the carrying value of such securities, resulting in a reduction in our net income

Fixed maturity and equity securities classified as available-for-sale (“AFS”) securities are reported at their estimated fair value. Unrealized gains or losses on AFS securities are recognized as a component of other comprehensive income (loss) (“OCI”) and are, therefore, excluded from net income. In recent periods, as a result of low interest rates, the unrealized gains on our fixed maturity securities have exceeded the unrealized losses. However, if interest rates rise, our unrealized gains would decrease and our unrealized losses would increase, perhaps substantially. The accumulated change in estimated fair value of these AFS securities is recognized in net income when the gain or loss is realized upon the sale of the security or in the event that the decline in estimated fair value is determined to be other-than-temporary and impairment charges to earnings are taken. See

 

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“Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Investments —Fixed Maturity and Equity Securities AFS.”

The occurrence of a major economic downturn, acts of corporate malfeasance, widening credit risk spreads, or other events that adversely affect the issuers or guarantors of securities or the underlying collateral of structured securities could cause the estimated fair value of our fixed maturity securities portfolio and corresponding earnings to decline and cause the default rate of the fixed maturity securities in our investment portfolio to increase. A ratings downgrade affecting issuers or guarantors of particular securities, or similar trends that could worsen the credit quality of issuers, such as the corporate issuers of securities in our investment portfolio, could also have a similar effect. With economic uncertainty, credit quality of issuers or guarantors could be adversely affected. Similarly, a ratings downgrade affecting a security we hold could indicate the credit quality of that security has deteriorated and could increase the capital we must hold to support that security to maintain our RBC levels. Levels of write-downs or impairments are impacted by intent to sell, or our assessment of the likelihood that we will be required to sell, fixed maturity securities, as well as our intent and ability to hold equity securities which have declined in value until recovery. Realized losses or impairments on these securities may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition in, or at the end of, any quarterly or annual period.

Our valuation of securities and investments and the determination of the amount of allowances and impairments taken on our investments are subjective and, if changed, could materially adversely affect our results of operations or financial condition

Fixed maturity and equity securities, as well as short-term investments that are reported at estimated fair value, represent the majority of our total cash and investments. We define fair value generally as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability. Considerable judgment is often required in interpreting market data to develop estimates of fair value, and the use of different assumptions or valuation methodologies may have a material effect of the estimated fair value amounts. During periods of market disruption, including periods of significantly rising or high interest rates, rapidly widening credit spreads or illiquidity, it may be difficult to value certain of our securities if trading becomes less frequent and/or market data becomes less observable. In addition, in times of financial market disruption, certain asset classes that were in active markets with significant observable data may become illiquid. In those cases, the valuation process includes inputs that are less observable and require more subjectivity and management judgment. Valuations may result in estimated fair values which vary significantly from the amount at which the investments may ultimately be sold. Further, rapidly changing and unprecedented credit and equity market conditions could materially impact the valuation of securities as reported within our combined financial statements and the period-to-period changes in estimated fair value could vary significantly. Decreases in the estimated fair value of securities we hold may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Summary of Critical Accounting Estimates — Estimated Fair Value of Investments.”

The determination of the amount of allowances and impairments varies by investment type and is based upon our periodic evaluation and assessment of known and inherent risks associated with the respective asset class. Such evaluations and assessments are revised as conditions change and new information becomes available. We reflect any changes in allowances and impairments in earnings as such evaluations are revised. However, historical trends may not be indicative of future impairments or allowances. In addition, any such future impairments or allowances could have a materially adverse effect on our earnings and financial position. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Summary of Critical Accounting Estimates — Investment Impairments.”

Defaults on our mortgage loans and volatility in performance may adversely affect our profitability

Our mortgage loans face default risk and are principally collateralized by commercial, agricultural and residential properties. We establish valuation allowances for estimated impairments, which are based on loan risk

 

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characteristics, historical default rates and loss severities, real estate market fundamentals, such as housing prices and unemployment, and outlooks, as well as other relevant factors (for example, local economic conditions). In addition, substantially all of our commercial and agricultural mortgage loans held-for-investment have balloon payment maturities. An increase in the default rate of our mortgage loan investments or fluctuations in their performance could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

Further, any geographic or property type concentration of our mortgage loans may have adverse effects on our investment portfolio and consequently on our results of operations or financial condition. While we seek to mitigate this risk by having a broadly diversified portfolio, events or developments that have a negative effect on any particular geographic region or sector may have a greater adverse effect on our investment portfolio to the extent that the portfolio is concentrated. Moreover, our ability to sell assets relating to a group of related assets may be limited if other market participants are seeking to sell at the same time. In addition, scrutiny of the mortgage industry continues and there may be legislative proposals that would allow or require modifications to the terms of mortgage loans could be enacted. We cannot predict whether any such proposals will be adopted, or what impact, if any, such proposals or, if enacted, such laws, could have on our business or investments. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Investments —Mortgage Loans.”

The defaults or deteriorating credit of other financial institutions could adversely affect us

We have exposure to many different industries and counterparties, and routinely execute transactions with counterparties in the financial services industry, including brokers and dealers, central clearinghouses, commercial banks, investment banks, hedge funds and investment funds and other financial institutions. Many of these transactions expose us to credit risk in the event of the default of our counterparty. In addition, with respect to secured transactions, our credit risk may be exacerbated when the collateral held by us cannot be realized or is liquidated at prices not sufficient to recover the full amount of the loan or derivative exposure due to us. We also have exposure to these financial institutions in the form of unsecured debt instruments, non-redeemable and redeemable preferred securities, derivatives and joint venture, hedge fund and equity investments. Further, potential action by governments and regulatory bodies in response to the financial crisis affecting the global banking system and financial markets, such as investment, nationalization, conservatorship, receivership and other intervention, whether under existing legal authority or any new authority that may be created, or lack of action by governments and central banks, as well as deterioration in the banks’ credit standing, could negatively impact these instruments, securities, transactions and investments or limit our ability to trade with them. Any such losses or impairments to the carrying value of these investments or other changes may materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

The continued threat of terrorism and ongoing military actions may adversely affect the value of our investment portfolio and the level of claim losses we incur

The continued threat of terrorism, both within the United States and abroad, ongoing military and other actions and heightened security measures in response to these types of threats may cause significant volatility in global financial markets and result in loss of life, property damage, additional disruptions to commerce and reduced economic activity. The value of assets in our investment portfolio may be adversely affected by declines in the credit and equity markets and reduced economic activity caused by the continued threat of terrorism. Companies in which we maintain investments may suffer losses as a result of financial, commercial or economic disruptions and such disruptions might affect the ability of those companies to pay interest or principal on their securities or mortgage loans. Terrorist actions also could disrupt our operations centers in the U.S. and result in higher than anticipated claims under our insurance policies. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Policyholder Liabilities.”

 

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Capital-Related Risks

As a holding company, Brighthouse Financial, Inc. depends on the ability of its subsidiaries to pay dividends

Brighthouse Financial, Inc. is a holding company for its insurance subsidiaries and does not have any significant operations of its own. We will depend on the cash at the holding company on the date of the distribution plus dividends from our subsidiaries to meet our obligations and to pay common stock dividends, if any. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — The Company — Capital — Restrictions on Dividends and Returns of Capital from Insurance Company Subsidiaries.”

If the cash Brighthouse Financial, Inc. receives from its subsidiaries is insufficient for it to fund its debt service and other holding company obligations, Brighthouse Financial, Inc. may be required to raise cash through the incurrence of indebtedness, the issuance of additional equity or the sale of assets. Our ability to access funds through such methods is subject to prevailing market conditions and there can be no assurance that we will be able to do so. See “— Economic Environment and Capital Markets-Related Risks — Adverse capital and credit market conditions may significantly affect our ability to meet liquidity needs and our access to capital.”

The payment of dividends and other distributions to Brighthouse Financial, Inc. by its insurance subsidiaries is regulated by insurance laws and regulations. In general, dividends in excess of prescribed limits require insurance regulatory approval. In addition, insurance regulators may prohibit the payment of dividends or other payments by its insurance subsidiaries to Brighthouse Financial, Inc. if they determine that the payment could be adverse to the interests of our policyholders or contract holders. In connection with our affiliated reinsurance company restructuring, we have been granted approval from the Delaware Insurance Department to pay a dividend from our new affiliated reinsurance company, named Brighthouse Reinsurance Company of Delaware, to its parent, Brighthouse Insurance. Any additional dividends by Brighthouse Reinsurance Company of Delaware are subject to the approval of the Delaware Insurance Department. Any requested payment of dividends by Brighthouse Insurance to Brighthouse Financial, Inc. in excess of its 2017 ordinary dividend capacity would be considered an extraordinary dividend subject to prior approval by the Delaware Insurance Department. The payment of dividends and other distributions by insurance companies is also influenced by business conditions including the Risk Factors listed above and rating agency considerations. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — The Company — Capital — Restrictions on Dividends and Returns of Capital from Insurance Company Subsidiaries” and “Regulation — Insurance Regulation” and “— Regulatory and Legal Risks — A decrease in the RBC ratio (as a result of a reduction in statutory surplus and/or increase in RBC requirements) of our insurance subsidiaries could result in increased scrutiny by insurance regulators and rating agencies and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.”

Operational Risks

Gaps in our risk management policies and procedures may leave us exposed to unidentified or unanticipated risk, which could negatively affect our business

Our enterprise risk management program is designed to mitigate material risks and loss to us. We have developed and continue to develop risk management policies and procedures to reflect the ongoing review of our risks and expect to continue to do so in the future. Nonetheless, our policies and procedures may not be comprehensive and may not identify every risk to which we are exposed. Many of our methods for managing risk and exposures are based upon the use of observed historical market behavior to model or project potential future exposure. Models used by our business are based on assumptions and projections which may be inaccurate. Business decisions based on incorrect or misused model output and reports could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations. Model risk may be the result of a model being misspecified for its intended purpose, being misused or producing incorrect or inappropriate results. Models used by our business may not operate properly and could contain errors related to model inputs, data, assumptions, calculations, or output which could

 

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give rise to adjustments to models that may adversely impact our results of operations. As a result, these methods may not fully predict future exposures, which can be significantly greater than our historical measures indicate. Other risk management methods depend upon the evaluation of information regarding markets, clients, catastrophe occurrence or other matters that are publicly available or otherwise accessible to us. This information may not always be accurate, complete, up-to-date or properly evaluated. Furthermore, there can be no assurance that we can effectively review and monitor all risks or that all of our employees will follow our risk management policies and procedures, nor can there be any assurance that our risk management policies and procedures will enable us to accurately identify all risks and limit our exposures based on our assessments. In addition, we may have to implement more extensive and perhaps different risk management policies and procedures under pending regulations. See “— Risks Related to Our Business — Our proposed variable annuity exposure management strategy may not be fully implemented prior to the distribution, may not be effective, may result in net income volatility and may negatively affect our statutory capital.”

The failure in cyber- or other information security systems, as well as the occurrence of events unanticipated in Brighthouse’s and MetLife’s disaster recovery systems and management continuity planning could result in a loss or disclosure of confidential information, damage to our reputation and impairment of our ability to conduct business effectively

Our business is highly dependent upon the effective operation of our computer systems and, for the duration of the Transition Services Agreement and other agreements with MetLife companies, MetLife’s computer systems. We rely on these systems throughout our business for a variety of functions, including processing claims, transactions and applications, providing information to customers and distributors, performing actuarial analyses and maintaining financial records. We also retain confidential and proprietary information on such computer systems and we rely on sophisticated technologies to maintain the security of that information. Such computer systems have been, and will likely continue to be, subject to computer viruses or other malicious codes, unauthorized access, cyber-attacks or other computer-related penetrations. While, to date, neither Brighthouse nor MetLife is aware of having experienced a material breach of cybersecurity, administrative and technical controls and other preventive actions taken to reduce the risk of cyber-incidents and protect our information technology may be insufficient to prevent physical and electronic break-ins, cyber-attacks or other security breaches to such computer systems. In some cases, such physical and electronic break-ins, cyber-attacks or other security breaches may not be immediately detected. This may impede or interrupt our business operations and could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, the availability and cost of insurance for operational and other risks relating to our business and systems may change and any such change may affect our results of operations.

In the event of a disaster such as a natural catastrophe, epidemic, industrial accident, blackout, computer virus, terrorist attack, cyberattack or war, unanticipated problems with our disaster recovery systems or, for the duration of the Transition Services Agreement and other agreements with MetLife companies, MetLife’s disaster recovery systems, could have a material adverse impact on our ability to conduct business and on our results of operations and financial position, particularly if those problems affect our computer-based data processing, transmission, storage and retrieval systems and destroy valuable data. In addition, in the event that a significant number of our or MetLife’s managers were unavailable following a disaster, our ability to effectively conduct business could be severely compromised. These interruptions also may interfere with our suppliers’ ability to provide goods and services and our employees’ ability to perform their job responsibilities.

The failure of our computer systems or, for the duration of the Transition Services Agreement and other agreements with MetLife companies, MetLife’s systems, and/or our respective disaster recovery plans for any reason could cause significant interruptions in our operations and result in a failure to maintain the security, confidentiality or privacy of sensitive data, including personal information relating to our customers. Such a failure could harm our reputation, subject us to regulatory sanctions and legal claims, lead to a loss of customers and revenues and otherwise adversely affect our business and financial results. Although we conduct due diligence, negotiate contractual provisions and, in many cases, conduct periodic reviews of our vendors,

 

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distributors, and other third parties, including MetLife, that provide operational or information technology services to us to confirm compliance with our information security standards, the failure of such third parties’ or MetLife’s computer systems and/or their disaster recovery plans for any reason might cause significant interruptions in our operations and result in a failure to maintain the security, confidentiality or privacy of sensitive data, including personal information relating to our customers. Such a failure could harm our reputation, subject us to regulatory sanctions and legal claims, lead to a loss of customers and revenues and otherwise adversely affect our business and financial results. While we maintain cyber liability insurance that provides both third-party liability and first-party liability coverages, this insurance may not be sufficient to protect us against all losses. There can be no assurance that our information security policies and systems in place can prevent unauthorized use or disclosure of confidential information, including nonpublic personal information. Any failure to protect the confidentiality of customer information could adversely affect our reputation and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our associates and those of MetLife may take excessive risks which could negatively affect our financial condition and business

As an insurance enterprise, we are in the business of accepting certain risks. The associates who conduct our business, including executive officers and other members of management, sales intermediaries, investment professionals, product managers, and other associates, as well as associates of MetLife who provide services to Brighthouse in connection with the Transition Services Agreement, the Third-Party Administrative Services Agreement or the Investment Management Agreements do so in part by making decisions and choices that involve exposing us to risk. See “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions — Agreements Between Us and MetLife” for information regarding such agreements. These include decisions such as setting underwriting guidelines and standards, product design and pricing, determining what assets to purchase for investment and when to sell them, which business opportunities to pursue, and other decisions. Both we and MetLife endeavor, in the design and implementation of our respective compensation programs and practices, to avoid giving our respective associates incentives to take excessive risks; however, associates may take such risks regardless of the structure of our compensation programs and practices. Similarly, although we employ controls and procedures designed to monitor associates’ business decisions and prevent them from taking excessive risks, and to prevent employee misconduct, these controls and procedures may not be effective. If our associates take excessive risks, the impact of those risks could harm our reputation and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and business operations.

General Risks

Changes in accounting standards issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or other standard-setting bodies may adversely affect our financial statements

Our financial statements are subject to the application of GAAP, which is periodically revised. Accordingly, from time to time we are required to adopt new or revised accounting standards issued by recognized authoritative bodies, including the FASB. The impact of accounting pronouncements that have been issued but not yet implemented will be disclosed in our reports filed with the SEC. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Future Adoption of New Accounting Pronouncements.” The FASB issued several proposed amendments to the accounting for long duration insurance contracts on September 29, 2016. One of the proposed amendments, in particular, would require all guarantees associated with our variable annuity business to be accounted for at fair value, with changes in fair value reported in net income (excluding the change in fair value attributable to nonperformance risk, which would be reported in other comprehensive income). Any of the proposed amendments to the accounting for long duration insurance contracts, if adopted, would not be expected to be effective for several years after issuance of a final standard. An assessment of the potential impact of proposed FASB standards, including the proposed changes to long duration insurance accounting, is not provided as such proposals are subject to change through the exposure process and official positions of the FASB are determined only after extensive due process and deliberations. Therefore, the

 

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effects on our financial statements cannot be meaningfully assessed. The required adoption of future accounting standards could have a material adverse effect on our GAAP basis equity and results of operations, including on our net income.

We may not be able to protect our intellectual property and may be subject to infringement claims

We rely on a combination of contractual rights with third parties and copyright, trademark, patent and trade secret laws to establish and protect our intellectual property. Although we endeavor to protect our rights, third parties may infringe or misappropriate our intellectual property. We may have to litigate to enforce and protect our copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets and know-how or to determine their scope, validity or enforceability. This would represent a diversion of resources that may be significant and our efforts may not prove successful. The inability to secure or protect our intellectual property assets could harm our reputation and have a material adverse effect on our business and our ability to compete with other insurance companies and financial institutions. See “—Risks Related to Our Separation from, and Continuing Relationship with, MetLife — Our separation from MetLife could adversely affect our business and profitability due to MetLife’s strong brand and reputation.”

In addition, we may be subject to claims by third parties for (i) patent, trademark or copyright infringement, (ii) breach of patent, trademark or copyright license usage rights, or (iii) misappropriation of trade secrets. Any such claims or resulting litigation could result in significant expense and liability for damages. If we were found to have infringed or misappropriated a third-party patent or other intellectual property right, we could in some circumstances be enjoined from providing certain products or services to our customers or from utilizing and benefiting from certain patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets or licenses. Alternatively, we could be required to enter into costly licensing arrangements with third parties or implement a costly alternative. Any of these scenarios could harm our reputation and have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

We may experience difficulty in marketing and distributing products through our distribution channels

Following completion in July 2016 of the sale of MetLife’s retail career agency distribution channel, including MetLife’s affiliated broker-dealer, MetLife Securities, Inc. (“MetLife Securities”) and other assets associated with MPCG, we distribute our products exclusively through a variety of third-party distribution channels. We may periodically negotiate the terms of these relationships, and there can be no assurance that such terms will remain acceptable to us or such third parties. Such distributors will be subject to differing commission structures, depending on the product sold, one of which is a level/asset-based commission structure; other products are subject to a more traditional commission structure. If a particular commission structure is not acceptable to these distributors, or if we are unsuccessful in attracting and retaining key associates who conduct our business, including wholesalers and financial advisors, our sales of individual insurance, annuities and investment products could decline and our results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected. See “— Risks Related to Our Business — Elements of our business strategy are new and may not be effective in accomplishing our objectives.”

Furthermore, an interruption in certain key relationships could materially affect our ability to market our products and could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. Our separation from MetLife could prompt some third parties to re-price, modify or terminate their distribution or vendor relationships with us. An interruption or significant change in certain key relationships could materially affect our ability to market our products and could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. In February 2016, Fidelity, which was responsible for $209 million or 36% of the annualized new premium (“ANP”) for our annuity products for the year ended December 31, 2015, elected to suspend its distribution relationship with us following the announcement of the planned separation from MetLife. The suspension of sales by such distributor was the primary cause of a significant reduction in our sales of variable annuities year-over-year for the year ended December 31, 2016. Other distributors may elect to suspend, alter, reduce or terminate their distribution relationships with us for various reasons, including uncertainty related to

 

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our separation from MetLife, changes in our distribution strategy, adverse developments in our business, adverse rating agency actions, including the May 31, 2017 downgrade of our insurance financial strength by Fitch Ratings, or concerns about market-related risks. We are also at risk that key distribution partners may merge, change their business models in ways that affect how our products are sold, or terminate their distribution contracts with us, or that new distribution channels could emerge and adversely impact the effectiveness of our distribution efforts. In addition, we rely on a limited number of our distributors to produce the majority of our sales. If any one such distributor were to terminate its relationship with us or reduce the amount of sales which it produces for us our results of operations could be adversely affected. An increase in bank and broker-dealer consolidation activity could increase competition for access to distributors, result in greater distribution expenses and impair our ability to market products through these channels. Consolidation of distributors and/or other industry changes may also increase the likelihood that distributors will try to renegotiate the terms of any existing selling agreements to terms less favorable to us.

Because our products are distributed through unaffiliated firms, we may not be able to monitor or control the manner of their distribution despite our training and compliance programs. If our products are distributed by such firms in an inappropriate manner, or to customers for whom they are unsuitable, we may suffer reputational and other harm to our business.

In addition, our distributors may also sell our competitors’ products. If our competitors offer products that are more attractive than ours, or pay higher commission rates to the sales representatives than we do, these representatives may concentrate their efforts in selling our competitors’ products instead of ours. Prior to the sale of MPCG to MassMutual we distributed a significant portion of our annuity products and insurance policies through MPCG. In connection with the sale we entered into an agreement which would permit us to serve as the exclusive manufacturer for certain proprietary products which would be offered through MassMutual’s career agent channel. We are working with MassMutual to develop the initial product to be distributed under this arrangement, which will be a fixed indexed annuity, and to agree on the terms of the related reinsurance. While the agreement has a term of 10 years, it is possible that MassMutual may terminate our exclusivity or the agreement itself in specified circumstances, such as our inability or failure to provide product designs that reasonably meet MassMutual requirements. Although we expect MassMutual to be an important distribution partner with respect to certain of our products, we believe that the level of sales, if any, produced through this channel will be materially less than the levels produced historically through MPCG.

We may be unable to attract and retain key people to support our business

Our success depends, in large part, on our ability to attract and retain key people. We compete with other financial services companies for people primarily on the basis of compensation, support services and financial position. Intense competition exists for key employees with demonstrated ability, and we may be unable to hire or retain such employees. The unexpected loss of services of one or more of our key personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business due to loss of their skills, knowledge of our business, their years of industry experience and the potential difficulty of promptly finding qualified replacement employees in North Carolina or elsewhere who are prepared to relocate. We do not currently anticipate any significant changes to our senior management team following the completion of the distribution and separation. However, there are a significant number of open positions which we need to fill in order to operate consistent with our strategy going forward. We may not be able to attract and retain qualified people to fill these open positions or replace or succeed members of our senior management team or other key personnel following the completion of the distribution or the separation of our business from MetLife or at any other time. Proposed rules implementing the executive compensation provisions of Dodd-Frank may limit the type and structure of compensation arrangements into which we may enter with certain of our employees and officers. In addition, proposed rules under Dodd-Frank would prohibit the payment of “excessive compensation” to our executives. These restrictions could negatively impact our ability to compete with other companies in recruiting and retaining key personnel.

Our ability to attract and retain highly qualified independent sales intermediaries for our products may also be negatively affected by our separation from MetLife. We may be required to lower the prices of our products,

 

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increase our sales commissions and fees, change long-term selling and marketing agreements and take other actions to maintain our relationship with our sales intermediaries and distribution partners, all of which could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. We cannot accurately predict the effect that our separation from MetLife will have on our business, sales intermediaries, customers, distributors or associates who conduct our business. In addition, we may agree in the Master Separation Agreement with MetLife that for a certain period following the date of the Master Separation Agreement, subject to customary exceptions regarding prior associates who conduct our business, general solicitation and employees who contact us without being solicited, we will not solicit for employment certain current employees of MetLife or any of its affiliates. We cannot predict how this potential agreement not to solicit employees will impact our ability to attract and recruit associates necessary to the operation of our business.

Any failure to protect the confidentiality of client information could adversely affect our reputation and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations

Pursuant to federal and state laws, various government agencies have established rules protecting the privacy and security of personal information. In addition, most states have enacted laws, which vary significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, to safeguard the privacy and security of personal information. Many of the associates who conduct our business have access to, and routinely process, personal information of clients through a variety of media, including information technology systems. We rely on various internal processes and controls to protect the confidentiality of client information that is accessible to, or in the possession of, our company and our associates. It is possible that an associate could, intentionally or unintentionally, disclose or misappropriate confidential client information or our data could be the subject of a cybersecurity attack. If we fail to maintain adequate internal controls or if our associates fail to comply with our policies and procedures, misappropriation or intentional or unintentional inappropriate disclosure or misuse of client information could occur. Such internal control inadequacies or non-compliance could materially damage our reputation or lead to civil or criminal penalties, which, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, we analyze customer data to better manage our business. There has been increased scrutiny, including from state regulators, regarding the use of “big data” techniques such as price optimization. We cannot predict what, if any, actions may be taken with regard to “big data,” but any inquiries could cause reputational harm and any limitations could have a material impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We could face difficulties, unforeseen liabilities, asset impairments or rating actions arising from business acquisitions or dispositions

We may engage in dispositions and acquisitions of businesses. Such activity exposes us to a number of risks arising from (i) potential difficulties achieving projected financial results including the costs and benefits of integration or deconsolidation; (ii) unforeseen liabilities or asset impairments; (iii) the scope and duration of rights to indemnification for losses; (iv) the use of capital which could be used for other purposes; (v) rating agency reactions; (vi) regulatory requirements that could impact our operations or capital requirements; (vii) changes in statutory or GAAP accounting principles, practices or policies; and (viii) certain other risks specifically arising from activities relating to a legal entity reorganization.

Our ability to achieve certain financial benefits we anticipate from any acquisitions of businesses will depend in part upon our ability to successfully integrate such businesses in an efficient and effective manner. There may be liabilities or asset impairments that we fail, or are unable, to discover in the course of performing acquisition-related due diligence investigations. Furthermore, even for obligations and liabilities that we do discover during the due diligence process, neither the valuation adjustment nor the contractual protections we negotiate may be sufficient to fully protect us from losses.

We may from time to time dispose of business or blocks of in-force business through outright sales, reinsurance transactions or by alternate means. After a disposition, we may remain liable to the acquirer or to

 

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third parties for certain losses or costs arising from the divested business or on other bases. We may also not realize the anticipated profit on a disposition or incur a loss on the disposition. In anticipation of any disposition, we may need to restructure our operations, which could disrupt such operations and affect our ability to recruit key personnel needed to operate and grow such business pending the completion of such transaction. In addition, the actions of key employees of the business to be divested could adversely affect the success of such disposition as they may be more focused on obtaining employment, or the terms of their employment, than on maximizing the value of the business to be divested. Furthermore, transitional services or tax arrangements related to any such separation could further disrupt our operations and may impose restrictions, liabilities, losses or indemnification obligations on us. Depending on its particulars, a separation could increase our exposure to certain risks, such as by decreasing the diversification of our sources of revenue. Moreover, we may be unable to timely dissolve all contractual relationships with the divested business in the course of the proposed transaction, which may materially adversely affect our ability to realize value from the disposition. Such restructuring could also adversely affect our internal controls and procedures and impair our relationships with key customers, distributors and suppliers. An interruption or significant change in certain key relationships could materially affect our ability to market our products and could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition.

Risks Related to Our Separation from, and Continuing Relationship with, MetLife

MetLife may not complete the ultimate separation of our business as planned and may retain a significant ownership stake in Brighthouse for a period of time

On January 12, 2016, MetLife announced its plan to pursue the separation of a substantial portion of its U.S. retail business, including our business as part of its Accelerating Value Initiative. We, therefore, expect that MetLife will ultimately dispose of its remaining ownership interest in Brighthouse, representing no more than 19.9% of our outstanding common stock, as soon as practicable following the distribution, but in no event later than five years after the distribution. There can be no assurance regarding the method by which MetLife will dispose of its interest in us, as we expect it to seek to maximize overall value to its shareholders. Alternatives include a dividend distribution, one or more public offerings of its remaining shares of our common stock, or an offer to MetLife shareholders to exchange all or a portion of their MetLife shares for Brighthouse shares.

The disposition by MetLife of its remaining ownership interest in us may be subject to various conditions, including receipt of any necessary regulatory and other approvals, the existence of satisfactory market conditions, and the confirmation of credit and financial strength ratings. These conditions may not be satisfied or MetLife may decide for any other reason not to consummate the separation of our business and instead retain a significant ownership interest in Brighthouse for a period of time, not exceeding five years. Satisfying the conditions relating to such separation may require actions that MetLife has not anticipated. Any delay by MetLife in completing the separation could have a material adverse effect on our business and the market price for our common stock.

Our separation from MetLife could adversely affect our business and profitability due to MetLife’s strong brand and reputation

Prior to the completion of the distribution, as a wholly owned subsidiary of MetLife, we have marketed our products and services using the “MetLife” brand name and logo. We have also benefited from trademarks licensed in connection with the MetLife brand. We believe the association with MetLife has provided us with preferred status among our customers, vendors and other persons due to MetLife’s globally recognized brand, reputation for high quality products and services and strong capital base and financial strength.

Our separation from MetLife could adversely affect our ability to attract and retain customers, which could result in reduced sales of our products. In connection with the distribution, we expect to enter into the Intellectual Property Licensing Agreement and Master Separation Agreement with MetLife, pursuant to which we will have

 

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a license to use certain trademarks and the “MetLife” name in certain limited circumstances, including as part of a marketing tag line, for a transition period or otherwise to refer to our historic affiliation with MetLife on selected materials for a limited period of time following the completion of the distribution. See “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions —Agreements Between Us and MetLife — Master Separation Agreement — The separation of our business.” In connection with and following the consummation of the distribution, we have begun operational and legal work to rebrand to “Brighthouse.”

We have filed trademark applications to protect the Brighthouse Financial name and logo in the United States, and intend to file additional trademark applications in connection with our products. However, the registrations of these trademarks are not complete and they may ultimately not become registered. Our use of the Brighthouse Financial name for the Company or for our existing or any new products in the United States has been challenged by third parties, and we have become involved in legal proceedings to protect or defend our rights with respect to the Brighthouse Financial name and trademarks, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations. Although the parties to these proceedings have resolved this matter and dismissed the action, we are aware of other challenges to our trademarks that have not yet resulted in litigation.

As a result of our separation from MetLife, some of our existing policyholders, contract owners and other customers may choose to stop doing business with us, which could increase the rate of surrenders and withdrawals in our policies and contracts. In addition, other potential policyholders and contract owners may decide not to purchase our products because we no longer will be a part of MetLife.

The risks relating to our separation from MetLife could materialize or evolve at any time, including:

 

    immediately upon the completion of the distribution, when MetLife’s beneficial ownership in our common stock will decrease to no more than 19.9%; and

 

    when we ceased using the “MetLife” name and logo in our sales and marketing materials, which occurred when we delivered notices to our distributors and customers that the names of some of our insurance subsidiaries have changed.

The terms of our arrangements with MetLife may be more favorable than we would be able to obtain from an unaffiliated third party. We may be unable to replace the services MetLife provides to us in a timely manner or on comparable terms

We have, and after the distribution will continue to have, contractual arrangements, such as the Transition Services Agreement, Investment Management Agreements, the Intellectual Property License Agreement, the Investment Finance Services Agreements entered into in connection with the Investment Management Agreements and other agreements that require MetLife affiliates to provide certain services to us, including the receipt of certain IT services pursuant to software license agreements that MetLife affiliates have with certain third-party software vendors, and the provision of investment management and related accounting and reporting services by MetLife Investment Advisors LLC with respect to Brighthouse’s general and separate account investment portfolios. See “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions.” There can be no assurance that the services to be provided by the MetLife affiliates will be sufficient to meet our operational and business needs, that the MetLife affiliates will be able to perform such functions in a manner satisfactory to us or that any remedies available under these arrangements will be sufficient to us in the event of a dispute or non-performance. Upon termination or expiration of any agreement between us and MetLife affiliates, there can be no assurance that these services will be sustained at the same levels as they were when we were receiving such services from MetLife or that we will be able to obtain the same benefits from another provider or our indemnity rights from such third parties will not be limited. We may not be able to replace services and arrangements in a timely manner or on terms and conditions, including cost, as favorable as those we have previously received from MetLife. The agreements with the MetLife affiliates were entered into in the context of intercompany relationships that arose from enterprise-wide agreements with vendors, and we may have to pay higher prices for similar services from MetLife or unaffiliated third parties in the future.

 

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The Brighthouse Board and its directors and officers may have limited liability to us and you for breach of fiduciary duty

We expect that our amended and restated certificate of incorporation will provide that none of our directors and officers will be personally liable to us or our shareholders for monetary damages for breach of fiduciary duty, except for liability for breach of their duty of loyalty, acts or omissions not in good faith or which involve intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law, dividend payments or stock repurchases that are unlawful under Delaware law or any transaction in which a director has derived an improper personal benefit. See “Description of Capital Stock — Limitation of Liability and Indemnification of Directors and Officers.”

We expect to incur incremental costs as a separate, public company

Following the distribution, and once we cease to be a subsidiary of MetLife, we will need to replicate or replace certain functions, systems and infrastructure to which we will no longer have the same access. We will also need to make infrastructure investments in order to operate without the same access to MetLife’s existing operational and administrative infrastructure. These initiatives will involve substantial costs, the hiring and integration of a large number of new employees, and integration of the new and expanded operations and infrastructure with our existing operations and infrastructure and, in some cases, the operations and infrastructure of our partners and other third parties. It will also require significant time and attention from our senior management and others throughout the Company, in addition to their day-to-day responsibilities running the business. We expect that our operations and infrastructure will need to be developed to support functions that were previously provided by MetLife at the enterprise level. There can be no assurance that we will be able to establish and expand the operations and infrastructure to the extent required, in the time, or at the costs anticipated, and without disrupting our ongoing business operations in a material way, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

MetLife currently performs or supports many important corporate functions for our operations, including investor relations, public relations, advertising and brand management, corporate audit, certain risk management functions, corporate insurance, corporate governance and other services. Our combined financial statements reflect charges for these services. There can be no assurance that, following the completion of the distribution, these services will be sustained at the same levels as when we were receiving such services from MetLife or that we will be able to obtain the same benefits. When we begin to operate these functions independently, if we do not have our own adequate systems and business functions in place, or are unable to obtain them from other providers, we may not be able to operate our business effectively or at comparable costs and our profitability may decline. In addition, our business has benefited from MetLife’s purchasing power when procuring goods and services. As a standalone company, we may be unable to obtain such goods and services at comparable prices or on terms as favorable as those obtained prior to the distribution, which could decrease our overall profitability. See “— The terms of our arrangements with MetLife may be more favorable than we would be able to obtain from an unaffiliated third party. We may be unable to replace the services MetLife provides to us in a timely manner or on comparable terms.”

After the distribution, we will have a very large number of shareholders which may impact the efficacy of shareholder votes and will result in increased costs

Under the plan of reorganization of MLIC, the MetLife Policyholder Trust was established to hold the shares of MetLife common stock allocated to eligible policyholders not receiving cash or policy credits under the plan. As of April 28, 2017, 160,353,035, or 14.9%, of the outstanding shares of MetLife common stock were held in the MetLife Policyholder Trust for the benefit of approximately three million trust beneficiaries. These trust beneficiaries are eligible to vote only on certain fundamental corporate actions of MetLife. The trustee of the MetLife Policyholder Trust votes on their behalf on all other matters in accordance with the recommendation of the MetLife Board.

Brighthouse will not have such a trust structure and, therefore, after the separation of our business from MetLife, all three million trust beneficiaries will become shareholders of Brighthouse, except to the extent that,

 

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upon application of the distribution ratio, they receive only cash in lieu of fractional shares. The addition of this large number of additional shareholders with full voting rights to our shareholder base may have a significant impact on matters brought to a shareholder vote and other aspects of our corporate governance. We will also incur increased costs in connection with a larger shareholder base. These costs may include mailing costs and vendor fees related to servicing the needs of these shareholders.

As a separate, public company, we expect to expend additional time and resources to comply with rules and regulations that do not currently apply to us

As a separate, public company, the various rules and regulations of the SEC, as well as the rules of the exchange on which we intend to list our common stock, will require us to implement additional corporate governance practices and adhere to a variety of reporting requirements. Compliance with these public company obligations will increase our legal and financial compliance costs and could place additional demands on our finance, legal and accounting staff and on our financial, accounting and information systems.

In particular, as a separate, public company, our management will be required to conduct an annual evaluation of our internal controls over financial reporting and include a report of management on our internal controls in our Annual Reports on Form 10-K. In addition, we will be required to have our independent registered public accounting firm attest to the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting pursuant to Auditing Standard No. 5. If we are unable to conclude that we have effective internal controls over financial reporting, investors could lose confidence in the reliability of our financial statements, which could result in a decrease in the value of our common stock.

Our historical combined financial data are not necessarily representative of the results we would have achieved as a separate company and may not be a reliable indicator of our future results

Our historical combined financial data included in this information statement do not necessarily reflect the financial condition, results of operations or cash flows we would have achieved as a standalone company during the periods presented or those we will achieve in the future. For example, as described in “Recapitalization,” we are in the process of adjusting our capital structure to more closely align with U.S. public companies. As a result, financial metrics that are influenced by our capital structure, such as interest expense and return on equity, will not necessarily be indicative for historical periods of the performance we may achieve as a separate company following the distribution. In addition, significant increases may occur in our cost structure as a result of the distribution, including costs related to public company reporting, investor relations and compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Also, as described in “Business — Our Brand,” we anticipate incurring substantial expenses in connection with rebranding our business following the distribution.

As a result of these matters, among others, it may be difficult for investors to compare our future results to historical results or to evaluate our relative performance or trends in our business.

We have agreed under the Master Separation Agreement with MetLife to indemnify MetLife, its directors, officers and employees and certain of its agents for liabilities relating to, arising out of or resulting from certain events relating to our business

The Master Separation Agreement will provide that, subject to certain exceptions, we will indemnify, hold harmless and defend MetLife (excluding any member of Brighthouse) and certain related individuals (generally including MetLife’s directors, officers and employees and certain agents), from and against all liabilities relating to, arising out of or resulting from certain events relating to our business. We cannot predict whether any event triggering this indemnity will occur or the extent to which we may be obligated to indemnify MetLife or such related individuals. In addition, the Master Separation Agreement will provide that, subject to certain exceptions, MetLife will indemnify, hold harmless and defend us and certain related individuals (generally including our

 

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directors, officers and employees and certain agents), from and against all liabilities relating to, arising out of or resulting from certain events relating to its business. See “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions — Agreements Between Us and MetLife — Master Separation Agreement — Provisions relating to indemnification and liability insurance.”

Risks Relating to the Distribution

If the distribution were to fail to qualify for non-recognition treatment for U.S. federal income tax purposes, then MetLife, we and our shareholders could be subject to significant tax liabilities

The distribution is conditioned on the continued validity as of the distribution date of the private letter ruling that MetLife has received from the IRS regarding certain significant issues under the Code, and the receipt and continued validity of an opinion from tax counsel that the distribution will qualify for non-recognition of gain or loss to MetLife and MetLife’s shareholders pursuant to Sections 355 and 361 of the Code, except to the extent of cash received in lieu of fractional shares, each subject to the accuracy of and compliance with certain representations, assumptions and covenants therein.

Notwithstanding the receipt of the private letter ruling and the tax opinion, the IRS could determine that the distribution should be treated as a taxable transaction if it determines that any of the representations, assumptions or covenants on which the private letter ruling is based are untrue or have been violated. Furthermore, as part of the IRS’s policy, the IRS did not determine whether the distribution satisfies certain conditions that are necessary to qualify for non-recognition treatment. Rather, the private letter ruling is based on representations by MetLife and us that these conditions have been satisfied. The tax opinion will address the satisfaction of these conditions.

The tax opinion is not binding on the IRS or the courts, and there can be no assurance that the IRS or a court will not take a contrary position. In addition, the tax counsel will rely on certain representations and covenants to be delivered by MetLife and us.

If the IRS ultimately determines that the distribution is taxable, the distribution could be treated as a taxable dividend or capital gain to you for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and you could incur significant U.S. federal income tax liabilities. In addition, if the IRS ultimately determines that the distribution is taxable, MetLife and we could incur significant U.S. federal income tax liabilities, and we could have an indemnification obligation to MetLife. For a more detailed discussion, see “— We could have an indemnification obligation to MetLife if the distribution does not qualify for non-recognition treatment or if certain other steps that are part of the separation do not qualify for their intended tax treatment, which could materially adversely affect our financial condition” and “The Separation and Distribution — Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences of the Distribution.”

We could have an indemnification obligation to MetLife if the distribution does not qualify for non-recognition treatment or if certain other steps that are part of the separation do not qualify for their intended tax treatment, which could materially adversely affect our financial condition

Generally, taxes resulting from the failure of the distribution to qualify for non-recognition treatment for U.S. federal income tax purposes would be imposed on MetLife or MetLife’s shareholders and, under the Tax Separation Agreement, MetLife is generally obligated to indemnify us against such taxes if the failure to qualify for tax-free treatment results from any action or inaction after the completion of the distribution that is within MetLife’s control or if the failure results from any direct or indirect transfer of MetLife’s stock after the distribution. In addition, MetLife will generally bear tax-related losses due to the failure of certain steps that are part of the separation to qualify for their intended tax treatment. However, under the Tax Separation Agreement, we could be required, under certain circumstances, to indemnify MetLife and its affiliates against certain tax-related liabilities caused by those failures, to the extent those liabilities result from an action we or our affiliates take or from any breach of our or our affiliates’ representations, covenants or obligations under the Tax Separation Agreement. Events triggering an indemnification obligation under the Tax Separation Agreement

 

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include ceasing to actively conduct our business and events occurring after the distribution that cause MetLife to recognize a gain under Section 355(e) of the Code. See “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions — Agreements Between Us and MetLife — Tax Agreements — Tax Separation Agreement.”

We are required to pay MetLife for certain tax benefits, which amounts are expected to be material

In partial consideration for the assets contributed by MetLife to us, we will enter into a Tax Receivables Agreement with MetLife that will provide for the payment by us to MetLife of 86% of the amount of cash savings, if any, in U.S. federal income tax that we and our subsidiaries actually realize (or are deemed to realize under certain circumstances, as discussed in more detail below under the heading “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions — Agreements Between Us and MetLife — Tax Agreements — Tax Receivables Agreement”) as a result of the utilization of our and our subsidiaries’ net operating losses, capital losses, tax basis and amortization or depreciation deductions in respect of certain tax benefits we may realize as a result of certain transactions involved in the separation, together with interest accrued from the date the applicable tax return is due (without extension) until the date the applicable payment is due.

Estimating the amount of payments that may be made under the Tax Receivables Agreement is by its nature imprecise, insofar as the calculation of amounts payable depends on a variety of factors. The actual amount and utilization of net operating losses, tax basis and other tax attributes, as well as the amount and timing of any payments under the Tax Receivables Agreement, will vary depending upon a number of factors, including the amount, character and timing of our and our subsidiaries’ taxable income in the future. The Base Case Scenario has not assumed any benefit from the deferred taxes that are subject to the Tax Receivables Agreement.

If we breach any of our material obligations under the Tax Receivables Agreement or undergo a change of control as defined in the Tax Receivables Agreement, the Tax Receivables Agreement will terminate and we will be required to make a lump sum payment equal to the present value of expected future payments under the Tax Receivables Agreement, which payment would be based on certain assumptions, including those relating to our and our subsidiaries’ future taxable income. Additionally, if we or a direct or indirect subsidiary transfers any asset to a corporation with which we do not file a consolidated tax return, we will be treated as having sold that asset for its fair market value in a taxable transaction for purposes of determining the cash savings in income tax under the Tax Receivables Agreement. If we sell or otherwise dispose of any of our subsidiaries in a transaction that is not a change of control, we will be required to make a payment equal to the present value of future payments under the Tax Receivables Agreement attributable to the tax benefits of such subsidiary that is sold or disposed of, applying the assumptions described above. Any such payment resulting from a breach of material obligations, change of control, asset transfer or subsidiary disposition could be substantial and could exceed our actual cash tax savings.

We intend to agree to numerous restrictions to preserve the non-recognition treatment of the transactions, which may reduce our strategic and operating flexibility

Even if the distribution otherwise qualifies for non-recognition of gain or loss under Section 355 of the Code, it may be taxable to MetLife, but not MetLife’s shareholders, under Section 355(e) of the Code if 50% or more (by vote or value) of our common stock or MetLife’s common stock is acquired as part of a plan or series of related transactions that include the distribution. For this purpose, any acquisitions of MetLife’s or our common stock within two years before or after the distribution are presumed to be part of such a plan, although MetLife or we may be able to rebut that presumption based on either applicable facts and circumstances or a “safe harbor” described in the tax regulations. These covenants and indemnity obligations may limit our ability to pursue strategic transactions or engage in new business or other transactions, such as a share repurchase program, that may maximize the value of our business, and may discourage or delay a strategic transaction that our shareholders may consider favorable, including limiting our ability to use our equity to raise capital or fund acquisitions. Any payments required under these indemnity obligations could be significant and could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. See “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions — Agreements Between Us and MetLife — Tax Agreements — Tax Separation Agreement.”

 

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We may be unable to achieve some or all of the benefits that we expect to achieve from the separation and the cost of achieving such benefits may be more than we estimated

We believe that, as a separate, public company, we will be able to, among other matters, better focus our financial and operational resources on our specific business, growth profile and strategic priorities, design and implement corporate strategies and policies targeted to our operational focus and strategic priorities, streamline our processes and infrastructure to focus on our core manufacturing strengths, implement and maintain a capital structure designed to meet our specific needs and more effectively respond to industry dynamics. However, we may be unable to achieve some or all of these benefits. For example, in order to position ourselves for the distribution, we are undertaking a series of strategic, structural and process realignment and restructuring actions within our operations, including significant cost-cutting initiatives. These actions may not provide the cost benefits we currently expect, may cost more to achieve than we have estimated, and could lead to disruption of our operations, loss of, or inability to recruit, key personnel needed to operate and grow our businesses following the distribution. As a result, these actions could cause a weakening of our internal standards, controls or procedures and impairment of our key customer and supplier relationships. In addition, completion of the proposed distribution will require significant amounts of management’s time and effort, which may divert management’s attention from operating and growing our businesses. If we fail to achieve some or all of the benefits that we expect to achieve as a separate company, or do not achieve them in the time we expect, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

We will incur substantial indebtedness in connection with the separation, and the degree to which we will be leveraged following completion of the distribution and separation may materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition

We are incurring substantial indebtedness in connection with the separation, including the 2027 Senior Notes and 2047 Senior Notes, which were issued on June 22, 2017, and we will use a significant portion of the proceeds of this indebtedness to make a distribution to MetLife as partial consideration for MetLife’s transfer of assets to Brighthouse. The amount of indebtedness will allow us to achieve the following goals at the time of the distribution: (i) adequate liquidity at the Brighthouse holding company level; (ii) a debt-to-capital ratio of approximately 25%; and (iii) $2.0 billion to $3.0 billion of assets in excess of CTE95 to support our variable annuity contracts. We have historically relied upon MetLife for working capital requirements on a short-term basis and for other financial support functions. After the separation and the distribution, we will not be able to rely on MetLife’s earnings, assets or cash flow, and we will be responsible for servicing our own debt, obtaining and maintaining sufficient working capital and paying dividends.

Our ability to make payments on and to refinance our indebtedness, including the debt retained or incurred pursuant to the distribution as well as any future indebtedness that we may incur, will depend on our ability to generate cash in the future from operations, financings or asset sales. Our ability to generate cash to meet our debt obligations in the future is sensitive to capital market returns, primarily due to our variable annuity business. See “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk — Market Risk - Fair Value Exposures” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — Parent Company — Capital.” Overall, our ability to generate cash is subject to general economic, financial market, competitive, legislative, regulatory, client behavioral, and other factors that are beyond our control. We may not generate sufficient funds to service our debt and meet our business needs, such as funding working capital or the expansion of our operations. If we are not able to repay or refinance our debt as it becomes due, we may be forced to take disadvantageous actions, including significant business and legal entity restructuring, limited new business investment, selling assets or dedicating an unsustainable level of our cash flow from operations to the payment of principal and interest on our indebtedness. In addition, our ability to withstand competitive pressures and to react to changes in the insurance industry could be impaired. The lenders who hold our debt could also accelerate amounts due in the event that we default, which could potentially trigger a default or acceleration of the maturity of our other debt.

In addition, our substantial leverage could put us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors that are less leveraged. These competitors could have greater financial flexibility to pursue strategic acquisitions

 

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and secure additional financing for their operations. Our substantial leverage could also impede our ability to withstand downturns in our industry or the economy in general. See “— Risks Related to Our Business — We will incur significant indebtedness in connection with the separation that for a period of time will not provide us with liquidity or interest-expense tax deductions and the terms of which could restrict our operations and use of funds that may result in a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.”

After the distribution, certain of our directors and officers may have actual or potential conflicts of interest because of their MetLife equity ownership or their former MetLife positions

Certain of the persons who currently are, or who we expect to become, our executive officers and directors have been, and will be until the distribution, MetLife officers, directors or employees and, thus, will have professional relationships with MetLife’s executive officers, directors or employees. In addition, because of their former MetLife positions, following the distribution, certain of our directors and executive officers may own MetLife common stock, restricted stock or options to acquire shares of MetLife common stock, and, for some of these individuals, their individual holdings may be significant compared to their total assets. These relationships and financial interests may create, or may create the appearance of, conflicts of interest when these directors and officers are faced with decisions that could have different implications for MetLife and us. For example, potential conflicts of interest could arise in connection with the resolution of any dispute that may arise between MetLife and us regarding the terms of the agreements governing the distribution and the separation, and the relationship thereafter between the companies.

Risks Relating to Our Common Stock and the Capital Markets

No market for our common stock currently exists and an active trading market may not develop or be sustained after the distribution

There is currently no public market for our common stock. We have applied to list our common stock on NASDAQ. We anticipate that before the distribution date, trading of shares of our common stock will begin on a “when-issued” basis and that trading will continue up to and including the distribution date. However, an active trading market for our common stock may not develop as a result of the distribution or may not be sustained in the future. The lack of an active market may make it more difficult for you to sell our shares and could lead to our share price being depressed or volatile. An inactive market may also impair our ability to raise capital by selling our common stock, motivate our employees and sales representatives through equity incentive awards, and acquire other companies, products or technologies by using our common stock as consideration.

Following the distribution, our stock price may fluctuate significantly

We cannot predict the prices at which our common stock may trade after the distribution. The market price of our common stock may fluctuate widely, depending on many factors, some of which may be beyond our control, including:

 

    actual or anticipated fluctuations in our operating results due to factors related to our business;

 

    success or failure of our business strategies;

 

    our quarterly or annual earnings, or those of other companies in our industry;

 

    our ability to obtain financing as needed;

 

    our announcements or our competitors’ announcements regarding new products or services, enhancements, significant contracts, acquisitions or strategic investments;

 

    changes in accounting standards, policies, guidance, interpretations or principles;

 

    the failure of securities analysts to cover our common stock after the distribution;

 

    changes in earnings estimates by securities analysts;

 

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    failure to meet any guidance given by us or any change in any guidance given by us, or changes by us to our guidance practices;

 

    the operating and stock price performance of other comparable companies;

 

    investor perception of our company and the insurance industry;

 

    speculation in the press or investment community;

 

    our business profile, dividend policy or market capitalization may not fit the investment objectives of MetLife’s current shareholders;

 

    actions by institutional stockholders and other large stockholders (including MetLife), including future sales of our common stock;

 

    overall market fluctuations;

 

    results from any material litigation or government investigation;

 

    changes in laws, rules and regulations, including insurance laws and regulations, affecting our business;

 

    changes in our customers’ preferences;

 

    changes in capital gains taxes and taxes on dividends affecting shareholders;

 

    epidemic disease, “Acts of God,” war and terrorist acts;

 

    additions or departures of key personnel; and

 

    general economic conditions and other external factors.

Furthermore, our business profile and market capitalization may not fit the investment objectives of some MetLife shareholders and, as a result, these MetLife shareholders may sell our shares after the distribution. See “— Future sales could adversely affect the trading price of our common stock following the distribution.” Low trading volume for our stock, which may occur if an active trading market does not develop, among other reasons, would amplify the effect of the above factors on our stock price volatility.

Stock markets in general have experienced volatility that has often been unrelated to the operating performance of a particular company. These broad market fluctuations could also adversely affect the trading price of our common stock.

We do not anticipate declaring or paying regular dividends on our common stock in the near term, and our indebtedness could limit our ability to pay dividends on our common stock

As a separate company, we do not currently anticipate declaring or paying regular cash dividends on our common stock in the near term. We currently intend to use our future earnings, if any, to pay debt obligations, to fund our growth, to develop our business, for working capital needs and for general corporate purposes. Therefore, you are not likely to receive any dividends on your common stock in the near term, and the success of an investment in shares of our common stock will depend upon any future appreciation in their value. There is no guarantee that shares of our common stock will appreciate in value or even maintain the price at which our stockholders have received their shares. Any future declaration and payment of dividends or other distributions of capital will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors and the payment of any future dividends or other distributions of capital will depend on many factors, including our financial condition, earnings, cash needs, regulatory constraints, capital requirements (including requirements of our subsidiaries) and any other factors that our Board deems relevant in making such a determination. In addition, the terms of the agreements governing the debt we have and expect to incur prior to, or debt that we may incur following, the distribution may limit or prohibit the payment of dividends. For more information, see “Dividend Policy.” There can be no assurance that we will establish a dividend policy or pay dividends in the future or continue to pay any dividend if we do commence paying dividends pursuant to a dividend policy or otherwise.

 

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Future sales could adversely affect the trading price of our common stock following the distribution

All of the shares of our common stock will be freely tradable without restriction or further registration under the Securities Act unless the shares are owned by our “affiliates” as that term is defined in the rules under the Securities Act. Shares held by “affiliates” may be sold in the public market if registered or if they qualify for an exemption from registration under Rule 144 which is summarized under “Shares Eligible for Future Sale — Rule 144.” Further, we plan to file one or more registration statements to cover the shares issuable under our equity-based benefit plans. The common stock of MetLife is listed on the NYSE and included as a component of various indices, including the S&P 500 stock market index. After the separation, it is possible that some MetLife shareholders, including possibly some of MetLife’s large shareholders, will sell our common stock received in the distribution for various reasons, for example, if our business profile or market capitalization as a separate company does not fit their investment objectives, or, in the case of index funds, we are not a participant in the index in which they are investing.

In addition, after completion of the distribution, MetLife will retain no more than 19.9% of our total shares outstanding for a limited period of time. MetLife will dispose of such shares of our common stock that it owns no later than five years after the distribution. We will agree that, upon the request of MetLife, we will use our reasonable best efforts to effect a registration under applicable federal and state securities laws of any shares of our common stock retained by MetLife to the extent that MetLife wishes to sell the shares of our common stock it retains. We will also have a large shareholder base of former MetLife policyholder trust beneficiaries, and it is not possible to predict whether or not those shareholders will wish to sell their shares of our common stock following the distribution.

The sales of significant amounts of shares our common stock or the perception in the market that this will occur may result in the lowering of the market price of our common stock.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation will designate the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware as the sole and exclusive forum for certain litigation that may be initiated by our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our current or former directors, officers or stockholders

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation will provide that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for any (i) derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (ii) action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed to us or our stockholders by any of our current or former directors, officers or stockholders, (iii) action asserting a claim arising out of or pursuant to the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”) or our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or our amended and restated bylaws, or as to which the DGCL confers jurisdiction on the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware or (iv) action asserting a claim governed by the internal affairs doctrine. By becoming a stockholder in our company, you will be deemed to have notice of and have consented to the provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation related to choice of forum. The choice of forum provision in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation may limit our stockholders’ ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that they find favorable for disputes with us or any of our current or former directors, officers or stockholders, which may discourage lawsuits with respect to such claims. Alternatively, if a court were to find the choice of forum provision contained in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions, which could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

Your percentage ownership in Brighthouse may be diluted in the future

Your percentage ownership in Brighthouse may be diluted in the future because of equity awards that we expect to grant to our directors, officers and employees. Prior to the distribution, we expect to approve equity

 

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incentive plans that will provide for the grant of common stock-based equity awards to our directors, officers and other employees. In addition, we may issue equity as all or part of the consideration paid for acquisitions and strategic investments we may make in the future or for currently unanticipated future development or unforeseen circumstances, given uncertainties related to our business.

State insurance laws and Delaware corporate law may prevent or delay an acquisition of us, which could decrease the trading price of our common stock

State laws may delay, deter, prevent or render more difficult a takeover attempt that our stockholders might consider in their best interests. For example, such laws may prevent our stockholders from receiving the benefit from any premium to the market price of our common stock offered by a bidder in a takeover context.

The insurance laws and regulations of the various states in which our insurance subsidiaries are organized may delay or impede a business combination involving the Company. State insurance laws prohibit an entity from acquiring control of an insurance company without the prior approval of the domestic insurance regulator. Under most states’ statutes, an entity is presumed to have control of an insurance company if it owns, directly or indirectly, 10% or more of the voting stock of that insurance company or its parent company. These regulatory restrictions may delay, deter or prevent a potential merger or sale of our company, even if the Brighthouse Board decides that it is in the best interests of stockholders for us to merge or be sold. These restrictions also may delay sales by us or acquisitions by third parties of our insurance subsidiaries. In addition, the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), may require approval by the contract owners of our variable contracts in order to effectuate a change of control of any affiliated investment advisor to a mutual fund underlying our variable contracts, including Brighthouse Investment Advisers, LLC, formerly known as MetLife Advisers LLC. Further, FINRA approval would be necessary for a change of control of any broker-dealer that is a direct or indirect subsidiary of Brighthouse.

Section 203 of the DGCL may affect the ability of an “interested stockholder” to engage in certain business combinations, including, among other things, mergers, consolidations or acquisitions of additional shares of our capital stock, for a period of three years following the time that the stockholder becomes an “interested stockholder.” An “interested stockholder” is defined to include persons who, together with affiliates, own, or did own within three years prior to the determination of interested stockholder status, 15% or more of the outstanding voting stock of a corporation.

Certain provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws may prevent or delay an acquisition of us, which could decrease the trading price of our common stock

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws will contain provisions that are intended to deter coercive takeover practices and inadequate takeover bids to encourage prospective acquirers to negotiate with our Board of Directors rather than to attempt a hostile takeover. These provisions include, among others:

 

    the inability of our stockholders to act by written consent;

 

    rules regarding how stockholders may present proposals or nominate directors for election at stockholder meetings;

 

    the right of our Board to issue preferred stock without stockholder approval;

 

    the ability of our remaining directors to fill vacancies and newly created directorships on our Board;

 

    the division of our Board into classes of directors until such times as all directors are elected annually commencing at the Company’s 2020 annual meeting of stockholders;

 

    the inability of our stockholders to remove directors other than for cause while the Board is classified; and

 

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    the requirement that the affirmative vote of holders of at least two-thirds of our outstanding voting stock is required to amend certain provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and to amend our amended and restated bylaws.

We believe these provisions will protect our stockholders from coercive or otherwise unfair takeover tactics by requiring potential acquirers to negotiate with our Board and by providing our Board with more time to assess any acquisition proposal. These provisions are not intended to make us immune from takeovers. However, these provisions will apply even if the offer may be considered beneficial by some stockholders and could delay or prevent an acquisition that our Board determines is not in the best interests of Brighthouse and our stockholders. These provisions may also prevent or discourage attempts to remove and replace incumbent directors. For additional tax considerations, see “— We intend to agree to numerous restrictions to preserve the non-recognition treatment of the transactions, which may reduce our strategic and operating flexibility.”

 

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THE SEPARATION AND DISTRIBUTION

Background

Prior to MetLife’s distribution of the shares of our common stock to its shareholders, MetLife will undertake a series of internal transactions described under “Formation of Brighthouse and the Restructuring” and “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions.” In the third quarter of 2016, MetLife reorganized its businesses into six segments: U.S.; Asia; Latin America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”); MetLife Holdings; and Brighthouse Financial. In addition, MetLife will continue to report certain of its results of operations in Corporate & Other. Following the restructuring, MetLife will conduct the following businesses:

 

    the remaining portions of MetLife’s former Retail segment, which MetLife does not plan to separate and include in Brighthouse, which will include the life and annuity business sold through MLIC, GALIC and MTL, including the MLIC pre-demutualization closed block. These businesses are reflected in its MetLife Holdings segment that consists of operations relating to products and businesses no longer actively marketed by MetLife in the United States. This segment also includes the long-term care business, previously reported as part of MetLife’s former GVWB segment, and the reinsurance treaty relating to MetLife’s former Japan joint venture, previously reported in Corporate & Other;

 

    the Property & Casualty business, the Retirement & Income Solutions business (formerly known as Corporate Benefit Funding) and the Group Benefits business (consisting of the remaining components of the former GVWB business, including the individual disability insurance business previously reported in MetLife’s former Retail segment), which are reflected in its U.S. segment;

 

    the U.S. Direct business, previously reported as part of the Latin America segment, which was disaggregated and is reported in its U.S. segment and in Corporate & Other; and

 

    its Asia and EMEA segments.

Following the restructuring, we will conduct our business principally through the following life insurance company subsidiaries of MetLife as well as several other legal entities which support the issuance, sale and marketing of our life insurance and annuity products:

 

    Brighthouse Life Insurance Company, formerly known as MetLife Insurance Company USA, our largest insurance operating entity, which is domiciled in Delaware and licensed to write business in 49 states;

 

    NELICO, which is domiciled in Massachusetts and licensed to write business in all 50 states; and

 

    Brighthouse Life Insurance Company of NY, formerly known as First MetLife Investors Insurance Company, which is domiciled in New York and licensed to write business in New York, and which is a subsidiary of Brighthouse Insurance.

In addition, certain specified assets and liabilities will be allocated between MetLife and us as described under “Formation of Brighthouse and the Restructuring” and “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions.”

Reasons for the Distribution

The separation is motivated in whole or in substantial part by the following corporate business purposes:

 

    To facilitate investors’ ability to independently value Brighthouse and MetLife based on their respective operational and financial characteristics.

 

    To enable MetLife to address certain regulatory issues, including MetLife’s potential redesignation as a non-bank systemically important financial institution, as well as the new DOL Fiduciary Rule.

 

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    To increase the predictability of distributable cash flows for MetLife over time as part of MetLife’s Accelerating Value strategic initiative and allow Brighthouse to make the necessary decisions and investments to serve the U.S. retail marketplace.

 

    To enable Brighthouse to take advantage of a retail dedicated platform to increase responsiveness to the needs of our customers and distribution partners.

When and how you will Receive Brighthouse Shares

MetLife will distribute to its shareholders, pro rata, one share of our common stock for every eleven shares of MetLife common stock outstanding as of July 19, 2017, the record date of the distribution.

Prior to the distribution, MetLife will deliver all of the issued and outstanding shares of our common stock to the distribution agent. Computershare, Inc. will serve as distribution agent in connection with the distribution of our common stock and as transfer agent and registrar for our common stock.

If you own MetLife common stock as of the close of business on July 19, 2017, the shares of our common stock that you may be entitled to receive in the distribution will be issued to your account as follows:

 

    Registered shareholders. If you own your shares of MetLife common stock directly, either through an account with MetLife’s transfer agent or if you hold physical stock certificates, you are a registered shareholder. In this case, our transfer agent will credit the whole shares of our common stock you receive in the distribution by way of direct registration in book-entry form under the DRS to your DRS account on or shortly after the distribution date. Registration in book-entry form refers to a method of recording share ownership where no physical stock certificates are issued to shareholders, as is the case in the distribution. The transfer agent will keep a record of your shares of our common stock on our record of owners. You will be able to access information regarding your DRS account holding the Brighthouse shares at Computershare Trust Company, N.A. using the following website www.computershare.com/brighthouse or via our transfer agent’s interactive voice response system at (888)-670-4771.

If you are entitled to receive whole shares of our common stock in the distribution, promptly after the distribution date, the distribution agent will mail to you a DRS account statement and a check for any cash in lieu of fractional shares you would otherwise have been entitled to receive. See “— Treatment of Fractional Shares.” The DRS account statement will indicate the number of whole shares of our common stock that have been registered in book-entry form under the DRS in your name.

 

    Street name” or beneficial shareholders. If you own your shares of MetLife common stock beneficially through a bank, broker or other nominee, the bank, broker or other nominee holds the shares in “street name” and records your ownership on its books. In this case, your bank, broker or other nominee will credit your account with the whole shares of our common stock that you receive in the distribution on or shortly after the distribution date. We encourage you to contact your bank, broker or other nominee if you have any questions concerning the mechanics of having shares held in street name.

 

   

Trust beneficiaries. If you are a beneficiary of the MetLife Policyholder Trust established in connection with the demutualization of MLIC in April 2000, the trustee of the MetLife Policyholder Trust is the record owner of the shares of MetLife common stock to which you are beneficially entitled consistent with your beneficial interests, or “trust interests,” in the MetLife Policyholder Trust. In this case, the trustee will transfer any whole shares of our common stock you receive in the distribution to the custodian of the MetLife Policyholder Trust, which in turn will transfer shares to our transfer agent. The transfer agent will issue such shares electronically to you by way of direct registration in book-entry form under the DRS. Registration in book-entry form refers to a method of recording share ownership where no physical stock certificates are issued to shareholders, as is the case in the distribution. The transfer agent will keep a record of your shares of our common stock on our record of

 

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owners. You will be able to access information regarding your DRS account holding the Brighthouse shares at Computershare Trust Company, N.A. using the following website www.computershare.com/brighthouse or via our transfer agent’s interactive voice response system at (888)-670-4771.

If you are entitled to receive whole shares of our common stock in the distribution, promptly after the distribution date, the distribution agent will mail to you a DRS account statement. The DRS account statement will indicate the number of whole shares of our common stock that have been registered in book-entry form under the DRS in your name, and will be accompanied by a check for any cash in lieu of any fractional shares you would otherwise have been entitled to receive.

The distribution agent will distribute only whole shares of our common stock. See “— Treatment of Fractional Shares” for more information about the treatment of fractional shares you may be entitled to receive in the distribution.

If you sell any of your shares of MetLife common stock on or before the distribution date, the buyer of those shares, and not you, may in some circumstances be entitled to receive the shares of our common stock issuable in respect of the shares sold, as well as any cash in lieu of fractional shares. See “— Trading Prior to the Distribution Date” for more information.

Under the DRS, you will be able to request that the transfer agent sell your shares of our common stock; such a sale would be at your expense. If you will be receiving whole shares of our common stock in the distribution, you will receive a description of the DRS, including how such a sale may be requested and accomplished by the transfer agent, together with the DRS account statement described above.

We are not asking MetLife shareholders to take any action in connection with the distribution. No shareholder approval of the distribution is required. We are not asking you for a proxy and request that you not send us a proxy. We are also not asking you to surrender any of your shares of MetLife common stock for shares of our common stock. The number of outstanding shares of MetLife common stock will not change as a result of the distribution.

Number of Shares You Will Receive

On the distribution date, you will receive one share of our common stock for every eleven shares of MetLife common stock you owned as of the record date.

Treatment of Fractional Shares

The distribution agent will not distribute fractional shares of our common stock in connection with the distribution. Instead, the distribution agent will aggregate all fractional shares into whole shares and sell, or cause to be sold, the whole shares in the open market at prevailing market prices on behalf of MetLife shareholders who would otherwise have been entitled to receive fractional shares. The distribution agent will then distribute the aggregate cash proceeds of the sales, net of brokerage fees and other costs, pro rata to these holders (net of any required withholding for taxes applicable to each holder). We anticipate that the distribution agent will sell, or cause to be sold, these aggregated fractional shares commencing on the first trading day after the distribution date. The distribution agent is not, and any broker-dealer used by the distribution agent will not be, an affiliate of either MetLife or us.

The distribution agent will send to each registered holder of MetLife common stock entitled to fractional shares a check in the cash amount deliverable in lieu of the fractional shares to which that holder would have otherwise been entitled in the distribution promptly following the distribution date. If you hold your shares through a bank, broker or other nominee, your bank, broker or nominee will receive, on your behalf, your pro rata share of the aggregate net cash proceeds of the sales. If you are a beneficiary of the MetLife Policyholder

 

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Trust, the trustee will receive, on your behalf, cash in lieu of any fractional shares you would otherwise have been entitled to receive in the distribution; the trustee will transfer such cash to the custodian of the trust, which in turn will transfer such cash to the distribution agent, which will issue a check to you. No interest will be paid on any cash you receive in lieu of fractional shares. The cash you receive in lieu of fractional shares will generally be taxable to you. See “— Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences of the Distribution” below for more information.

Results of the Distribution

After the distribution, we will be a separate, publicly traded company. Immediately following the distribution, we expect to have approximately 122,723,993 shares of our common stock outstanding, based on the number of shares of MetLife common stock outstanding on March 31, 2017. The actual number of shares of our common stock MetLife will distribute in the distribution will depend on the actual number of shares of MetLife common stock outstanding on the record date, and will reflect any issuance of new shares or exercises of outstanding options pursuant to MetLife’s equity plans on or prior to the record date. The distribution will not affect the number of outstanding shares of MetLife common stock or any rights of MetLife shareholders, although, assuming no significant intervening events, we expect the trading price of shares of MetLife common stock immediately following the distribution to be lower than immediately prior to the distribution because MetLife’s trading price will no longer reflect the value of Brighthouse. Furthermore, until the market has fully analyzed the value of MetLife without Brighthouse, the price of shares of MetLife common stock may fluctuate.

Prior to the distribution, we intend to enter into a Master Separation Agreement and several other agreements with MetLife related to the distribution. These agreements will govern the relationship between MetLife and us up to and after completion of the distribution and allocate between MetLife and us various assets, liabilities, rights and obligations, including employee benefits, intellectual property and tax-related assets and liabilities. We describe these arrangements in greater detail under “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions.”

Listing and Trading of our Common Stock

As of the date of this information statement, we are a wholly owned subsidiary of MetLife. Accordingly, no public market for our common stock currently exists, although a “when-issued” market in our common stock may develop prior to the distribution. See “— Trading Prior to the Distribution Date” below for an explanation of a “when-issued” market. We have applied to list our shares of common stock on NASDAQ under the symbol “BHF”. Following the distribution, MetLife common stock will continue to trade on the NYSE under the symbol “MET”.

Neither we nor MetLife can assure you as to the trading price of MetLife common stock or our common stock after the distribution, or as to whether the combined trading prices of MetLife common stock and our common stock after the distribution will be less than, equal to or greater than the trading prices of MetLife common stock prior to the distribution. The trading price of our common stock may fluctuate significantly following the distribution. See “Risk Factors — Risks Relating to Our Common Stock and the Capital Markets” for more detail.

The shares of our common stock distributed to MetLife shareholders, including trust beneficiaries, will be freely transferable, unless you are considered our “affiliate” under Rule 144 under the Securities Act. Persons who can be considered our affiliates after the distribution generally include individuals or entities that directly, or indirectly through one or more intermediaries, control, are controlled by or are under common control with us, and may include certain of our officers and directors. In addition, individuals who are affiliates of MetLife on the distribution date may be deemed to be our affiliates. Our affiliates will be permitted to sell their shares of our common stock only pursuant to a registration statement that the SEC has declared effective under the

 

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Securities Act or under an exemption from registration under the Securities Act, such as the exemption afforded by Rule 144.

Trading Prior to the Distribution Date

We expect a “when-issued” market in our common stock to develop as early as two trading days prior to the record date for the distribution and continue up to and including the distribution date. When-issued trading refers to a sale or purchase made conditionally on or before the distribution date because the securities of the spun-off entity have not yet been distributed. If you own shares of MetLife common stock on the record date, you will be entitled to receive shares of our common stock in the distribution. You may trade this entitlement to receive shares of our common stock, without the shares of MetLife common stock you own, on the when-issued market. We expect when-issued trades of our common stock to settle within four trading days after the distribution date. On the first trading day following the distribution date, we expect that when-issued trading of our common stock will end and “regular-way” trading will begin.

We also anticipate that, as early as two trading days prior to the record date and continuing up to and including the distribution date, there will be two markets in MetLife common stock: a “regular-way” market and an “ex-distribution” market. Shares of MetLife common stock that trade on the regular-way market will trade with an entitlement to receive shares of our common stock in the distribution. Shares that trade on the ex-distribution market will trade without an entitlement to receive shares of our common stock in the distribution. Therefore, if you sell shares of MetLife common stock in the regular-way market up to and including the distribution date, you will be selling your right to receive shares of our common stock in the distribution. However, if you own shares of MetLife common stock on the record date and sell those shares in the ex-distribution market up to and including the distribution date, you will still receive the shares of our common stock that you would otherwise be entitled to receive in the distribution.

Following the distribution date, we expect shares of our common stock to be listed on NASDAQ under the trading symbol “BHF”. If when-issued trading occurs, the listing for our common stock is expected to be under a trading symbol different from our regular-way trading symbol. We will announce our when-issued trading symbol when and if it becomes available. If the distribution does not occur, all when-issued trading will be null and void.

Conditions to the Distribution

We expect that the distribution will be effective on the distribution date; provided that the following conditions have been satisfied or the MetLife Board, or a committee thereof, has waived the conditions. MetLife may waive, subject to applicable law, any of the following conditions, unless otherwise noted:

 

    the MetLife Board will, in its sole and absolute discretion, have authorized and approved:

 

    the restructuring (as described under “Formation of Brighthouse and the Restructuring” and “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions”);

 

    any other transfers of assets and assumptions of liabilities contemplated by the Master Separation Agreement and any related agreements; and

 

    the distribution, and will not have withdrawn that authorization and approval;

 

    the MetLife Board, or a committee thereof, will have declared the distribution of shares of our common stock to MetLife’s shareholders;

 

    the SEC will have declared the registration statement on Form 10, of which this information statement is a part, effective under the Exchange Act; no stop order suspending the effectiveness of the registration statement will be in effect; no proceedings for that purpose will be pending before or threatened by the SEC and notice of Internet availability of this information statement or this information statement will have been mailed to MetLife’s shareholders; MetLife may not waive this condition;

 

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    NASDAQ will have accepted our common stock for listing, subject to official notice of issuance;

 

    the restructuring (as described under “Formation of Brighthouse and the Restructuring” and “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions”) will have been completed;

 

    the private letter ruling from the IRS regarding certain significant issues under the Code, subject to the accuracy of and compliance with certain representations, assumptions and covenants, will remain in effect as of the distribution date;

 

    MetLife will have received an opinion from tax counsel, in form and substance satisfactory to MetLife in its sole and absolute discretion, to the effect that, subject to the accuracy of and compliance with certain representations, assumptions and covenants, the distribution will qualify for non-recognition of gain or loss to MetLife and MetLife’s shareholders pursuant to Sections 355 and 361 of the Code, except to the extent of cash received in lieu of fractional shares;

 

    no order, injunction or decree that would prevent the consummation of the distribution will be threatened, pending or issued (and still in effect) by any governmental entity of competent jurisdiction, no other legal restraint or prohibition preventing the consummation of the distribution will be in effect, and no other event outside the control of MetLife will have occurred or have failed to occur that would prevent the consummation of the distribution; MetLife may not waive this condition;

 

    no other events or developments will have occurred prior to the distribution that, in the judgment of the MetLife Board, or a committee thereof, would result in the distribution having a material adverse effect on MetLife or its shareholders; and

 

    MetLife and we will have executed and delivered the Master Separation Agreement, Registration Rights Agreement, Transition Services Agreement, certain services agreements, Intellectual Property License Agreement, Tax Receivables Agreement, Tax Separation Agreement, and all other ancillary agreements related to the distribution.

The fulfillment of the above conditions will not create any obligation on MetLife’s part to effect the distribution and MetLife may cancel the distribution even if all conditions have been satisfied. We are not aware of any material federal, foreign or state regulatory requirements with which we must comply, other than SEC rules and regulations, or any material approvals that we must obtain, other than the approval for listing of our common stock, the SEC’s declaration of the effectiveness of the registration statement, in connection with the distribution, and state insurance department approval of the separation and restructuring. MetLife has the right not to complete the distribution if, at any time, the MetLife Board determines, in its sole and absolute discretion, that the distribution is not in the best interests of MetLife or its shareholders or is otherwise not advisable.

Reasons for Furnishing this Information Statement

We are furnishing this information statement solely to provide information to MetLife’s shareholders who will receive shares of our common stock in the distribution. You should not construe this information statement as an inducement or encouragement to buy, hold or sell any of our securities or any securities of MetLife. We believe that the information contained in this information statement is accurate as of the date set forth on the cover. Changes to the information contained in this information statement may occur after that date, and neither MetLife nor we undertake any obligation to update the information except as otherwise may be required by law or in the normal course of MetLife’s and our public disclosure obligations and practices.

Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences of the Distribution

The following is a summary of the material U.S. federal income tax consequences of the distribution. This discussion is based on the Code, the Treasury Regulations promulgated under the Code and judicial and administrative interpretations of these laws, in each case as in effect and available as of the date of this information statement, all of which are subject to change at any time, possibly with retroactive effect. Any change of this nature could affect the tax consequences described below.

 

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The distribution is conditioned on the continued validity as of the date of distribution of a private letter ruling from the IRS in form and substance satisfactory to MetLife in its sole and absolute discretion, regarding certain significant issues under the Code and an opinion of MetLife’s tax counsel, which taken as a whole, provides that the distribution will qualify for non-recognition of gain or loss to MetLife and MetLife’s shareholders pursuant to Sections 355 and 361 of the Code, except to the extent of cash received in lieu of fractional shares, each subject to the accuracy of and compliance with certain representations, assumptions and covenants.

Although a private letter ruling is generally binding on the IRS, the continued validity of a ruling is subject to the accuracy of and compliance with the representations, assumptions and covenants made by MetLife and us in the ruling request. If the representations or assumptions made in the private letter ruling request are untrue or incomplete in any material respect, then MetLife will not be able to rely on this ruling.

The opinion of tax counsel will rely on the private letter ruling as to matters covered by the ruling. The opinion will assume that the distribution will be completed according to the terms of the Master Separation Agreement, Tax Separation Agreement and Tax Receivables Agreement and that the parties will report the transactions in a manner consistent with the opinion. The opinion will rely on the facts as stated in the Master Separation Agreement, the Tax Separation Agreement and ancillary agreements, this information statement and a number of other documents. In rendering the opinion, the nationally recognized accounting firm will require and rely on representations and covenants from MetLife and us to be delivered at the time of closing (and will assume that any such representation that is qualified by belief, knowledge or materiality is true, correct and complete without such qualification). If any of the representations or assumptions were untrue or incomplete in any material respect, any covenants were not complied with, or the facts on which the opinion is based were materially different from the facts at the time of the transactions, the conclusions in the opinion may not be correct. The nationally recognized accounting firm will have no obligation to advise us or our shareholders of changes in its opinion after the distribution date due to any subsequent changes in the matters stated, represented or assumed in the opinion or any subsequent changes in the applicable law. Opinions of tax counsel are not binding on the IRS. As a result, the IRS could challenge the conclusions expressed in the opinion of tax counsel, and if the IRS prevails in its challenge, the tax consequences to you could be materially less favorable than those described below.

The opinion will be based on statutory, regulatory and judicial authority existing as of the date of the opinion, any of which may be changed at any time with retroactive effect. Neither the opinion nor the ruling will address any state, local or foreign tax consequences of the distribution. The distribution may be taxable to you under state, local or foreign tax laws.

Tax consequences of the distribution for U.S. holders

This discussion is limited to holders of MetLife common stock that are U.S. holders, as defined immediately below, that hold their MetLife common stock as a capital asset. A “U.S. holder” is a beneficial owner of MetLife common stock that is, for U.S. federal income tax purposes:

 

    an individual who is a citizen or a resident of the United States;

 

    a corporation, or other entity taxable as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, created or organized under the laws of the United States or any state thereof or the District of Columbia;

 

    an estate, the income of which is subject to U.S. federal income taxation regardless of its source; or

 

    a trust, if (i) a court within the United States is able to exercise primary jurisdiction over its administration and one or more U.S. persons have the authority to control all of its substantial decisions or (ii) it was treated as a domestic trust under the law in effect before 1997 and a valid election is in place under applicable Treasury Regulations.

 

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This discussion does not address all tax considerations that may be relevant to U.S. holders in light of their particular circumstances, nor does it address the consequences to U.S. holders subject to special treatment under the U.S. federal income tax laws, including but not limited to:

 

    dealers or traders in securities or currencies;

 

    tax-exempt entities;

 

    banks, financial institutions or insurance companies;

 

    real estate investment trusts, regulated investment companies or grantor trusts;

 

    persons who acquired MetLife common stock pursuant to the exercise of employee stock options or otherwise as compensation;

 

    holders who own, or are deemed to own, at least 10% or more, by voting power or value, of MetLife equity;

 

    holders who own MetLife common stock as part of a position in a straddle or as part of a hedging, conversion or other risk reduction transaction for U.S. federal income tax purposes;

 

    former citizens or long-term residents of the United States;

 

    holders who are subject to the alternative minimum tax; and

 

    persons that own MetLife common stock through partnerships or other pass-through entities.

This discussion does not address any state, local or foreign tax consequences or any estate, gift or other non-income tax consequences.

If a partnership, or any other entity treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, holds MetLife common stock, the tax treatment of a partner in that partnership will generally depend on the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership. Such a partner or partnership should consult its own tax advisor as to its tax consequences.

THIS SUMMARY IS FOR GENERAL INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY, AND IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE, AND IT SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED TO BE, LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE TO ANY PARTICULAR SHAREHOLDER.

YOU SHOULD CONSULT YOUR OWN TAX ADVISOR WITH RESPECT TO THE U.S. FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL, AS WELL AS FOREIGN, INCOME AND OTHER TAX CONSEQUENCES OF THE DISTRIBUTION.

Assuming the continued validity of the private letter ruling and subject to qualifications and limitations described in this information statement (including the discussion below relating to the receipt of cash in lieu of fractional shares) and the opinion from tax counsel that for U.S. federal income tax purposes the consequences of the distribution will be as described below:

 

    A U.S. holder will not recognize any gain or loss, and will not include any amount in income, upon receiving our common stock in the distribution;

 

    Each U.S. holder’s aggregate basis in its MetLife common stock and our common stock received in the distribution (including any fractional shares to which the U.S. holder would be entitled) will equal the aggregate basis the U.S. holder had in the MetLife common stock immediately prior to the distribution, allocated in proportion to the fair market value of each; and

 

    Each U.S. holder’s holding period in our common stock received in the distribution will include the U.S. holder’s holding period in its MetLife common stock on which the distribution was made, provided that the MetLife common stock is owned as a capital asset on the date of the distribution.

 

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U.S. holders that have acquired different blocks of MetLife common stock at different times or at different prices should consult their tax advisors regarding the allocation of their aggregate adjusted basis among, and their holding period of, shares of our common stock distributed with respect to such blocks of MetLife common stock. Fair market value generally is the price at which a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither of whom is under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of the facts, would exchange property. U.S. federal income tax law does not specifically prescribe how U.S. holders should determine the fair market values of MetLife common stock and our common stock for purposes of allocating basis. You should consult your tax advisor to determine what measure of fair market value is appropriate.

Cash in lieu of fractional shares

If a U.S. holder receives cash in lieu of a fractional share of common stock in the distribution, the U.S. holder will be treated as though it first received a distribution of the fractional share in the distribution and then sold it for the amount of cash it actually receives. Provided the fractional share is considered to be held as a capital asset, the U.S. holder will generally recognize capital gain or loss measured by the difference between the cash received for the fractional share and the tax basis in that fractional share, determined as described above. The capital gain or loss will be a long-term capital gain or loss if the U.S. holder’s holding period for the MetLife common stock, with respect to which the U.S. holder received the fractional share, is more than one year on the distribution date.

Tax consequences for U.S. holders if the distribution fails to qualify for non-recognition treatment

If the distribution does not qualify for non-recognition treatment, each U.S. holder who receives our common stock in the distribution would generally be treated as receiving a distribution in an amount equal to the fair market value of our common stock it receives (including any fractional shares received), which would generally result in:

 

    a taxable dividend to the extent of the U.S. holder’s ratable share of MetLife’s current and accumulated earnings and profits, as increased to reflect the gain (if any) recognized by MetLife on a taxable distribution;

 

    a reduction in the U.S. holder’s basis (but not below zero) in MetLife common stock to the extent the amount received exceeds the U.S. holder’s share of MetLife’s earnings and profits; and

 

    a taxable gain from the exchange of MetLife common stock to the extent the amount it receives exceeds both the U.S. holder’s share of MetLife’s earnings and profits and the basis in the U.S. holder’s MetLife common stock.

Any amounts withheld in respect of taxes from the payments of cash in lieu of fractional shares will be taken into account in determining each U.S. holder’s tax liability if the distribution does not qualify for non-recognition treatment.

Information reporting and backup withholding

Payments of cash in lieu of a fractional share of our common stock may, under certain circumstances, be subject to “backup withholding,” unless a holder provides proof of an applicable exemption or a correct taxpayer identification number, and otherwise complies with the requirements of the backup withholding rules. Corporations and non-U.S. holders will generally be exempt from backup withholding, but may be required to provide a certification to establish their entitlement to the exemption. Backup withholding does not constitute an additional tax, but is merely an advance payment that may be refunded or credited against a holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability if the required information is supplied to the IRS.

U.S. Treasury Regulations require each U.S. holder that immediately before the distribution owned 5% or more (by vote or value) of the total outstanding stock of MetLife to attach to its U.S. federal income tax return

 

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for the year in which our common stock is received a statement setting forth certain information related to the distribution.

Tax consequences for MetLife, of the distribution

Assuming the continued validity of the private letter ruling and subject to qualifications and limitations set forth therein and in the tax opinion, tax counsel is of the opinion that, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the distribution will qualify for non-recognition of gain or loss to MetLife under Sections 355 and 361 of the Code.

Tax consequences for MetLife, if the distribution fails to qualify for non-recognition treatment

If the distribution does not qualify for non-recognition treatment, MetLife would recognize taxable gain (if any) equal to the excess of the fair market value of our common stock distributed to MetLife’s shareholders over MetLife’s tax basis in our common stock.

Tax consequences to beneficiaries of the MetLife Policyholder Trust of a distribution of our common stock from the trust

Provided that the MetLife Policyholder Trust is treated as a “grantor trust” for federal income tax purposes at the time of the distribution, a beneficiary of the MetLife Policyholder Trust will not recognize gain or loss for federal income tax purposes as a result of the distribution of shares of our common stock from the MetLife Policyholder Trust to the beneficiary. For a discussion of the tax consequences of the distribution to the MetLife Policyholder Trust, see “— Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences of the Distribution — Tax consequences of the distribution for U.S. holders.”

Indemnification obligation

Even if the distribution otherwise qualifies for non-recognition of gain or loss under Section 355 of the Code, it may be taxable to MetLife, but not MetLife’s shareholders, under Section 355(e) of the Code if 50% or more (by vote or value) of our common stock or MetLife’s common stock is acquired as part of a plan or series of related transactions that include the distribution. For this purpose, any acquisitions of MetLife’s or our common stock within two years before or after the distribution are presumed to be part of such a plan, although MetLife or we may be able to rebut that presumption based on either applicable facts and circumstances or a “safe harbor” described in the tax regulations. If such an acquisition of MetLife’s or our common stock triggers the application of Section 355(e) of the Code, MetLife would recognize a gain equal to the excess (if any) of the fair market value of our common stock it holds immediately before the completion of the distribution over MetLife’s tax basis in that stock.

Generally, taxes resulting from the failure of the distribution to qualify for non-recognition treatment for U.S. federal income tax purposes would be imposed on MetLife or MetLife’s shareholders, and MetLife would generally be obligated to indemnify us against such taxes under the Tax Separation Agreement. However, under the Tax Separation Agreement, we could be required, under certain circumstances, to indemnify MetLife and its affiliates against all tax-related liabilities caused by such a failure, to the extent those liabilities result from an action we or our affiliates take or from any breach of our or our affiliates’ representations, covenants or obligations under the Tax Separation Agreement or any other agreement we enter into in connection with the distribution. Events triggering an indemnification obligation under the agreement include events occurring after the distribution that cause MetLife to recognize a gain under Section 355(e) of the Code. See “Risk Factors —Risks Relating to the Distribution — We could have an indemnification obligation to MetLife if the distribution does not qualify for non-recognition treatment or if certain other steps that are part of the separation do not qualify for their intended tax treatment, which could materially adversely affect our financial condition” and “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions — Agreements Between Us and MetLife — Tax Agreements — Tax Separation Agreement.”

 

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FORMATION OF BRIGHTHOUSE AND THE RESTRUCTURING

Our History

Brighthouse will own, directly or indirectly, certain subsidiaries of MetLife, including Brighthouse Insurance, Brighthouse Insurance NY, NELICO, Brighthouse Advisers, an affiliated reinsurance company and other entities. Until the time of the distribution, these entities will be directly or indirectly wholly owned by MetLife, Inc., a global insurance holding company with a corporate history reaching back to 1868.

These companies (other than newly formed entities formed in connection with the separation) were part of MetLife’s former Retail segment and were the primary vehicles for issuing new individual life insurance policies and annuities. The retail life insurance policies and annuity contracts issued by MLIC, which is MetLife’s primary operating entity in the United States, will be retained by MetLife and neither MLIC nor such policies will be included in Brighthouse or be part of the restructuring transactions. The aggregate general account assets were $134.1 billion and the separate account assets were $50.1 billion for the portion of MetLife’s former Retail segment remaining with MetLife as part of its MetLife Holdings segment as of March 31, 2017, respectively.

NELICO and Brighthouse Insurance became part of MetLife through acquisitions and have undergone a number of restructuring transactions to arrive at their current state.

In 1996, MetLife acquired NELICO, an insurance company licensed to issue insurance policies in all 50 states, which had a strong presence in the higher end of the market focused on retirement savings and estate planning. Over a decade ago, MetLife expanded its distribution efforts with third-party independent distributors, selling products issued from MetLife Investors USA Insurance Company (“MLI-USA”).

On July 1, 2005, MetLife acquired The Travelers Insurance Company (“Travelers”), excluding certain assets, most significantly, Primerica, from Citigroup Inc. (“Citigroup”), and substantially all of Citigroup’s international insurance businesses, making MetLife the largest individual life insurer in North America based on sales. As part of this acquisition, MetLife acquired Travelers’ Connecticut domiciled life insurance company with a corporate history that dates back to 1863, which was subsequently renamed MetLife Insurance Company of Connecticut (“MICC”).

In November 2014, MetLife undertook several actions to effect a merger of several entities to form MetLife USA, now Brighthouse Insurance, which will be the principal operating entity of Brighthouse. These actions included the re-domestication of MICC from Connecticut to Delaware and change of its name to MetLife Insurance Company USA. MICC then merged with its subsidiary, MLI-USA, and its affiliate, MetLife Investors Insurance Company (“MLIIC”), each a U.S. insurance company that issued variable annuity products in addition to other products, and with Exeter Reassurance Company, Ltd. (“Exeter”), a former offshore, internal reinsurance subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. and affiliate of MICC that mainly reinsured guarantees associated with variable annuity products (the “mergers”). The surviving entity of the mergers was MetLife USA, now Brighthouse Insurance. Brighthouse Insurance is licensed to issue insurance policies and annuity products in 49 states. At the time of the distribution, we anticipate that Brighthouse Insurance will be our largest operating company.

Over the last four years, MetLife has implemented certain operational and structural changes with respect to its former Retail segment. These actions include, (1) the operation of our business as an integrated functional unit within MetLife with its own dedicated management team, (2) relocating our senior management team and a material portion of each of our business functions to our Charlotte, North Carolina corporate center, (3) selling MPCG, our proprietary distribution channel of approximately 3,900 advisors and 2,000 support employees, and (4) completing our transition to an independent distribution channel.

On March 6, 2017, MetLife Insurance Company USA changed its name to Brighthouse Life Insurance Company and First MetLife Investors Insurance Company changed its name to Brighthouse Life Insurance Company of NY.

 

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The chart below reflects a simplified depiction of MetLife’s current ownership of the entities that will comprise Brighthouse. MetLife, Inc. is currently the record and beneficial holder of our outstanding shares.

 

LOGO

Legend: Non-shaded entities will constitute Brighthouse.

Formation of Brighthouse

Formation and Contribution Transactions

Brighthouse Financial, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware on August 1, 2016 in preparation for MetLife’s planned separation of a substantial portion of its former Retail segment and the distribution. Brighthouse Financial, Inc. was incorporated solely for this purpose and to serve as a holding company and has not engaged in any activities or formed any subsidiaries, except in preparation for our separation from MetLife and the distribution.

In order to position Brighthouse to effectively compete as a focused product manufacturer of retail life insurance and annuity products with national distribution, MetLife will undertake several actions including an internal reorganization involving its former Retail segment and certain affiliated reinsurance companies, predominantly through equity transfers, mergers and the sale or assignment of certain assets and liabilities among applicable companies within Brighthouse and MetLife, as well as the unwinding of several intercompany reinsurance transactions. The objective of these actions is to both create the desired post-distribution structure for Brighthouse as well as reduce ongoing affiliation and interdependencies between MetLife and Brighthouse.

In order to allow Brighthouse to operate efficiently, as well as issue SEC registered insurance products through independent distribution channels, the restructuring will include the contribution of several entities by MetLife to Brighthouse prior to the distribution:

First, a new holding company, Brighthouse Intermediate Company, was created, which will ultimately be a direct subsidiary of Brighthouse Financial, Inc., with two classes of membership interests, voting common interests and non-voting preferred interests.

Second, a new services and payroll company, Brighthouse Services, LLC (“Brighthouse Services”), was created as a wholly owned subsidiary of MetLife and is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Brighthouse

 

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Intermediate Company. We intend for Brighthouse Services to manage personnel and payroll matters, as well as procurement and certain third-party contracting for Brighthouse. This approach is expected to promote efficiencies in the management of employee-related matters, legally separate personnel issues from insurance and annuity legal entities, and achieve economies of scale.

Third, Brighthouse will use its own registered broker-dealer to distribute certain existing and future variable insurance products that are regulated as securities and to provide services to investors in those products. Pursuant to approvals from FINRA and the state securities regulators, MetLife contributed the equity interests of Brighthouse Securities to Brighthouse Intermediate Company. Brighthouse Securities is registered as a broker-dealer with the SEC, approved as a member of FINRA and registered as a broker-dealer and licensed as an insurance agency in all required states. In addition, as part of the restructuring process, MetLife contributed the voting equity interests of Brighthouse Advisers, a registered investment advisor, to Brighthouse Intermediate Company to support the operations of Brighthouse, by serving as investment advisor to certain proprietary mutual funds that are underlying investments under our and MetLife’s variable insurance products.

Fourth, on December 29, 2016, the Insurance Commissioner of the State of Delaware authorized the formation under Delaware’s special purpose financial captive insurance company legislation of a new affiliated reinsurance company, BRCD. Effective April 28, 2017, the following entities that provide reserve financing to Brighthouse’s operating entities merged with and into BRCD:

 

    certain then existing affiliated reinsurance companies; and

 

    a segregated cell of an existing affiliated reinsurance company, which was converted into a subsidiary prior to the mergers. See “— Certain Affiliated Reinsurance Companies.”

The approvals of the domicile states of all three parties to this merger, South Carolina, Vermont and Delaware, were received prior to the effective date of the mergers.

Fifth, under the insurance holding company acts of the domicile states of Brighthouse Insurance, NELICO and Brighthouse Insurance NY, any person who acquires control of an insurer domiciled in the state generally needs to obtain the prior approval of the insurance commissioner. The filing submitted for this approval is usually referred to as a Form A. As a result of the distribution, Brighthouse will acquire control of Brighthouse Insurance, NELICO and Brighthouse Insurance NY, and has accordingly submitted Form A filings in Delaware, New York and Massachusetts, which filings have been approved by the insurance regulators in those jurisdictions.

In addition to contributing all of the interests in Brighthouse Services, Brighthouse Securities and Brighthouse Advisers, as part of transferring the relevant assets, liabilities and operations of MetLife’s former Retail segment to Brighthouse, on April 29, 2017, MetLife contributed the equity interests of (i) Brighthouse Insurance NY to Brighthouse Insurance, and (ii) NELICO and Brighthouse Insurance, including its subsidiaries, to Brighthouse Intermediate Company. Waivers from the requirement to obtain approval of a Form A from the insurance regulators in the domicile states of Brighthouse Insurance, NELICO and Brighthouse Insurance NY in connection with the transfer of the equity interests in these insurers to Brighthouse Intermediate Company have been obtained.

Certain Affiliated Reinsurance Companies

MetLife has formed certain affiliated reinsurance companies to manage efficiently its capital and risk exposures. These subsidiaries support various operations at MetLife, including, but not limited to, the operations that will become Brighthouse. MetLife’s existing, wholly owned affiliated reinsurance subsidiaries that, in whole or in part, support the business interests of Brighthouse Insurance and other entities and operations of Brighthouse were formed individually over a period of several years to provide reinsurance under intercompany reinsurance agreements for defined blocks of life insurance policies issued by MetLife entities. Except with

 

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respect to one segregated cell of an affiliated reinsurance company, each such affiliate reinsurance company entered into a separate financing arrangement with one or more unaffiliated financial institutions that provides statutory reserve support for such affiliated reinsurance company’s reinsurance obligations.

Brighthouse intends to continue the use of affiliated reinsurance arrangements and related reserve financing. As part of the restructuring, effective April 28, 2017, MetLife’s then existing, wholly owned affiliate reinsurance subsidiaries that supported the business interests of Brighthouse (excluding those subsidiaries and parts of such subsidiaries that support the business interests of MetLife, with such restructuring transactions as described in greater detail below), through a series of restructuring transactions (the “reinsurance subsidiary restructuring”), became a part of Brighthouse. As certain of the then existing reinsurance and related arrangements at one such subsidiary, MetLife Reinsurance Company of Vermont (“MRV”), relate to MetLife operations that will not be part of Brighthouse, certain restructuring actions were effected prior to the distribution to separate such arrangements from those related to Brighthouse. Such restructuring transactions were subject to approval from applicable regulators, all of which were obtained. Such restructuring transactions resulted in the separation of “Cell 2” of MRV, which represented assets and liabilities relating to MetLife’s former Retail segment, into a new affiliated reinsurance company (“New MRV”).

The affiliated reinsurance companies that are now part of the affiliated reinsurance company restructuring, which included New MRV, but not MRV, were merged into BRCD. We expect that a single, larger reinsurance subsidiary will provide certain benefits to Brighthouse, including (i) enhancing its ability to hedge the interest rate risk of the reinsured liabilities, (ii) allowing it to manage its investment portfolio with increased asset allocation flexibility, and (iii) improving its operating flexibility and administrative cost efficiency resulting from the consolidation of all of the intercompany reinsurance agreements that are being contributed to Brighthouse into one affiliated reinsurance company with one insurance regulator.

Simultaneously with the affiliated reinsurance company restructuring, the existing reserve financing arrangements of the affected reinsurance subsidiaries were terminated and replaced with a single financing arrangement supported by a pool of highly rated third-party reinsurers, which we anticipate will be at a lower cost than the previously existing financing arrangements. See “Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Business —We may not be able to take credit for reinsurance, our statutory life insurance reserve financings may be subject to cost increases and new financings may be subject to limited market capacity” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — Affiliated Reinsurance Companies Transactions.”

The reinsurance subsidiary restructuring resulted in the mergers of New MRV, MetLife Reinsurance Company of Delaware (“MRD”) and MetLife Reinsurance Company of South Carolina (“MRSC”) with and into BRCD. The approvals of the domicile states of all three parties to the mergers, South Carolina, Vermont and Delaware, were each received prior to the reinsurance subsidiary restructuring.

Retention by MetLife of ML China

MetLife owns a 50% non-operating investment interest in a Chinese joint venture (“ML China”), with its equity interest formerly split between Brighthouse Insurance and MLIC. In connection with the separation, Brighthouse Insurance has sold its equity interests in ML China to MLIC.

Preferred Stock Issuances

In connection with the reinsurance subsidiary restructuring, approximately $15,000,000 aggregate stated amount of the non-voting preferred stock of a predecessor company of BRCD (which such stock was converted into non-voting preferred stock of BRCD upon the merger of such predecessor company with and into BRCD) was sold to a MetLife entity (that will not be part of Brighthouse) in exchange for third-party securities equal to the fair market value of such preferred stock.

 

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On June 20, 2017, Brighthouse Intermediate Company issued $50 million aggregate liquidation preference of Series A Preferred Units to MetLife, and, on June 27, 2017, MetLife sold such Series A Preferred Units to unrelated third parties in exchange for cash. The issuance of the preferred interests will facilitate gain/loss recognition by MetLife on the disposition of the shares of Brighthouse and related restructuring transactions. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources.”

Arrangements among Brighthouse and MetLife

In contemplation of the separation from MetLife, we expect to enter into certain agreements that will govern our relationship with MetLife following the distribution. Among these arrangements will be the unwinding, amendment and/or termination of certain reinsurance arrangements between Brighthouse’s insurance company subsidiaries and MetLife in order to reflect Brighthouse’s focus on the retail life and annuity businesses and MetLife’s focus on its employee benefits business, its property and casualty business, its pension and retirement business, and its international insurance operations. Arrangements will include those transactions described below under “— Reinsurance Agreements.” Other arrangements that will govern our relationships with MetLife following the distribution include agreements governing, among other things, provisions of transitional services, responsibility for potential tax obligations and other tax matters, certain intellectual property matters, and investment management. Certain of such agreements, or provisions thereof, may not take effect upon completion of the distribution but rather at some future date based upon the equity ownership of MetLife in Brighthouse at such time. See “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions.” These arrangements will also include the assignment and transfer by MetLife and any of its relevant affiliates to us of all rights to be indemnified by Citigroup for any losses arising out of a block of long-term care policies ceded by a predecessor of Brighthouse Insurance to Genworth Life Insurance Company and Genworth Life Insurance Company of New York, each an affiliate of Genworth Financial. We will agree, in addition to MetLife, to comply with certain obligations owed to Citigroup in connection with this indemnification. See “Business — Annuity and Life Reinsurance — Long-Term Care Reinsurance and Indemnity.”

Restrictive Covenants Between MetLife and Us

We will also agree to certain provisions relating to the non-solicitation of employees between us and MetLife in the Master Separation Agreement. See “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions — Agreements Between Us and MetLife — Master Separation Agreement.”

Reinsurance Agreements

In connection with the separation, our insurance company subsidiaries have amended or terminated certain reinsurance arrangements with affiliates of MetLife in order to reflect our expected focus on the U.S. retail life insurance and annuity business (the “Separation Reinsurance Transactions”). The Separation Reinsurance Transactions include among other transactions:

 

    the termination, which occurred in the second quarter of 2017, of a number of existing reinsurance agreements pursuant to which MLIC or GALIC provided coinsurance or yearly renewable term reinsurance to Brighthouse Insurance with respect to its retail life insurance operations as well as the replacement of MLIC, with Brighthouse Insurance, as reinsurer, on similar reinsurance agreements with Brighthouse Insurance NY and NELICO;

 

    the replacement of MLIC, as reinsurer, with Brighthouse Insurance, as reinsurer, pursuant to which Brighthouse Insurance NY and NELICO ceded liabilities, including GMDB and GMLB rider obligations under certain variable annuity contracts issued by Brighthouse Insurance NY and NELICO;

 

    the termination of a reinsurance agreement pursuant to which Brighthouse Insurance assumed 100% of MLIC’s GMDB and GMLB rider obligations under certain variable annuity contracts issued by MLIC;

 

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    the assumption by one or more affiliates of MetLife, which will not be part of Brighthouse following the distribution, of certain COLI and BOLI policies previously issued by Brighthouse Insurance as part of its former Corporate Benefit Funding segment and the agreement by such affiliates to assume and by us to assign certain other such COLI and BOLI policies following the distribution if certain applicable conditions are met;

 

    the termination of reinsurance agreements pursuant to which Brighthouse Insurance provided reinsurance coverage to MLIC with respect to certain participating whole life business issued by MLIC;

 

    the termination of a reinsurance agreement pursuant to which MRV provided reinsurance coverage to Brighthouse Insurance NY with respect to certain term life business issued by Brighthouse Insurance NY; and

 

    the termination of reinsurance agreements pursuant to which MLIC provided reinsurance coverage to Brighthouse Insurance and Brighthouse Insurance NY with respect to certain single premium deferred annuity business issued by Brighthouse Insurance and Brighthouse Insurance NY.

Following the distribution, Brighthouse Insurance plans to maintain in place certain existing reinsurance agreements with affiliates of MetLife (other than Brighthouse) (the “Continuing Reinsurance Agreements”).

Prior to the separation, in connection with certain of the Continuing Reinsurance Agreements, Brighthouse Insurance and GALIC plan to enter into a reinsurance trust agreement as described in “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions — Agreements Between Us and MetLife — Collateral Agreement.”

Brighthouse

Prior to the distribution, MetLife intends to contribute to Brighthouse all of the common interests in Brighthouse Intermediate Company in exchange for (i) the assumption by Brighthouse of certain liabilities of MetLife, including, among other things, liabilities relating to the operation of Brighthouse’s business (including from periods prior to the separation) and certain liabilities related to our employees, liabilities relating to Brighthouse’s assets and outstanding contractual and non-contractual relationships with customers, vendors and others (including obligations under leases for our corporate headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina as well as certain other locations), liabilities relating to certain historical operations of MetLife, (ii) a cash distribution, (iii) Brighthouse common stock and (iv) the entry into certain other agreements among MetLife and Brighthouse. See “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Combined Financial Statements.”

In addition, prior to the completion of the distribution and immediately prior to the reinsurance subsidiary restructuring, each such existing affiliated reinsurance company relating to MetLife’s former Retail segment terminated its historical financing arrangement. Immediately following such mergers, a single financing arrangement for BRCD was established. The new financing arrangement is supported by a pool of highly-rated third-party reinsurers and was subject to the review and approval of applicable regulators. The approvals of the domicile states of all three parties to the mergers, South Carolina, Vermont and Delaware, were received prior to the reinsurance subsidiary restructuring. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources —The Company — Outstanding Debt and Collateral Financing Arrangement — Collateral Financing Arrangement.”

Prior to the completion of the distribution, MetLife will own 100% of our outstanding common stock. Upon the completion of the distribution, MetLife will beneficially own approximately and no more than 19.9% of our outstanding common stock. MetLife has informed us that after completion of the distribution it intends, subject to market conditions, to divest its remaining interest in us as soon as practicable following the distribution, but in no

 

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event later than five years after the distribution, while seeking to maximize overall value to its shareholders. This divestiture may be made through a transfer of shares of our common stock to holders of shares of MetLife common stock by means of one or more distributions by MetLife to holders of its common stock of our shares, one or more offers to holders of MetLife common stock to exchange their MetLife common stock for our shares, or any combination thereof. Alternatively, MetLife may effect a divestiture of its shares of our common stock pursuant to one or more public or private sales or other similar transactions or MetLife (or other permitted transferees) may continue to hold its interest in shares of our common stock subject to its five-year retention period limitation discussed below under “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions — Agreements Between Us and MetLife — Tax Agreements — Tax Separation Agreement.”

The chart below reflects our expected ownership structure prior to the distribution and following the restructuring.

 

 

LOGO

 

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The chart below reflects our expected ownership structure following the distribution.

 

LOGO

 

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RECAPITALIZATION

We have historically operated with a capital structure that reflected our status as a wholly owned subsidiary of MetLife and have not required direct access to the capital markets for our financing needs. To prepare for our separation from MetLife and operation as a separate, public company, we have undertaken various recapitalization initiatives to allow a more flexible and efficient capital structure similar to those of our public company peers.

In undertaking this recapitalization plan, we have focused on several goals:

 

    Eliminating intercompany financing arrangements with or guaranteed by MetLife;

 

    Maintaining adequate liquidity at the Brighthouse holding company level;

 

    Maintaining a debt-to-capital ratio of approximately 25%; and

 

    Initially funding $2.0 billion to $3.0 billion of assets in excess of CTE95 to support our variable annuity contracts, which we expect to result in a Combined RBC ratio in excess of 650%.

On December 2, 2016, we entered into the Brighthouse Credit Facilities, consisting of a $2.0 billion five-year revolving credit facility and a $3.0 billion three-year term loan agreement with a syndicate of banks. The revolving credit facility provides for borrowings (within a sublimit of $1.0 billion) or the issuance of letters of credit of up to $2.0 billion in the aggregate. The term loan agreement provides for borrowings, which may only be drawn prior to the separation, of up to $3.0 billion for general corporate purposes, including in connection with the separation. Under the term loan agreement, the net proceeds in excess of $500 million from the issuance of the 2027 Senior Notes and 2047 Senior Notes in $3.0 billion aggregate principal amount to third party investors has reduced the term loan agreement commitments by approximately $2.5 billion, resulting in a remaining availability of approximately $500 million under the term loan agreement.

With the issuance of the 2027 Senior Notes and 2047 Senior Notes, we have established the majority of our long term capital structure, and we expect this to be completed with the drawdown of approximately $500 million under the term loan agreement prior to the separation.

In order to achieve the above goals, we have taken the following steps:

 

    In connection with the reinsurance subsidiary restructuring, a foreign subsidiary of MetLife acquired preferred stock in BRCD in the aggregate stated amount of $15,000,000;

 

    Effective April 28, 2017, MetLife completed the internal reorganization relating to certain affiliated reinsurance companies, including MRSC, MRD and New MRV, which reinsured certain universal life and term life insurance policies written by Brighthouse Insurance and NELICO, and which each merged into BRCD. In connection with the mergers, each such affiliated reinsurance company terminated its historical financing arrangement and a new 20-year financing arrangement for BRCD was established. The new financing arrangement is supported by a pool of highly rated third-party reinsurers and was subject to the review and approval of applicable regulators. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — The Company — Capital — Affiliated Reinsurance Companies Transactions;”

 

    On June 22, 2017, we issued $1.5 billion aggregate principal amount of 3.700% Senior Notes due 2027 and $1.5 billion aggregate principal amount of 4.700% Senior Notes due 2047 to third-party investors;

 

    On June 16, 2017, we entered into an agreement with MetLife, Inc., the beneficial owner of surplus notes issued by Brighthouse Insurance in aggregate principal amount of $750 million, under which MetLife, Inc. forgave Brighthouse Insurance’s obligation to pay the principal amount of such surplus notes on such date; and

 

    On June 20, 2017, Brighthouse Intermediate Company issued the Series A Preferred Units to MetLife, and, on June 27, 2017, MetLife sold such units to unrelated third parties for cash in an aggregate liquidation preference of $50 million.

 

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Prior to the closing of the distribution, we intend to incur indebtedness for borrowed money (including pursuant to the Brighthouse Credit Facilities), consistent with our target debt-to-capital ratio of approximately 25%, a significant portion of the proceeds from which incurrence will be distributed to MetLife. In addition, we expect to retain a portion of the balance of the proceeds from our borrowings at the Brighthouse holding company level to provide adequate liquidity and to contribute a portion of the proceeds to Brighthouse Insurance to achieve our target assets in excess of CTE95.

See “Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Business — We will incur significant indebtedness in connection with the separation that for a period of time will not provide us with liquidity or interest-expense tax deductions and the terms of which could restrict our operations and use of funds that may result in a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.”

See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Combined Financial Statements” for an overview of the financing and other capital transactions, which have been undertaken, as well as the further steps we anticipate completing prior to, concurrently with or within a reasonable period of time following, the distribution and their effect on our combined balance sheet and statement of operations.

 

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DIVIDEND POLICY

We do not currently anticipate declaring or paying regular cash dividends on our common stock in the near term. Any future declaration and payment of dividends or other distributions of capital will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend on our financial condition, earnings, cash needs, regulatory constraints, capital requirements (including requirements of our subsidiaries) and any other factors that our Board deems relevant in making such a determination. In addition, the terms of the agreements governing the debt we have and expect to incur prior to, or debt that we may incur following, the distribution may limit or prohibit the payment of dividends. Therefore, there can be no assurance that we will pay any dividends to holders of our common stock, or as to the amount of any such dividends or other distributions of capital.

Delaware law requires that dividends be paid only out of “surplus,” which is defined as the fair market value of our net assets, minus our stated capital; or out of the current or the immediately preceding year’s earnings. We are a holding company, and we have no direct operations. All of our business operations are conducted through our subsidiaries. The states in which our insurance subsidiaries are domiciled impose certain restrictions on our insurance subsidiaries’ ability to pay dividends to us. These restrictions are based in part on the prior year’s statutory income and surplus. Such restrictions, or any future restrictions adopted by the states in which our insurance subsidiaries are domiciled, could have the effect, under certain circumstances, of significantly reducing dividends or other amounts payable to us by our subsidiaries without affirmative approval of state regulatory authorities. For more details, see “Risk Factors — Capital-Related Risks — As a holding company, Brighthouse Financial, Inc. depends on the ability of its subsidiaries to pay dividends,” “Risk Factors — Risks Relating to Our Common Stock and the Capital Markets — We do not anticipate declaring or paying regular dividends on our common stock, and our indebtedness could limit our ability to pay dividends on our common stock,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources —The Company — Capital — Restrictions on Dividends and Returns of Capital from Insurance Company Subsidiaries” and “Regulation — Insurance Regulation — Holding Company Regulation.”

 

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SELECTED HISTORICAL COMBINED FINANCIAL DATA

Selected Financial Data

The following tables set forth selected historical combined financial information for the MetLife U.S. Retail Separation Business. The statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014, and the balance sheet data as of December 31, 2016 and 2015, have been derived from the audited combined financial statements of the MetLife U.S. Retail Separation Business included elsewhere herein. The statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2013 (audited) and 2012 (unaudited), and the balance sheet data as of December 31, 2014 (audited), 2013 (unaudited) and 2012 (unaudited), have been derived from the combined financial statements of the MetLife U.S. Retail Separation Business not included herein. The selected historical combined financial information as of March 31, 2017, and for the three months ended March 31, 2017 and 2016, have been derived from the unaudited interim condensed combined financial statements of the MetLife U.S. Retail Separation Business and the related notes included elsewhere herein.

The selected combined financial data should be read together with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” (“Management’s Discussion and Analysis”) and the combined financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere herein. The following combined statements of operations and combined balance sheet data have been prepared in conformity with GAAP. The historical results presented below are not necessarily indicative of the financial results to be achieved in future periods, or what the financial results would have been had the MetLife U.S. Retail Separation Business been a separate publicly traded company during the periods presented.

 

    Three Months Ended
March 31,
    Years Ended December 31,  
    2017     2016     2016     2015     2014     2013     2012  
    (In millions)  

Statement of Operations Data

             

Total revenues

  $ 965     $ 2,389     $ 3,018     $ 8,891     $ 9,448     $ 8,788     $ 8,788  

Fees and other revenues

  $ 1,027     $ 1,016     $ 4,518     $ 4,432     $ 4,870     $ 4,871     $ 4,576  

Premiums

  $ 176     $ 393     $ 1,222     $ 1,679     $ 1,500     $ 1,018     $ 2,515  

Net investment income

  $ 782     $ 748     $ 3,207     $ 3,099     $ 3,090     $ 3,366     $ 3,370  

Net investment gains (losses)

  $ (55   $ (61   $ (78   $ 7     $ (435   $ 7     $ 203  

Net derivative gains (losses) (1)

  $ (965   $ 293     $ (5,851   $ (326   $ 423     $ (474   $ (1,876

Total expenses (2)

  $ 1,555     $ 1,825     $ 7,723     $ 7,429     $ 7,920     $ 7,424     $ 10,951  

Policyholder benefits and claims

  $ 864     $ 737     $ 3,903     $ 3,269     $ 3,334     $ 3,647     $ 4,840  

Interest credited to policyholder account balances

  $ 275     $ 290     $ 1,165     $ 1,259     $ 1,278     $ 1,376     $ 1,473  

Amortization of DAC and VOBA

  $ (148   $ 246     $ 371     $ 781     $ 1,109     $ 123     $ 802  

Other expenses

  $ 564     $ 552     $ 2,123     $ 2,120     $ 2,199     $ 2,278     $ 2,273  

Income (loss) from continuing operations, net of income tax

  $ (349   $ 407     $ (2,939   $ 1,119     $ 1,159     $ 1,031     $ (1,384

Net income (loss)

  $ (349   $ 407     $ (2,939   $ 1,119     $ 1,159     $ 1,031     $ (1,376

EPS Data

             

Income (loss) from continuing operations, net of income tax, available to common shareholders per common share:

             

Basic

    N/A       N/A       N/A       N/A       N/A       N/A       N/A  

Diluted

    N/A       N/A       N/A       N/A       N/A       N/A       N/A  

 

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     March 31,      December 31,  
     2017      2016      2015      2014      2013      2012  
     (In millions)  

Balance Sheet Data

                 

Total assets

   $ 223,188      $ 221,930      $ 226,725      $ 231,620      $ 235,200      $ 232,205  

Total investments and cash and cash equivalents

   $ 85,105      $ 85,860      $ 85,199      $ 81,141      $ 84,644      $ 96,907  

Separate account assets

   $ 115,365      $ 113,043      $ 114,447      $ 122,922      $ 124,438      $ 110,246  

Long-term financing obligations:

                 

Debt (3)

   $ 807      $ 810      $ 836      $ 928      $ 2,326      $ 3,425  

Reserve financing debt (4)

   $ 1,100      $ 1,100      $ 1,100      $ 1,100      $ 1,100      $ 750  

Collateral financing arrangement (5)

   $ 2,797      $ 2,797      $ 2,797      $ 2,797      $ 2,797      $ 2,797  

Policyholder liabilities (6)

   $ 73,617      $ 73,943      $ 71,881      $ 69,992      $ 74,751      $ 80,796  

Variable annuities liabilities:

                 

Future policy benefits

   $ 3,542      $ 3,562      $ 2,937      $ 2,346      $ 1,950      $ 1,624  

Policyholder account balances

   $ 11,132      $ 11,517      $ 7,379      $ 5,781      $ 4,358      $ 6,870  

Other policy-related balances

   $ 87      $ 89      $ 99      $ 104      $ 210      $ 1,210  

Non-variable annuities liabilities:

                 

Future policy benefits

   $ 30,080      $ 29,810      $ 28,266      $ 27,296      $ 29,711      $ 29,660  

Policyholder account balances

   $ 25,854      $ 26,009      $ 30,142      $ 31,645      $ 35,051      $ 39,173  

Other policy-related balances

   $ 2,922      $ 2,956      $ 3,058      $ 2,820      $ 3,471      $ 2,259  

Total shareholder’s net investment

   $ 15,116      $ 14,862      $ 16,839      $ 17,525      $ 15,436      $ 17,413  

Shareholder’s net investment

   $ 13,610      $ 13,597      $ 15,316      $ 14,810      $ 14,459      $ 14,581  

Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)

   $ 1,506      $ 1,265      $ 1,523      $ 2,715      $ 977      $ 2,832  

 

(1) See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Results of Operations” for a discussion of net derivative gains (losses).
(2) Total expenses for the years ended December 31, 2016 and December 31, 2012 include a goodwill impairment of $161 million and $1.6 billion, respectively.
(3) This balance includes surplus notes in aggregate principal amount of $750 million issued by Brighthouse Insurance to a financing trust. On February 10, 2017, MetLife, Inc. became the sole beneficial owner of the financing trust. In connection with the restructuring, (i) the financing trust has been terminated in accordance with its terms on March 23, 2017, (ii) MetLife, Inc. became the owner of the surplus notes, and (iii) on June 16, 2017, MetLife, Inc. forgave the obligation of Brighthouse Insurance to pay the principal under the surplus notes. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — The Company — Outstanding Debt and Collateral Financing Arrangement — Surplus Notes - Affiliated (Excluding Reserve Financing Surplus Notes - Affiliated).”
(4) Includes long-term financing of statutory reserves supporting level premium term life and ULSG policies provided by surplus notes issued to MetLife. These surplus notes were eliminated in April 2017 in connection with the restructuring of existing reserve financing arrangements. See “Formation of Brighthouse and the Restructuring — Formation of Brighthouse” and “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions” for a discussion of the new affiliated reinsurance structure and reserve financing arrangements.
(5) Supports statutory reserves relating to level premium term and ULSG policies pursuant to credit facilities entered into by MetLife, Inc. and an unaffiliated financial institution. These facilities were replaced in April 2017 in connection with the restructuring of existing reserve financing arrangements. See “Formation of Brighthouse and the Restructuring — Formation of Brighthouse” and “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions” for a discussion of the new affiliated reinsurance structure and reserve financing arrangements.
(6) Includes future policy benefits, policyholder account balances and other policy-related balances.

 

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Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

Index to Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

     Page  

Forward-Looking Statements and Other Financial Information

     104  

Background

     104  

Industry Trends and Uncertainties

     105  

Significant Operational Matters

     107  

Summary of Critical Accounting Estimates

     108  

Non-GAAP and Other Financial Disclosures

     117  

Executive Summary

     119  

Results of Operations

     126  

Effects of Inflation

     156  

Investments

     156  

Derivatives

     177  

Credit Derivatives

     179  

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

     181  

Insolvency Assessments

     182  

Policyholder Liabilities

     182  

Liquidity and Capital Resources

     185  

Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Combined Financial Statements

     205  

Adoption of New Accounting Pronouncements

     211  

Future Adoption of New Accounting Pronouncements

     211  

Subsequent Events

     211  

 

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MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations should be read in conjunction with, “Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements,” “Risk Factors,” “Selected Historical Combined Financial Data,” “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk,” “Formation of Brighthouse and the Restructuring,” “Business — Description of our Segments, Products and Operations — Variable Annuity Risk Management,” “Business — Description of our Segments, Products and Operations — Run-off — ULSG Market Risk Exposure Management” and the combined financial statements and related notes included elsewhere herein.

Forward-Looking Statements and Other Financial Information

This Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations may contain information that includes or is based upon forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements give expectations or forecasts of future events. These statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They use words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe” and other words and terms of similar meaning, or are tied to future periods, in connection with a discussion of future cash flows, operating or financial performance. In particular, these include statements relating to future actions, the separation and distribution, including the timing and expected benefits thereof, the formation of Brighthouse and the recapitalization actions, including receiving required regulatory approvals and the timing and expected benefits thereof, prospective policies or products, future performance or results of current and anticipated policies or products, sales efforts, expenses, the outcome of contingencies such as legal proceedings, trends in operations and financial results. Any or all forward-looking statements may turn out to be wrong. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. See “Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”

Background

Brighthouse Financial, Inc. is a holding company formed to ultimately own the legal entities that have historically operated a substantial portion of MetLife’s former Retail segment, as well as certain portions of its former Corporate Benefit Funding segment, which is included in our Run-off segment. Brighthouse Financial, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of MetLife and was incorporated in Delaware on August 1, 2016 in preparation for the separation.

The following Management’s Discussion and Analysis is intended to help the reader understand the combined results of operations, financial condition and cash flows of Brighthouse for the periods indicated. In addition to Brighthouse Financial, Inc., the companies and businesses included in the combined results of operations, financial condition and cash flows are:

Insurance entities:

 

    Brighthouse Life Insurance Company (“Brighthouse Insurance”), formerly MetLife Insurance Company USA (“MetLife USA”), our largest insurance operating entity, domiciled in Delaware and licensed to write business in 49 states;

 

    New England Life Insurance Company (“NELICO”), domiciled in Massachusetts and licensed to write business in all 50 states; and

 

    Brighthouse Life Insurance Company of NY (“Brighthouse Insurance NY”), formerly First MetLife Investors Insurance Company (“FMLI”), domiciled in New York and licensed to write business in New York, which is a subsidiary of Brighthouse Insurance.

 

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Reinsurance and other entities:

 

    MetLife Reinsurance Company of Delaware (“MRD”);

 

    MetLife Reinsurance Company of South Carolina (“MRSC”);

 

    A designated protected cell of MetLife Reinsurance Company of Vermont (“MRV Cell”);

 

    Brighthouse Investment Advisers, LLC (“Brighthouse Advisers”);

 

    Brighthouse Services, LLC (“Brighthouse Services”); and

 

    Brighthouse Securities, LLC (“Brighthouse Securities”).

Effective April 28, 2017, MetLife combined the assets and liabilities of the above listed affiliated reinsurance companies through a sequence of conversions, novations and/or mergers into a new Delaware reinsurance company, named Brighthouse Reinsurance Company of Delaware (“BRCD”).

Presentation

After discussing industry trends and uncertainties and significant operational matters, we present key definitions and background information that is useful to understanding the discussion of our financial results. This information precedes the Results of Operations and should be read in the sequence presented. A summary of key informational sections is as follows:

 

    “Summary of Critical Accounting Estimates” explains the most critical estimates and judgments applied in determining our GAAP results.

 

    “Non-GAAP and Other Financial Disclosures” defines key financial measures presented in the Results of Operations that are not calculated in accordance with GAAP but are used by management in evaluating company and segment performance. As described in this section, operating earnings is presented by key business activities which are derived from, but different than, the line items presented in the GAAP statement of operations. This section also refers to certain other terms used to describe our insurance businesses and financial and operating metrics, but is not intended to be exhaustive. For a detailed explanation of other terms used in this information statement not defined in this section or otherwise, refer to “Glossary.”

 

    “Executive Summary” contains the following sub-sections:

 

    “Overview” provides information regarding our reporting segments as discussed in the Results of Operations.

 

    “Dispositions” describes key businesses exited from during the periods presented.

 

    “Change in AUM” presents information on our assets under management, sales and net flows.

 

    “Certain Business Events” defines significant events that impacted either or both net income (loss) and operating earnings, as defined below, which management does not believe are indicative of performance in the respective periods. Events defined in this section are referred to in the Results of Operations discussion.

 

    “Actuarial Assumption Review” describes a change in key policyholder behavior assumptions that resulted in the second quarter of 2016 which had a significant unfavorable impact to net income (loss) in that period.

Industry Trends and Uncertainties

Throughout this Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, we discuss a number of trends and uncertainties that we believe may materially affect our future financial

 

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condition, results of operations or cash flows. Where these trends or uncertainties are specific to a particular aspect of our business, we often include such a discussion under the relevant caption of this Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, as part of our broader analysis of that area of our business. In addition, the following factors represent some of the key general trends and uncertainties that have influenced the development of our business and our historical financial performance and that we believe will continue to influence our business and results of operations in the future.

Financial and Economic Environment

Our business and results of operations are materially affected by conditions in the capital markets and the economy generally. Stressed conditions, volatility and disruptions in the capital markets, particular markets, or financial asset classes can have an adverse effect on us. The impact on capital markets and the economy generally of the priorities and policies of the Trump administration is uncertain. See “Risk Factors — Economic Environment and Capital Markets-Related Risks — If difficult conditions in the capital markets and the U.S. economy generally persist or are perceived to persist, they may materially adversely affect our business and results of operations.” Equity market performance can affect our profitability for variable annuities and other separate account products as a result of the effects it has on product demand, revenues, expenses, reserves and our risk management effectiveness. The level of long-term interest rates and the shape of the yield curve can have a negative effect on the demand for, and the profitability of, spread-based products such as fixed annuities, index-linked annuities and universal life insurance. Low interest rates and risk premium, including credit spread, affect new money rates on invested assets and the cost of product guarantees. Insurance premium growth and demand for our products is impacted by the general health of U.S. economic activity.

The above factors affect our expectations regarding future margins, which in turn, affect the amortization of certain of our intangible assets such as DAC and VOBA. Significantly lower expected margins may cause us to accelerate the amortization of DAC and VOBA, thereby reducing net income in the affected reporting period. We review our long-term assumptions about capital market returns and interest rates, along with other assumptions such as contract holder behavior, as part of our actuarial assumption review. As additional company specific and/or industry information on contract holder behavior becomes available, related assumptions may change and may potentially have a material impact on liability valuations and net income. In addition, the change in accounting estimate relating to the liability valuations that occurred in the second quarter of 2016 may result in greater income statement volatility in the future.

As reported in February 2017, the Federal Reserve indicated that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, labor market conditions will strengthen and inflation will rise to 2.0% over the medium term. On March 15, 2017, the Federal Reserve increased the Federal Funds Target Rate by 25 basis points to a target range of 0.75% to 1.0%. See “— Summary of Critical Accounting Estimates — Deferred Policy Acquisition Costs and Value of Business Acquired” and “— Executive Summary — Actuarial Assumption Review.”

Demographics

We believe that demographic trends in the U.S. population, the increase in under-insured individuals, the potential risk to governmental social safety net programs and the shifting of responsibility for retirement planning and financial security from employers and other institutions to individuals, highlight the need of individuals to plan for their long-term financial security and will create opportunities to generate significant demand for our products. Moreover, we believe that the Secure Seniors, Middle Aged Strivers and Diverse and Protected customer segments, the three customer segments we intend to target, represent a significant portion of the market opportunity. Our research indicates that these segments are open to financial guidance and, accordingly, we expect that they will be receptive to the products we intend to sell. See “Business — Our Business Strategy.”

 

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By focusing our product development and marketing efforts to meeting the needs of these customer segments we will be able to focus on offering a smaller number of products that we believe are appropriately priced given current economic conditions, which we believe will benefit our expense ratio thereby increasing our profitability.

Competitive Environment

The life insurance industry remains highly fragmented and competitive. See “Business — Our Segments” for each of our segments. In particular, we believe that financial strength and financial flexibility are highly relevant differentiators from the perspective of customers and distributors. We believe we are adequately positioned to compete in this environment.

Regulatory Developments

Our life insurance company subsidiaries are regulated primarily at the state level, with some policies and products also subject to federal regulation. Regulators on an ongoing basis refine capital requirements and introduce new reserving standards for the life insurance industry. Regulations recently adopted or currently under review can potentially impact the statutory reserve and capital requirements of the industry. For example, the NAIC is currently considering a proposal, which if adopted, could materially change the sensitivity of reserves, variable annuities and capital requirements to capital markets including interest rate, equity markets and volatility as well as prescribed assumptions for policyholder behavior. In addition, the NAIC has also been working on reforms relating to the calculation of life insurance reserves, including principle-based reserving, which became operative on January 1, 2017 in the states where it has been adopted, to be followed by a three-year phase-in period for new business. See “Regulation — Insurance Regulation — NAIC” and “Risk Factors — Regulatory and Legal Risks — NAIC — Existing and proposed insurance regulation.” In addition, regulators have undertaken market and sales practices reviews of several markets, like the April 6, 2016 DOL Fiduciary Rule on sales of certain products in ERISA plans or specific reviews of products by state regulators or the NAIC. On February 3, 2017, the Trump administration issued a memorandum directing the DOL to reexamine the Fiduciary Rule issued as part of the new regulations under ERISA and prepare an updated economic and legal analysis concerning the likely impact of the Fiduciary Rule. In response to the Trump administration’s memorandum, on April 4, 2017, the DOL released its final rule delaying the original applicable date for 60 days from April 10, 2017 to June 9, 2017. See “Regulation — Insurance Regulation” and “Risk Factors — Regulatory and Legal Risks.”

Significant Operational Matters

The following significant operational matters have impacted, and may in the future impact, our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

Impact of Hedging on Results

Given the material market risks embedded in our liabilities, we use derivative instruments to hedge these risks. We take numerous criteria, including GAAP accounting, statutory accounting, rating agency considerations, and risk neutral values, for example liabilities being valued assuming the risk free rate, into account when constructing our hedge targets for each liability. We balance these objectives with the ultimate goal of maximizing long-term value. Because Brighthouse has a different business mix and size profile than MetLife, our hedge targets will be modified to prioritize statutory and rating agency considerations, with less emphasis on mitigating GAAP accounting volatility. This could result in an increase to net income volatility as compared to a GAAP-focused hedge program due to differences in the sensitivity of statutory and GAAP liabilities to changes in capital markets. These differences are most pronounced for ULSG. See “Business — Description of our Segments, Products and Operations — Variable Annuity Risk Management” and “Business — Description of our Segments, Products and Operations — Run-off — ULSG Market Risk Exposure Management.”

 

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Effect of Assumption Updates on Operating Results

We sell various investment-type and insurance products and related riders. Most variable annuities, universal life, fixed deferred annuities and indexed annuities maintain contract holder deposits that are reported as liabilities and classified within either separate account liabilities or policyholder account balances. Other balance sheet accounts associated with our products and riders include liabilities for future policy benefits and unearned revenues and assets for DAC, VOBA and deferred sales inducements. The valuation of these assets and liabilities (other than deposits) are based on differing accounting methods depending on the product, each of which requires numerous assumptions and considerable judgment. The accounting models used in the valuation include, but are not limited to, those involving: (i) traditional life insurance products for which assumptions are locked in at inception; (ii) universal and variable life secondary guarantees for which benefit liabilities are determined by estimating the expected value of death benefits payable when the account balance is projected to be zero and recognizing those benefits ratably over the accumulation period based on total expected assessments; (iii) certain product guarantees for which benefit liabilities are accrued over the life of the contract in proportion to actual and future expected policy assessments; and (iv) certain product guarantees reported as embedded derivatives at fair value. In addition, an expectation of future losses on traditional and universal life products can require either the write-down of DAC or additional liabilities.

Our actuaries oversee the valuation of these product liabilities and assets and review underlying inputs and assumptions. We generally update the actuarial assumptions underlying these valuations on an annual basis. A change in assumptions can result in a significant change to the carrying value of product liabilities and assets and consequently, the impact could be material to earnings in the period of the change. Our historical operating results are impacted by the income effect of these assumption changes. For further details of our accounting policies and related judgments pertaining to assumption updates, see Note 1 of the notes to the combined financial statements and related sections within the “Summary of Critical Accounting Estimates.”

Change in Net Investment Spread

Net investment spread is a key component of our net income (loss). Periods of sustained low interest rates, declining interest rates, rapidly rising interest rates as well as changes in equity returns could significantly impact our net investment spread. While our asset and liability management strategies primarily focus on capital preservation, they also attempt to mitigate the effect of interest rate risk on our net investment spread. In addition, reduced interest crediting rates on in-force products that have adjustable rate provisions may mitigate the effect of low or declining interest rates; however, such actions could be limited by competitor actions or contractually guaranteed minimum rates. See “Risk Factors — Economic Environment and Capital Markets-Related Risks — Interest rate risk.” Certain business events or activities could result in changes to our invested asset base and/or investment allocations, which may impact our net investment spread. Such actions may include, but are not limited to: (i) capital and financing transactions, (ii) entering and exiting reinsurance agreements, (iii) entering and exiting derivative positions and (iv) changes in asset allocation strategies. Additionally, increases and decreases in sales, the mix of product sales, and levels of renewal premiums or additional deposits on in-force business can also affect our net investment spread.

Summary of Critical Accounting Estimates

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to adopt accounting policies and make estimates and assumptions that affect amounts reported in the combined financial statements. For a discussion of our significant accounting policies, see Note 1 of the notes to the combined financial statements. The most critical estimates include those used in determining:

 

    liabilities for future policy benefits;

 

    accounting for reinsurance;

 

    capitalization and amortization of DAC and the establishment and amortization of VOBA;

 

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    estimated fair values of investments in the absence of quoted market values;

 

    investment impairments;

 

    estimated fair values of freestanding derivatives and the recognition and estimated fair value of embedded derivatives requiring bifurcation;

 

    measurement of goodwill and related impairment;

 

    measurement of income taxes and the valuation of deferred tax assets; and

 

    liabilities for litigation and regulatory matters.

In applying our accounting policies, we make subjective and complex judgments that frequently require estimates about matters that are inherently uncertain. Many of these policies, estimates and related judgments are common in the insurance and financial services industries while others are specific to our business and operations. Actual results could differ from these estimates.

Liability for Future Policy Benefits

Generally, future policy benefits are payable over an extended period of time and related liabilities are calculated as the present value of future expected benefits to be paid, reduced by the present value of future expected premiums. Such liabilities are established based on methods and underlying assumptions that are in accordance with GAAP and applicable actuarial standards. The principal assumptions used in the establishment of liabilities for future policy benefits are mortality, morbidity, benefit utilization and withdrawals, policy lapse, policy renewal, retirement, disability incidence, disability terminations, investment returns, inflation, expenses and other contingent events as appropriate to the respective product type. These assumptions, intended to estimate the experience for the period the policy benefits are payable, are established at the time the policy is issued and locked in. Utilizing these assumptions, liabilities are established on a block of business basis. If experience is less favorable than assumed, DAC may be reduced and/or additional insurance liabilities established, resulting in a reduction in earnings.

Future policy benefit liabilities for GMDBs and GMIBs relating to certain variable annuity contracts are based on estimates of the expected value of benefits in excess of the projected account balance, recognizing the excess ratably over the accumulation period based on total expected assessments. Liabilities for universal and variable life secondary guarantees are determined by estimating the expected value of death benefits payable when the account balance is projected to be zero and recognizing those benefits ratably over the contract period based on total expected assessments. The assumptions used in estimating the excess benefits under variable annuity guarantees and the secondary guarantee liabilities under universal and variable life policies are consistent with those used for amortizing DAC, and are therefore subject to the same variability and risk. The assumptions of investment performance and volatility for variable products are consistent with historical experience of the appropriate underlying equity index, such as the S&P 500 Index.

We regularly review our assumptions supporting our estimates of actuarial liabilities for future policy benefits. For universal life and annuity product guarantees, assumptions are updated periodically, whereas for traditional life products, such as term life and non-participating whole life insurance, assumptions are established and locked in at inception but reviewed periodically to determine whether a premium deficiency exists that would trigger an unlocking of assumptions. Differences between actual experience and the assumptions used in pricing our policies and guarantees, as well as in the establishment of the related liabilities, result in variances in profit and could result in losses. In assessing loss recognition and profits followed by losses, product groupings are limited by segment. Historically, all of our universal life business was grouped together for evaluating loss recognition and profits followed by losses. In the second quarter of 2016, an actuarial model change reduced expected future gross profits for ULSG and triggered loss recognition resulting in a loss of $258 million, after tax. Subsequently, in the fourth quarter of 2016, ULSG was moved from our Life segment to our Run-off

 

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segment, triggering a change in groupings for loss recognition testing that resulted in an additional loss of $399 million, after tax. See “— Executive Summary — Certain Business Events — ULSG Re-segmentation.” For an overview of our products and balance sheet accounts impacted by actuarial assumptions, see “—Significant Operational Matters — Effect of Assumption Updates on Operating Results.”

See Note 1 of the notes to the combined financial statements for additional information on our accounting policy relating to variable annuity guarantees and liability for future policy benefits and Note 4 of the notes to the combined financial statements for future policyholder benefit liabilities.

Reinsurance

Accounting for reinsurance requires extensive use of assumptions and estimates, particularly related to the future performance of the underlying business and the potential impact of counterparty credit risk with respect to reinsurance receivables. We periodically review actual and anticipated experience compared to the aforementioned assumptions used to establish assets and liabilities relating to ceded and assumed reinsurance and evaluate the financial strength of counterparties to our reinsurance agreements using criteria similar to those evaluated in our security impairment process. See “— Investment Impairments.” Additionally, for each of our reinsurance agreements, we determine whether the agreement provides indemnification against loss or liability relating to insurance risk, in accordance with applicable accounting standards. We review all contractual features, including those that may limit the amount of insurance risk to which the reinsurer is subject or features that delay the timely reimbursement of claims. If we determine that a reinsurance agreement does not expose the reinsurer to a reasonable possibility of a significant loss from insurance risk, we record the agreement using the deposit method of accounting.

See Note 6 of the notes to the combined financial statements for additional information on our reinsurance programs.

Deferred Policy Acquisition Costs and Value of Business Acquired

We incur significant costs in connection with acquiring new and renewal insurance business. Costs that relate directly to the successful acquisition or renewal of insurance contracts are deferred as DAC. In addition to commissions, certain direct-response advertising expenses and other direct costs, deferrable costs include the portion of an employee’s total compensation and benefits related to time spent selling, underwriting or processing the issuance of new and renewal insurance business only with respect to actual policies acquired or renewed. We utilize various techniques to estimate the portion of an employee’s time spent on qualifying acquisition activities that result in actual sales, including surveys, interviews, representative time studies and other methods. These estimates include assumptions that are reviewed and updated on a periodic basis or more frequently to reflect significant changes in processes or distribution methods.

VOBA represents the excess of book value over the estimated fair value of acquired insurance, annuity and investment-type contracts in force at the acquisition date. The estimated fair value of the acquired liabilities is based on projections, by each block of business, of future policy and contract charges, premiums, mortality and morbidity, separate account performance, surrenders, operational expenses, investment returns, nonperformance risk adjustment and other factors. Actual experience on the purchased business may vary from these projections. The recovery of DAC and VOBA is dependent upon the future profitability of the related business.

Separate account rates of return on variable universal life contracts and variable deferred annuity contracts affect in-force account balances on such contracts each reporting period, which can result in significant fluctuations in amortization of DAC and VOBA, which is based on estimated gross profits. Our practice to determine the impact of gross profits resulting from returns on separate accounts assumes that long-term appreciation in equity markets is not changed by short-term market fluctuations, but is only changed when sustained interim deviations are expected. We monitor these events and only change the assumption when our

 

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long-term expectation changes. The effect of an increase (decrease) by 100 basis points in the assumed future rate of return is reasonably likely to result in a decrease (increase) in the DAC and VOBA amortization with an offset to our unearned revenue liability which nets to approximately $190 million. We use a mean reversion approach to separate account returns where the mean reversion period is five years with a long-term separate account return after the five-year reversion period is over. The current long-term rate of return assumption for the variable universal life contracts and variable deferred annuity contracts is 7.00%.

We also generally review other long-term assumptions underlying the projections of estimated gross margins and profits on an annual basis. These assumptions primarily relate to investment returns, policyholder dividend scales, interest crediting rates, mortality, persistency, benefit elections and withdrawals, and expenses to administer business. Assumptions used in the calculation of estimated gross margins and profits which may have significantly changed are updated annually. If the update of assumptions causes expected future gross margins and profits to increase, DAC and VOBA amortization will generally decrease, resulting in a current period increase to earnings. The opposite result occurs when the assumption update causes expected future gross margins and profits to decrease.

Our most significant assumption updates resulting in a change to the expected future gross margins and profits and the amortization of DAC and VOBA are due to revisions to expected future investment returns, expenses, in-force or persistency assumptions, benefit elections and withdrawals and policyholder dividends on participating life insurance policies, variable and universal life insurance policies and annuity contracts. We expect these assumptions to be the ones most reasonably likely to cause significant changes in the future. Changes in these assumptions can be offsetting and we are unable to predict their movement or offsetting impact over time.

In addition, we update the estimated gross margins or profits with actual gross margins or profits in each reporting period. When the change in estimated gross margins or profits principally relates to the difference between actual and estimates in the current period, an increase in profits will generally result in an increase in amortization and a decrease in profits will generally result in a decrease in amortization.

See Note 5 of the notes to the combined financial statements for additional information relating to DAC and VOBA amortization.

As of December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014, our DAC and VOBA was $6.3 billion, $6.4 billion, and $6.6 billion, respectively. Amortization of DAC and VOBA associated with the variable and universal life policies and the annuity contracts was significantly impacted by changes including: (i) updating assumptions that impact the future estimated gross margins and profits; and (ii) updating the estimated gross margins or profits of the most current period for actual experience including market performance. To illustrate the impact on amortization of DAC and VOBA from these two types of changes, the following highlights the significant items contributing to the amortization of DAC and VOBA during each of the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014.

DAC and VOBA amortization was approximately $380 million lower than expected in the year ended December 31, 2016, which consisted of:

 

    A reversal of previous amortization of approximately $1.4 billion related to net derivative losses driven mostly by assumption updates increasing the variable annuity guarantees accounted for as embedded derivatives and net losses from the freestanding derivatives hedging these guarantees; partially offset by

 

    An acceleration of approximately $360 million, mainly resulting from reserve adjustments from modeling improvements for universal life products;

 

    An acceleration of approximately $560 million related to loss recognition triggered by the move of ULSG into the Run-off segment; and

 

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    An increase of amortization of approximately $140 million primarily associated with the variable annuity assumption updates other than that related to the embedded derivatives described above.

DAC and VOBA amortization was approximately $70 million lower than expected in the year ended December 31, 2015, which consisted of:

 

    A reversal of previous amortization of approximately $200 million related to net derivative losses which resulted from an increase in variable annuity guarantees, partially offset by market-to-market changes from free standing derivatives hedging these guarantees; and

 

    Improvements in persistency related to both adjustments for actual experience and assumption updates which caused an increase in actual and expected future gross profits resulting in a net decrease of approximately $120 million; partially offset by

 

    An increase of approximately $140 million from a net gain for the period related to the GMIB insurance liabilities and associated hedges; and

 

    An increase associated with net investment gains of approximately $70 million.

DAC and VOBA amortization was approximately $220 million higher than expected in the year ended December 31, 2014, which consisted of:

 

    Net investment gains which resulted in an additional increase of DAC and VOBA amortization of approximately $190 million; and

 

    A net gain for the period relating to the GMIB insurance liabilities and associated hedges which resulted in an increase of DAC and VOBA amortization of approximately $140 million; partially offset by

 

    Improvements in persistency related to both adjustments for actual experience and assumption updates which caused an increase in actual and expected future gross profits resulting in a net decrease in DAC and VOBA amortization of approximately $110 million.

Our DAC and VOBA balance is also impacted by unrealized investment gains (losses) and the amount of amortization which would have been recognized if such gains and losses had been realized. The change in unrealized investment gains (losses) decreased the DAC and VOBA balance by $10 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. The decrease in unrealized investment gains (losses) increased the DAC and VOBA balance by $190 million in 2015, while the change in unrealized investment gains decreased the DAC and VOBA balance by $95 million in 2014. See Notes 5 and 7 of the notes to the combined financial statements for information regarding the DAC and VOBA offset to unrealized investment losses.

Estimated Fair Value of Investments

In determining the estimated fair value of our investments, fair values are based on unadjusted quoted prices for identical investments in active markets that are readily and regularly obtainable. When such quoted prices are not available, fair values are based on quoted prices in markets that are not active, quoted prices for similar but not identical investments, or other observable inputs. If these inputs are not available, or observable inputs are not determinable, unobservable inputs and/or adjustments to observable inputs requiring management judgment are used to determine the estimated fair value of investments.

The methodologies, assumptions and inputs utilized are described in Note 9 of the notes to the combined financial statements and Note 6 of the notes to the interim condensed combined financial statements.

Financial markets are susceptible to severe events evidenced by rapid depreciation in asset values accompanied by a reduction in asset liquidity. Our ability to sell investments, or the price ultimately realized for investments, depends upon the demand and liquidity in the market and increases the use of judgment in determining the estimated fair value of certain investments.

 

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Investment Impairments

One of the significant estimates related to AFS securities is our impairment evaluation. The assessment of whether an other-than-temporary impairment (“OTTI”) occurred is based on our case-by-case evaluation of the underlying reasons for the decline in estimated fair value on a security-by-security basis. Our review of each fixed maturity and equity security for OTTI includes an analysis of gross unrealized losses by three categories of severity and/or age of gross unrealized loss. An extended and severe unrealized loss position on a fixed maturity security may not have any impact on the ability of the issuer to service all scheduled interest and principal payments. Accordingly, such an unrealized loss position may not impact our evaluation of recoverability of all contractual cash flows or the ability to recover an amount at least equal to its amortized cost based on the present value of the expected future cash flows to be collected. In contrast, for certain equity securities, greater weight and consideration are given to a decline in estimated fair value and the likelihood such estimated fair value decline will recover.

Additionally, we consider a wide range of factors about the security issuer and use our best judgment in evaluating the cause of the decline in the estimated fair value of the security and in assessing the prospects for near-term recovery. Inherent in our evaluation of the security are assumptions and estimates about the operations of the issuer and its future earnings potential. Factors we consider in the OTTI evaluation process are described in Note 7 of the notes to the combined financial statements and Note 4 of the notes to the interim condensed combined financial statements.

The determination of the amount of allowances and impairments on the remaining invested asset classes is highly subjective and is based upon our periodic evaluation and assessment of known and inherent risks associated with the respective asset class. Such evaluations and assessments are revised as conditions change and new information becomes available.

See Notes 1 and 7 of the notes to the combined financial statements and Note 4 of the notes to the interim condensed combined financial statements for additional information relating to our determination of the amount of allowances and impairments.

Derivatives

We use freestanding derivative instruments to hedge various capital market risks in our products, including: (i) certain guarantees, some of which are reported as embedded derivatives; (ii) current or future changes in the fair value of our assets and liabilities; and (iii) current or future changes in cash flows. All derivatives, whether freestanding or embedded, are required to be carried on the balance sheet at fair value with changes reflected in either net income (loss) or in other comprehensive income, depending on the type of hedge. Below is a summary of critical accounting estimates by type of derivative.

Freestanding Derivatives

The determination of the estimated fair value of freestanding derivatives, when quoted market values are not available, is based on market standard valuation methodologies and inputs that management believes are consistent with what other market participants would use when pricing such instruments. Derivative valuations can be affected by changes in interest rates, foreign currency exchange rates, financial indices, credit spreads, default risk, nonperformance risk, volatility, liquidity and changes in estimates and assumptions used in the pricing models. See Note 8 of the notes to the combined financial statements and Note 5 of the notes to the interim condensed combined financial statements for additional details on significant inputs into the over-the-counter (“OTC”) derivative pricing models and credit risk adjustment.

Embedded Derivatives

We issue variable annuity products with guaranteed minimum benefits, some of which are embedded derivatives measured at estimated fair value separately from the host variable annuity product, with changes in

 

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estimated fair value reported in net derivative gains (losses). We also have assumed from an affiliate the risk associated with certain guaranteed minimum benefits, which are accounted for as embedded derivatives measured at estimated fair value. The estimated fair values of these embedded derivatives are determined based on the present value of projected future benefits minus the present value of projected future fees attributable to the guarantee. The projections of future benefits and future fees require capital markets and actuarial assumptions, including expectations concerning policyholder behavior. A risk neutral valuation methodology is used under which the cash flows from the guarantees are projected under multiple capital market scenarios using observable risk-free rates.

Market conditions, including, but not limited to, changes in interest rates, equity indices, market volatility and variations in actuarial assumptions, including policyholder behavior, mortality and risk margins related to non-capital market inputs, as well as changes in our nonperformance risk adjustment may result in significant fluctuations in the estimated fair value of the guarantees that could materially affect net income. Changes to actuarial assumptions, principally related to contract holder behavior such as annuitization utilization and withdrawals associated with GMIB riders, can result in a change of expected future cash outflows of a guarantee between the accrual-based model for insurance liabilities and the fair-value based model for embedded derivatives. See Note 1 of the notes to the combined financial statements for additional information relating to the determination of the accounting model. Risk margins are established to capture the non-capital market risks of the instrument which represent the additional compensation a market participant would require to assume the risks related to the uncertainties in certain actuarial assumptions. The establishment of risk margins requires the use of significant management judgment, including assumptions of the amount and cost of capital needed to cover the guarantees.

With respect to assumptions regarding policyholder behavior, we have recorded charges, and in some cases benefits, in prior years as a result of the availability of sufficient and credible data at the conclusion of each review. During the second quarter of 2016, MetLife undertook its annual review of actuarial assumptions for its U.S. retail variable annuity business in light of the availability of updated industry studies and a larger body of cumulative actual experience data than had been previously available. This data provided greater insight into contract holder behavior for GMIB riders passing the initial 10-year waiting period before benefits can be fully utilized. As a result of this review, we made changes to contract holder benefit utilization behavior and long-term economic assumptions, as well as risk margins. These assumption updates resulted in a change in our estimate of expected future cash flows and moved certain of those cash flows from the accrual-based insurance liabilities model to the fair value-based embedded derivatives model. This change in accounting estimate and the resulting charge to earnings were primarily due to an increase in the anticipated level of forced annuitizations where the non-life contingent portion is now reported as an embedded derivative. With more of the estimated future cash outflows being accounted for as embedded derivatives, the GMIB rider liabilities are more sensitive to market changes and thus may result in greater income statement volatility. In addition, in the third quarter of 2016, we performed the annual review of our actuarial assumptions for our remaining annuity and life businesses.

We ceded the risk associated with certain of the variable annuities with guaranteed minimum benefits described in the preceding paragraphs. The value of the embedded derivatives on the ceded risk is determined using a methodology consistent with that described previously for the guarantees directly written by us with the exception of the input for nonperformance risk that reflects the credit of the reinsurer. However, because certain of the reinsured guarantees do not meet the definition of an embedded derivative and, thus are not accounted for at fair value, significant fluctuations in net income may occur when the change in the fair value of the reinsurance recoverable is recorded in net income without a corresponding and offsetting change in fair value of the directly written guaranteed liability.

Nonperformance Risk Adjustment

The valuation of our embedded derivatives includes an adjustment for the risk that we fail to satisfy our obligations, which we refer to as our nonperformance risk. The nonperformance risk adjustment, which is

 

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captured as a spread over the risk-free rate in determining the discount rate to discount the cash flows of the liability, is determined by taking into consideration publicly available information relating to spreads in the secondary market for MetLife, Inc.’s debt, including related credit default swaps. These observable spreads are then adjusted, as necessary, to reflect the priority of these liabilities and the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance subsidiaries as compared to MetLife, Inc.

The table below illustrates the impact that a range of reasonably likely variances in credit spreads would have on our combined balance sheet, excluding the effect of income tax, related to the embedded derivative valuation on certain variable annuity products measured at estimated fair value. Even when credit spreads do not change, the impact of the nonperformance risk adjustment on fair value will change when the cash flows within the fair value measurement change. The table only reflects the impact of changes in credit spreads on the combined financial statements and not these other potential changes. In determining the ranges, we have considered current market conditions, as well as the market level of spreads that can reasonably be anticipated over the near term. The ranges do not reflect extreme market conditions such as those experienced during the 2008-2009 financial crisis as we do not consider those to be reasonably likely events in the near future.

 

     Balance Sheet Carrying Value at  
     December 31, 2016  
     Policyholder
Account Balances
     DAC and
VOBA
 
     (In millions)  

100% increase in MetLife, Inc.’s credit spread

   $ 1,906      $ 528  

As reported

   $ 2,191      $ 645  

50% decrease in MetLife, Inc.’s credit spread

   $ 2,346      $ 708  

After the separation, the credit spread underlying the nonperformance risk adjustment will be based on Brighthouse’s creditworthiness instead of that of MetLife. This may impact the valuation of our embedded derivatives and therefore net income (loss) in the period of the change.

See Note 8 of the notes to the combined financial statements and Note 5 of the notes to the interim condensed combined financial statements for additional information on our derivatives and hedging programs.

Goodwill

Goodwill is tested for impairment at least annually or more frequently if events or circumstances, such as adverse changes in the business climate, indicate that there may be justification for conducting an interim test.

For purposes of goodwill impairment testing, if the carrying value of a reporting unit exceeds its estimated fair value, Step 2 of the analysis is performed, where the implied fair value of the reporting unit goodwill is compared to the carrying value of that goodwill to measure the amount of impairment loss, if any. In such instances, the implied fair value of the goodwill is determined in the same manner as the amount of goodwill that would be determined in a business acquisition. The key inputs, judgments and assumptions necessary to determine the estimated fair value of the reporting unit include projected cash flows, the level of economic capital required to support the mix of business, the account value of in-force business, projections of renewed business and margins on such business, interest rates, credit spreads, equity market levels, and the discount rate that we believe is appropriate for the reporting unit.

In the third quarter of 2016, the Company performed its annual goodwill impairment test on the Run-off reporting unit, prior to the fourth quarter re-segmentation which moved ULSG into Run-off, based upon data at June 30, 2016. The Company utilized an actuarial based embedded value approach, which estimates the net worth of the reporting unit and the value of existing business. Under this actuarial based methodology the fair value of the Run-off reporting unit was less than the carrying value, indicating a potential for goodwill impairment. Because the Run-off reporting unit is a closed block, we used a higher discount rate that reflects the

 

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expected risk-adjusted returns associated with such business. The use of a higher discount rate negatively impacted the fair value of this reporting unit. As a result, the Company performed Step 2 of the goodwill impairment process. This analysis indicated that the recorded goodwill associated with this reporting unit was not recoverable. Therefore, the Company recorded a non-cash charge of $161 million ($109 million, net of income tax) for the impairment of the entire goodwill balance which is reported in goodwill impairment in the combined statements of operations for the year ended December 31, 2016.

We apply significant judgment when determining the estimated fair value of our reporting units. The valuation methodologies utilized are subject to key judgments and assumptions that are sensitive to change. Estimates of fair value are inherently uncertain and represent only management’s reasonable expectation regarding future developments. These estimates and the judgments and assumptions upon which the estimates are based will likely differ in some respects from actual future results. See Note 10 of the notes to the combined financial statements for additional information on the Company’s goodwill.

Income Taxes

We provide for federal and state income taxes currently payable, as well as those deferred due to temporary differences between the financial reporting and tax bases of assets and liabilities. Our accounting for income taxes represents our best estimate of various events and transactions. Tax laws are often complex and may be subject to differing interpretations by the taxpayer and the relevant governmental taxing authorities. In establishing a provision for income tax expense, we must make judgments and interpretations about the application of inherently complex tax laws. We must also make estimates about when in the future certain items will affect taxable income in the various tax jurisdictions.

In establishing a liability for unrecognized tax benefits, assumptions may be made in determining whether, and to what extent, a tax position may be sustained. Once established, unrecognized tax benefits are adjusted when there is more information available or when events occur requiring a change.

Valuation allowances are established against deferred tax assets, particularly those arising from tax credit carryforwards, when management determines, based on available information, that it is more likely than not that deferred income tax assets will not be realized. The realization of deferred tax assets related to tax credit carryforwards depends upon the existence of sufficient taxable income within the carryforward periods under the tax law in the applicable tax jurisdiction. Valuation allowances are established when management determines, based on available information, that it is more likely than not that deferred income tax assets will not be realized. Significant judgment is required in projecting future taxable income to determine whether or not valuation allowances should be established, as well as the amount of such allowances. See Note 1 of the notes to the combined financial statements for additional information relating to our determination of such valuation allowances.

We may be required to change our provision for income taxes when estimates used in determining valuation allowances on deferred tax assets significantly change, or when receipt of new information indicates the need for adjustment in valuation allowances. Additionally, future events, such as changes in tax laws, tax regulations, or interpretations of such laws or regulations, could have an impact on the provision for income tax and the effective tax rate. Any such changes could significantly affect the amounts reported in the financial statements in the year these changes occur.

See Notes 1 and 15 of the notes to the combined financial statements for additional information on our income taxes.

Litigation Contingencies

We are a party to a number of legal actions and are involved in a number of regulatory investigations. Given the inherent unpredictability of these matters, it is difficult to estimate the impact on our financial position.

 

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Liabilities are established when it is probable that a loss has been incurred and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated. On a quarterly and annual basis, we review relevant information with respect to liabilities for litigation, regulatory investigations and litigation-related contingencies to be reflected in our combined financial statements.

See Note 16 of the notes to the combined financial statements and Note 8 of the notes to the interim condensed combined financial statements for additional information regarding our assessment of litigation contingencies.

Non-GAAP and Other Financial Disclosures

In this information statement, in addition to providing net income (loss), we present certain measures of our performance that are not calculated in accordance with GAAP. We believe that these non-GAAP financial measures enhance the understanding of our performance by highlighting the results of operations and the underlying profitability drivers of our business.

The following non-GAAP financial measures, discussed elsewhere in this information statement, should not be viewed as substitutes for the most directly comparable financial measures calculated in accordance with GAAP:

 

Non-GAAP financial measures:

 

Comparable GAAP financial measures:

(i) operating earnings

  (i) net income (loss)

(ii) operating ROE

  (ii) return on equity

(iii) operating EPS

  (iii) earnings per share

See “— Results of Operations” and “Business — Description of our Segments, Products and Operations” for reconciliations of operating earnings to net income (loss). Operating ROE and Operating EPS are only presented in this information statement as future financial targets post-separation. A reconciliation of these non-GAAP measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures is not accessible on a forward-looking basis because we believe it is not possible without unreasonable efforts to provide other than a range of net investment gains and losses and net derivative gains and losses, which can fluctuate significantly within or outside the range and from period to period and may have a material impact on net income (loss).

Our definitions of the various non-GAAP and other financial measures discussed in this information statement may differ from those used by other companies. For example, as indicated below, we exclude GMIB revenues and related embedded derivatives gains (losses) as well as GMIB benefits and associated DAC and VOBA offsets from operating earnings, thereby excluding substantially all GMLB activity from operating earnings.

Operating earnings

Operating earnings is a measure used by management to evaluate performance, allocate resources and facilitate comparisons to industry results.

Operating earnings is a measure that focuses on our primary businesses principally by excluding the impact of market volatility, which could distort trends, and revenues and costs related to non-core businesses and certain entities required to be consolidated under GAAP. Also, this measure excludes results of discontinued operations and other businesses that have been or will be sold or exited by the Company and are referred to as divested businesses.

The following are excluded from total revenues in calculating operating earnings:

 

    Net investment gains (losses);

 

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    Net derivative gains (losses) except: (i) earned income on derivatives and amortization of premium on derivatives that are hedges of investments or that are used to replicate certain investments, but do not qualify for hedge accounting treatment, and (ii) earned income on derivatives and amortization of premium on derivatives that are hedges of policyholder account balances but do not qualify for hedge accounting treatment;

 

    Amortization of unearned revenue related to net investment gains (losses) and net derivative gains (losses) and certain variable annuity GMIB fees (“GMIB Fees”);

 

    Certain amounts related to securitization entities that are VIEs consolidated under GAAP; and

 

    Revenues from divested businesses.

The following are excluded from total expenses in calculating operating earnings:

 

    Amounts associated with benefits and hedging costs related to GMIBs (“GMIB Costs”);

 

    Amounts related to: (i) net investment gains (losses) and net derivative gains (losses), and (ii) GMIB Fees and GMIB Costs included in amortization of DAC and VOBA;

 

    Recognition of certain contingent assets and liabilities that could not be recognized at acquisition or adjusted for during the measurement period under GAAP business combination accounting guidance;

 

    Expenses of divested businesses;

 

    Amounts related to securitization entities that are VIEs consolidated under GAAP;

 

    Goodwill impairment;

 

    Costs related to: (i) implementation of new insurance regulatory requirements and (ii) acquisition and integration costs; and

 

    Amounts associated with periodic crediting rate adjustments based on the total return of a contractually referenced pool of assets and market value adjustments associated with surrenders or terminations of contracts (“Market Value Adjustments”).

The tax impact of the adjustments mentioned is calculated net of the U.S. or foreign statutory tax rate, which could differ from the Company’s effective tax rate.

We present operating earnings in a manner consistent with management’s view of the primary business activities that drive the profitability of our core businesses. The table below illustrates how each component of operating earnings is calculated from the GAAP statement of operations line items:

 

Component of Operating Earnings

 

How Derived from GAAP (1)(2)

(i)     Fee income

 

(i)     Universal life and investment-type policy fees (excluding (a) unearned revenue adjustments related to net investment gains (losses) and net derivative gains (losses) and (b) GMIB fees) plus Other revenues (excluding other revenues related to affiliated reinsurance) and amortization of deferred gain on reinsurance.

(ii)   Net investment spread

 

(ii)   Net investment income (excluding securitization entities income) plus investment hedge adjustments and interest received on ceded fixed annuity reinsurance deposit funds reduced by Interest credited to policyholder account balances and interest on future policy benefits.

(iii)  Insurance-related activities

 

(iii)  Premiums less Policyholder benefits and claims (excluding (a) GMIB costs, (b) pass through and market adjustments, (c) interest on future policy benefits, and (d) amortization of deferred gain on reinsurance) plus the pass through of performance of ceded separate accounts.

 

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(iv)  Amortization of DAC and VOBA

 

(iv)  Amortization of DAC and VOBA, excluding amounts related to (a) net investment gains (losses), (b) net derivative gains (losses), (c) GMIB fees, (d) GMIB costs and (e) market value adjustments

(v)    Other expenses, net of DAC capitalization

 

(v)    Other expenses reduced by capitalization of DAC and securitization entities expense.

(vi)  Provision for income tax expense (benefit)

 

(vi)  Tax impact of the above items.

 

(1) Amounts related to divested business are excluded from all components of operating earnings.
(2) Italicized items indicate GAAP statement of operations line items.

Consistent with GAAP guidance for segment reporting, operating earnings is also our GAAP measure of segment performance. Accordingly, we report operating earnings by segment in Note 2 of the notes to the combined financial statements and Note 2 of the notes to the interim condensed combined financial statements.

Operating return on equity and operating earnings per share

Operating return on equity and operating earnings per share are measures used by management to evaluate the execution of our business strategy and align such strategy with our shareholders’ interests. See “Business — Select Financial Targets” for further discussion.

Operating return on equity is defined as total annual operating earnings on a four quarter trailing basis divided by the simple average of the most recent five quarters of total stockholders’ equity, excluding AOCI.

Operating earnings per share is defined as total annual operating earnings on a four quarter trailing basis divided by the weighted average number of fully diluted shares of common stock outstanding for the period.

Other Financial Disclosures

The following additional information is relevant to an understanding of our performance results:

 

    We sometimes refer to sales activity for various products. Statistical sales information for Life sales are calculated using the LIMRA definition of sales for core direct sales, excluding company-sponsored internal exchanges, corporate-owned life insurance, bank-owned life insurance, and private placement variable universal life insurance. Annuity sales consist of 10% of direct statutory premiums, excluding company sponsored internal exchanges. These sales statistics do not correspond to revenues under GAAP, but are used as relevant measures of business activity.

 

    Allocated equity is the portion of total shareholder’s net investment that management allocates to each of its segments and sub-segments. See “— Executive Summary — Overview.”

 

    Cash flow to shareholders refers to distributions to shareholders, as well as common stock repurchases. See “Business — Select Financial Targets.”

Executive Summary

Overview

We are a major provider of life insurance and annuity products in the United States with $223.2 billion of total assets and total shareholder’s net investment of $15.1 billion, including AOCI, as of March 31, 2017, and approximately $653 billion of life insurance face amount in-force as of December 31, 2016. Our products serve the financial security needs of our customers through approximately 2.8 million insurance policies and annuity contracts as of March 31, 2017. We offer our products solely in the United States through multiple independent distribution channels and marketing arrangements with a diverse network of distribution partners.

 

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For operating purposes, we have established three reporting segments: (i) Annuities, (ii) Life and (iii) Run-off, which consists of operations relating to products we are not actively selling and which are separately managed. In addition, we report certain of our results of operations not included in the segments in Corporate & Other. We provide an overview of our reporting segments below. See “Business — Description of our Segments, Products and Operations” and Note 2 of the notes to the combined financial statements and Note 2 of the notes to the interim condensed combined financial statements for further information on our segments and Corporate & Other.

We allocate capital to our segments based on an internal capital model developed by MetLife, which is a model that reflects the capital required to represent the measurement of the risk profile of the business. We also allocate capital to our segments to meet our long-term promises to clients, to service long-term obligations and to support our credit and insurer financial strength ratings. Segment net investment income is credited or charged based on the level of allocated equity; however, changes in allocated equity do not impact our combined net investment income or net income (loss). Management continues to evaluate our segment performance and allocate resources and may adjust related measurements in the future to better reflect segment profitability. See Note 2 of the notes to the combined financial statements and Note 2 of the notes to the interim condensed combined financial statements for a discussion of the internal capital model and segment accounting policies including the calculation of segment net investment income.

Our Annuities segment includes variable, fixed, index-linked and income annuities designed to help meet the financial security needs of individuals as they approach and enter retirement.

The table below presents the insurance liabilities as of March 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively, of these annuity products.

 

     March 31, 2017      December 31, 2016  
     General
Account
     Separate
Account
     Total      General
Account
     Separate
Account
     Total  
     (In millions)  

Variable (1)

   $ 10,860      $ 107,058      $ 117,918      $ 11,825      $ 104,784      $ 116,609  

Fixed

     13,374        —          13,374        13,523        —          13,523  

Index-linked (2)

     3,814        —          3,814        3,254        —          3,254  

Income

     4,440        78        4,518        4,450        71        4,521  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

   $ 32,488      $ 107,136      $ 139,624      $ 33,052      $ 104,855      $ 137,907  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1) Includes liabilities for both directly written and assumed guaranteed minimum benefits.
(2) Includes liabilities for accrued benefits based on equity returns.

Our Life segment includes term, whole, universal and variable life products. Beginning in the first quarter of 2017 we have focused on term life and universal life. The table below presents the insurance liabilities as of March 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively, of these life insurance products:

 

     March 31, 2017      December 31, 2016  
     General
Account
     Separate
Account
     Total      General
Account
     Separate
Account
     Total  
     (In millions)  

Term

   $ 2,354      $ —        $ 2,354      $ 2,343      $ —        $ 2,343  

Whole

     1,982        —          1,982        1,917        —          1,917  

Universal

     2,124        —          2,124        2,136        —          2,136  

Variable

     1,213        4,886        6,099        1,296        4,704        6,000  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

   $ 7,673      $ 4,886      $ 12,559      $ 7,692      $ 4,704      $ 12,396  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

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Our Life segment also includes $158 million and $162 million of liabilities as of March 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively, relating to long-term disability insurance policies, which we issued in the past.

Our Run-off segment consists of operations related to products which we are not actively selling and which are separately managed, including structured settlements, COLI policies, BOLI policies, funding agreements and ULSG. With the exception of ULSG, these legacy business lines were not part of MetLife’s former Retail segment, but were issued by certain of the legal entities that are now part of Brighthouse. Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2016, we reported our ULSG business in the Run-off segment retrospectively for all years presented. For the financial impact of this change, see “Certain Business Events — ULSG Re-segmentation.”

The table below presents the insurance liabilities as of March 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively, of our annuity contracts and life insurance policies which are reported in our Run-off segment:

 

     March 31, 2017      December 31, 2016  
     General
Account
     Separate
Account
     Total      General
Account
     Separate
Account
     Total  
     (In millions)  

Annuities

   $ 11,136      $ 16      $ 11,152      $ 11,213      $ 15      $ 11,228  

Life (1)

     13,987        3,327        17,314        13,606        3,469        17,075  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

   $ 25,123      $ 3,343      $ 28,466      $  24,819      $ 3,484      $ 28,303  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1) Includes $12.9 billion and $12.6 billion of general account liabilities associated with the ULSG business as of March 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively.

We also report certain of our results in Corporate & Other, which contains the excess capital not allocated to the segments and interest expense related to the majority of our outstanding debt, as well as expenses associated with certain legal proceedings and income tax audit issues. Corporate & Other includes the assumed reinsurance of certain living and death benefit guarantees issued in connection with variable annuity products from a former affiliated operating joint venture in Japan, as well as a reinsurance agreement to assume certain blocks of indemnity reinsurance from a MetLife affiliate. These reinsurance agreements were novated effective November 1, 2014. Corporate & Other also includes the elimination of intersegment amounts and a portion of MetLife’s U.S. insurance business sold direct to consumers.

Dispositions

See Note 3 of the notes to the combined financial statements for information regarding the Company’s disposition of MetLife Assurance Limited (“MAL”).

 

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Change in Assets Under Management

The following tables represent our assets under management by segment and Corporate & Other, which we define as our general account investments and our separate account assets as of March 31, 2017, December 31, 2016 and 2015.

 

     As of March 31, 2017  
     Annuities      Life      Run-off      Corporate
& Other
     Total  
     (In billions)  

Investments

   $ 35.3      $ 6.9      $ 33.4      $ 3.7      $ 79.3  

Separate account

     107.1        5.0        3.3        —          115.4  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total assets under management

   $ 142.4      $ 11.9      $ 36.7      $ 3.7      $ 194.7  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

     As of December 31, 2016  
     Annuities      Life      Run-off      Corporate
& Other
     Total  
     (In billions)  

Investments

   $ 38.7      $ 7.2      $ 33.1      $ 1.6      $ 80.6  

Separate account

     104.9        4.7        3.4        —          113.0  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total assets under management

   $ 143.6      $ 11.9      $ 36.5      $ 1.6      $ 193.6  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

     As of December 31, 2015  
     Annuities      Life      Run-off      Corporate
& Other
     Total  
     (In billions)  

Investments

   $ 30.0      $ 8.1      $ 37.1      $ 8.4      $ 83.6  

Separate account

     106.5        4.6        3.3        —          114.4  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total assets under management

   $ 136.5      $ 12.7      $ 40.4      $ 8.4      $ 198.0  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Sales. We will seek to be a financially disciplined product manufacturer that emphasizes independent distribution with enhanced support and collaboration with key distributors. We intend to be more disciplined in our risk selection, to be innovative in our product design, and to seek new business that diversifies our product mix. Beginning in 2013, we began to shift our new annuity business towards products with diversifying market and contract holder behavioral risk attributes and improved risk-adjusted cash returns. Consistent with our strategy of emphasizing the value of the new business we write over sales volume, we expect our total face amount of life insurance policies to decline, but for the total book to be relatively more profitable over time. As such, sales decreased from 2013 to 2014, but recovered in 2015 primarily from increased demand for Shield Level Selector and the introduction of new variable annuity guarantee products and from the introduction of more competitive traditional and universal life products. While our index-linked annuities, latest generation withdrawal guarantee product and new universal life product all experienced strong sales in 2016, overall sales decreased compared to 2015 as a suspension of sales by Fidelity materially impacted sales of our annuity products and the sale of MPCG to MassMutual resulted in sales declines of our life products. These 2016 events continued to have an unfavorable impact on our sales for the three months ended March 31, 2017 as compared to the three months ended March 31, 2016. Sales in the current period, when compared to the prior period, were also unfavorably impacted by the discontinuance of certain products in accordance with changes in our product strategies. Despite continued strong sales of Shield Level Selector, the discontinuance of our GMIB products in 2016 resulted in lower sales in our Annuities segment while the discontinuance in the current period of new sales of whole life and certain term life products contributed to the decline in sales in our Life segment.

Net flows. A decrease in separate account net flows in our Annuities segment negatively impacted fee revenues in 2016, 2015 and 2014. However, favorable equity market performance more than offset the continued

 

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negative net flows resulting in an increase in fee income in the current period. Increased general account net flows, primarily driven by our Life segment, contributed to an improvement in our net investment spread in 2016 and 2015. General account net flows remained positive in the current period.

Certain Business Events

The following tables show the effect on our net income (loss) and operating earnings of the items described in the following discussion, which we do not believe are indicative of performance in the period. There may be other items not included in the tables that caused significant changes in net income (loss) and operating earnings for the periods presented, including the action taken in 2016 to increase our reserves on our variable annuity contracts, see “— Actuarial Assumption Review,” and derivative losses on our economic hedges of certain liabilities in the second half of 2016. For additional discussions of these actions and their impacts on net income (loss) and operating earnings, see “— Results of Operations.” Amounts presented in the following tables and the discussion of items presented are net of income tax.

 

     Three Months Ended
March 31,
     Years Ended December 31,  
         2017             2016              2016             2015              2014      
     (In millions)  

Net Income (Loss):

            

Novated GMxB

   $   —       $   —        $ —       $   —        $ 260  

Disposition of MAL

   $   —       $   —        $ —       $ —        $ (299

ULSG Recapture

   $   —       $   —        $ —       $ —        $ 38  

ULSG Model Change

   $   —       $   —        $ (429   $ —        $ —    

ULSG Re-segmentation

   $   —       $   —        $ (399   $ —        $ —    

SPDA Recaptures

   $   —       $   —        $ 269     $ —        $ —    

2017 VA Recaptures

   $ (180   $   —        $   —       $   —        $   —    

 

     Three Months Ended
March 31,
     Years Ended December 31,  
         2017             2016              2016             2015              2014      
     (In millions)  

Operating Earnings:

            

Novated GMxB

   $   —       $   —        $ —       $   —        $ 86  

Disposition of MAL

   $   —       $   —        $ —       $ —        $   —    

ULSG Recapture

   $   —       $   —        $ —       $ —        $ 38  

ULSG Model Change

   $   —       $   —        $ (429   $ —        $ —    

ULSG Re-segmentation

   $   —       $   —        $ (399   $ —        $ —    

SPDA Recaptures

   $   —       $   —        $ 269     $ —        $ —    

2017 VA Recaptures

   $ (8   $   —        $   —       $   —        $   —    

Novated GMxB. In November 2014, we exited, through a novation to a MetLife affiliate, an agreement reinsuring GMLB and GMDB liabilities, collectively referred to as GMxBs, originally assumed from our former operating joint venture in Japan and an indemnity reinsurance agreement with another MetLife affiliate (the “Novated GMxB”). As a result of the novation, there was no activity related to the Novated GMxB for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, decreasing net income (loss) by $260 million and decreasing operating earnings by $86 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, compared to 2014. See “— Results of Operations — Combined Results for the Years Ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014.”

 

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The table below presents the components of operating earnings and net income (loss) resulting from the Novated GMxB for the year ended December 31, 2014. For the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, the Novated GMxB had no impact to operating earnings and net income (loss).

 

     Years Ended December 31,  
         2016              2015              2014      
     (In millions)  

Fee income

   $ —        $ —        $ 146  

Net investment spread

     —          —          10  

Insurance-related activities

     —          —          (24

Other expenses, net of DAC

     —          —          —    
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Operating earnings before provision of income tax

     —          —          132  

Provision for income tax expense (benefit)

     —          —          46  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Operating earnings

     —          —          86  

Operating earnings adjustments:

        

Net investment gains (losses)

     —          —          72  

Net derivative gains (losses)

     —          —          198  

Provision for income tax (expense) benefit on operating earnings adjustments

     —          —          (96
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net income (loss)

   $ —        $ —        $ 260  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Disposition of MAL. In May 2014, we completed the sale of our wholly owned subsidiary, MAL, which was previously part of MetLife’s former Corporate Benefit Funding segment, for $702 million in net cash consideration. As a result of the sale, a loss of $358 million was recorded for the year ended December 31, 2014, which included a reduction to goodwill of $35 million. The loss was reflected in net investment gains (losses) on the combined statements of operations. As a result of this loss, 2015 net income (loss) increased compared to 2014. This increase was partially offset by decreases of $52 million and $7 million due to net derivative gains (losses) and the results of operations related to MAL, respectively, recorded in 2014 but not included in 2015. As a divested business, the operations of MAL were included in net income (loss) but excluded from operating earnings. See “— Results of Operations — Combined Results for the Years Ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014.”

ULSG Recapture. In October 2014, a MetLife affiliate recaptured a block of ULSG which we had assumed on a 75% coinsurance with funds withheld basis (the “ULSG Recapture”). This transaction resulted in a one-time benefit of $58 million for the year ended December 31, 2014 from a gain recorded upon the recapture. This gain was partially offset by $20 million from the effect the recapture had on expected future gross profits resulting in changes to the amortization of unearned revenue and DAC. As a result, the ULSG Recapture decreased both net income (loss) and operating earnings by $38 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, compared to 2014. The ULSG Recapture had no impact to net income (loss) and operating earnings for the year ended December 31, 2016. See “— Results of Operations — Segments and Corporate & Other Results for the Years Ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014.”

ULSG Model Change. In the second quarter of 2016, we refined our actuarial model which calculates the reserves for our ULSG products (the “ULSG Model Change”). The new model treats projected premiums and death claims differently than the previous model. This change resulted in a one-time charge to net income (loss) and operating earnings of $429 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. Of this one-time charge, $171 million resulted directly from the model refinements, as follows:

 

    a $150 million increase in insurance-related liabilities;

 

    a $16 million decrease in amortization of unearned revenue; and

 

    a $5 million increase in DAC amortization.

 

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The above impacts from the model change also resulted in a reduction of expected future gross profits, which drove our loss recognition margins negative, resulting in a further DAC write-off of $237 million and an increase in insurance-related liabilities of $21 million. As a further result of the lower expected future gross profits, we expect to recognize ongoing future increases in the insurance-related liabilities, for which $86 million, in addition to the one-time charges, was recognized in the third and fourth quarters of 2016. The ongoing future increases are expected to range between $40 million and $45 million each quarter and gradually decline over time. See “—Results of Operations — Combined Results for the Years Ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 — Operating.”

ULSG Re-segmentation. In the fourth quarter of 2016, we moved the ULSG products out of the Life segment and into the Run-off segment (“ULSG Re-segmentation”). The move was triggered by the decision in late 2016 to cease sales of all ULSG products in early 2017 and to manage this business separately from the rest of the Life business. In accordance with our accounting policies, the move to a different segment required us to separately evaluate and test the ULSG products for loss recognition without being able to offset losses with future earnings from the variable and universal life products remaining in the Life segment. This re-segmentation driven loss recognition resulted in a decrease in both net income (loss) and operating earnings of $399 million, of which $365 million was from the write-off of DAC and $34 million was from an increase in insurance-related liabilities. See “— Results of Operations — Segments and Corporate & Other Results for the Years Ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014.”

SPDA Recaptures. During the year ended December 31, 2016, in contemplation of the separation, we recaptured certain blocks of single-premium deferred annuities ceded to a MetLife affiliate on a 90% coinsurance basis (the “SPDA Recaptures”). The SPDA Recaptures resulted in an increase in both net income (loss) and operating earnings of $269 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. This increase resulted from higher fee income of $197 million from favorable settlements recorded upon recapture and a recovery of DAC amortization of $72 million. These SPDA Recaptures were primarily settled with market-adjusted assets-in-kind, which increased the invested asset base but also resulted in lower yields as compared to the yield used in determining the interest income recognized on the reinsurance receivable balances. Together these changes are expected to have additional impacts on our net investment spread. See “— Results of Operations — Segments and Corporate & Other Results for the Years Ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014.”

2017 VA Recaptures. Effective January 1, 2017, certain ceded and assumed variable annuity reinsurance agreements with MLIC were recaptured (“2017 VA Recaptures”). The initial settlement of these transactions, which is subject to a final settlement adjustment expected to occur in the second quarter of 2017, resulted in a charge in the current period which decreased net income (loss) by $180 million. Of this amount, $172 million was included in GMLB Riders, recognized in net derivative gains (losses). The remaining $8 million was included in operating earnings, recognized in other expenses, net of DAC capitalization, partially offset by lower amortization of DAC and VOBA.

Actuarial Assumption Review

As a result of the 2016 second quarter actuarial assumption review related to our variable annuity business, we made certain changes to policyholder behavior and long-term economic assumptions, primarily relating to annuitization utilization as well as withdrawals and risk margins. The 2016 review included an analysis of a larger body of actual experience than was previously available which, when combined with recently available and relevant industry-wide data, we believe provided greater insight into anticipated policyholder behavior for variable annuity contracts that are in the money. This experience included a statistically significant amount of our GMIB policies passing the ten year waiting period required to allow contract holders to use certain benefits and a longer period of experience in a low interest rate environment. The annual review of actuarial assumptions related to our other businesses was performed in the third quarter of 2016. Accordingly, there were no actuarial assumption reviews that affected operating earnings or net income (loss) in either the first quarter of 2017 or 2016.

 

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The following table shows the impact on operating earnings and net income (loss) during the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015, and 2014 from the actuarial assumption reviews. The impact related to GMLBs is included in net income (loss), but not included in operating earnings. See “— Non-GAAP and Other Financial Disclosures.”

 

     Years Ended December 31,  
         2016              2015              2014      
     (In millions)  

GMLBs

   $ (1,526    $ (61    $ 20  

Included in operating earnings:

        

Other annuity business

     (130      (27      (22

Life business

     1        3        8  

Run-off

     —          (27      1  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total included in operating earnings

     (129      (51      (13
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total impact on net income (loss)

   $ (1,655    $ (112    $ 7  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Results of Operations

Index to Results of Operations

 

     Page  

Combined Results for the Years Ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014

     126  

Combined Results for the Years Ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 — Operating

     132  

Segments and Corporate & Other Results for the Years Ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014

     134  

GMLB Riders for the Years Ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014

     143  

Combined Results for the Three Months Ended March 31, 2017 and 2016

     146  

Combined Results for the Three Months Ended March 31, 2017 and 2016 — Operating

     149