Share this Job

Director, Partnerships, Financial Wellness & Engagement - Upwise

Date Posted: Oct 23, 2021

Location: New York, NY, US, 10166

Company: MetLife


For over 150 years, MetLife has helped generations of customers around the world protect their property, finances, family, and future.  But for us, it's never been enough just to sell somebody an insurance policy.  We have always looked for ways to help people live better, healthier lives.  Today, as people's needs are changing faster than ever, we are working harder than ever to transform our business to meet those needs. 


One of our competitive advantages is the relationships we have with our institutional customers, based on the expertise we’ve developed over many years identifying and meeting their needs.  Our opportunity is to build on our heritage by extending that trust and long-term commitment to individual workers, creating lifelong relationships and delivering on our promise to help build a more confident future together.


This “Next Horizon” of MetLife’s enterprise strategy is rooted in customer intimacy, informed by data analytics, and enabled by digital capabilities.  Financial Wellness and Engagement (FW&E) is a new division created within the U.S. Business to bring this vision to life.  Our focus is on deepening our relationships with our customers, both through existing MetLife products and services in our Group Benefits and Retirement & Income Solutions business lines as well as through new, innovative solutions based on emergent workforce needs. 


Key to the Next Horizon strategy is building lifelong relationships with MetLife’s end customers through deep engagement.  FW&E aims to accomplish this by providing highly valuable experiences, delivered through a first of its kind, financial wellness solution, to its customers through a modern digital platform and ecosystem.  This digital solution, Upwise, will provide Employers with an opportunity to solve the engagement gap across their existing benefit offerings while providing their employees and other individuals with the tools necessary to make progress on their financials that feels good and allows them to free up dollars to put towards what matters most.


The Role:

We are seeking a Director, Partnerships within the Strategy & Planning team who will be responsible for identifying, developing, onboarding, deploying, and managing new capabilities and partnerships for the Financial Wellness & Engagement business.  Our digital product, Upwise, will be continually enhanced to provide engaging and useful new features, capabilities, and functionality to our users.  As part of our product strategy, we will partner with existing companies who offer these capabilities and integrate them within the Upwise experience.  


This role manages beginning-to-end the Partnership process, from performing external business intelligence and market scans, to building the business case and financial model, to meeting with and evaluating vendors, to contracting, to on-boarding, implementation, and on-going relationship management.  These activities require constant collaboration with the broader Upwise team, including Product, Design, Technology, and Legal to innovate, problem-solve, and execute.


The candidate must be passionate about our purpose, with the proven track record of taking initiative in order to tackle new obstacles, solve problems not previously encountered, and delve independently into new areas across business and technology.  Excellent communications and relationship building skills will be critical as this role will engage with all areas of the internal Upwise team as well as with potential and current vendors.


Key Responsibilities:

This role with support the end-to-end Partnership process, including assuming full ownership and leadership of multiple activities. 


  • Engage with Product, Design, and Technology team on the Product Roadmap, user needs, and capabilities that may require an external partnership
  • Perform market scan to build competitive intelligence in a space, including both vendors and competitors
  • Assess all aspects of a potential partnership, from strategy/user need, to technology & integration, to risk & data governance, to features & functionality, to commercial terms, both informally via vendor conversations and meetings and formally via RFPs
  • Develop and manage third party relationships
  • Build financial models to partnership terms and features
  • Partner with Procurement and Legal on contracting; serve as Business lead to assess and guide on terms & conditions, synthesize key provisions in a non-technical manner, and incorporate additional internal stakeholders when required
  • Engage with Legal, Compliance, and Risk teams to report-out on updates, answer questions, and incorporate feedback into partnership provisions
  • Oversee the MetLife vendor on-boarding process
  • Consistently maintain organized status of overall process with synthesized information at-the-ready for senior audiences
  • Support vendor integration and provide on-going relationship management: advise the Product and Design teams on capabilities, support the Implementation teams, serve as escalation path, and develop monitoring metrics
  • Participate in cross functional teams across organizational lines including Upwise Agile teams
  • Form a strong partnership with the Upwise team to optimize deployment and fit within the broader product roadmap  


Candidate Qualifications:

  • Proficiency in understanding all components of business financials and KPIs, operating models, interaction models, process, technology, people systems
  • Strong ability to assess business opportunities and to identify and distill the most salient components across and among potential partners
  • Proven ability to build, lead, and drive results within a high‐performing cross-functional project team; disciplined execution of a lean‐agile approach a plus
  • Strong Communication skills and ability to interface confidently, independently, and with appropriate discretion with all varieties of stakeholders, including vendors, senior leaders, and risk partners
  • Proficiency in research and analysis of large‐scale businesses, environmental and competitive scans
  • Strong attention to detail and ability to prioritize and keep track of many moving parts across a wide range of topics
  • Expert problem solving and engagement of cross functional teams in solutioning
  • Ability to translate & connect business priorities to market, customer, digital ecosystem
  • Strong ability to drive end to end business results.


Undergraduate degree required, MBA or other advanced degree preferred


Leadership Competencies:

  • Thinks Strategically – Sets direction aligned to the company’s strategy, applying external and global perspective to meet local and global needs.
  • Motivates People – Gains people commitment to achieve business objectives through clear communication of the company’s vision and flexing leadership styles to inspire high performance.
  • Creates Partnerships – Authentically builds trusted relationships and collaborates across global, diverse and multi-functional teams to successfully drive business objectives.
  • Seizes Opportunity – Seeks new opportunities and ways to create balanced business growth while improving operational capabilities.
  • Grows Talent – Inclusively and pro-actively develops talent, empowers individuals and manages diverse teams to drive engagement and performance.
  • Models our Values – Creates a culture that promotes the company’s values and standards through role modeling, accountability and ownership of decisions.
  • Focuses on Customers – Promotes customer centricity and ensures focus on creating great customer experiences to achieve competitive advantage.
  • Drives Results – Sets aggressive goals and is accountable for continuously driving improved performance, leading change and ensuring high standards.

Key Relationships:

  • Reports to: VP, Strategy & Planning, FW&E
  • Direct reports/team: N/A
  • Key Stakeholders: SVP, FW&E; VP, Upwise Launch & Delivery; VP, Digital Product Manager; VP, New Products & Revenue; AVP, Product Managers; AVP, Upwise Governance






MetLife, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, is one of the world’s leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management to help its individual and institutional customers navigate their changing world. Founded in 1868, MetLife has operations in more than 40 countries and holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.


We are one of the largest institutional investors in the U.S. with $642.4 billion of total assets under management as of March 31, 2021. We are ranked #46 on the Fortune 500 list for 2021. In 2020, we were named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for the fifth year in a row. DJSI is a global index to track the leading sustainability-driven companies. We are proud to have been named to Fortune magazine's 2021 list of the "World's Most Admired Companies." 


MetLife is committed to building a purpose-driven and inclusive culture that energizes our people. Our employees work every day to help build a more confident future for people around the world.



We want to make it simple for all interested and qualified candidates to apply for employment opportunities with MetLife.  For further information about how to request a reasonable accommodation, please click on the Disability Accommodations link below.



MetLife is a proud Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer dedicated to attracting, retaining, and developing a diverse and inclusive workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment at MetLife without regards to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, national origin, marital or domestic/civil partnership status, genetic information, citizenship status, uniformed service member or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.



MetLife maintains a drug-free workplace.



Requisition #: 119489


Nearest Major Market: New York City