March 07, 2005

MetLife (New York; $327 billion in assets) announced last month an agreement for the purchase of Travelers Life and Annuity Co. and Citi International Holdings from Citigroup (New York; $1.26 trillion in assets) for $11.5 billion, subject to closing adjustments, as well as a 10-year distribution agreement.

MetLife will use Citigroup's existing exclusive distribution arrangements for the first five years, followed by a more open architecture environment for the second portion, according to Citigroup.

According to chairman and chief executive officer Robert H. Benmosche, MetLife will benefit from its new technology infrastructure in distributing MetLife products through Citibank branches, Smith Barney and Primerica.