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Director, Agricultural Strategy Group

Date Posted: Jun 26, 2019

Location: Overland Park, KS, US, 66210

Company: MetLife

Job Location:           Overland Park, Kansas


MetLife Investment Management

Based in Whippany, New Jersey, MetLife Investment Management (MIM) is one of the largest institutional investors and asset managers in the world, with over $587 billion in combined managed assets, and has consistently generated superior returns for both policyholders and shareholders. The enterprise has more than 900 dedicated professionals with extensive experience and expertise in all asset classes, with a particular strength in public and private fixed income and private assets, including real estate.


In October 2012, building upon the company’s distinct expertise and success investing in private assets for the general account, MetLife launched its third party asset management business in corporate private placements, infrastructure debt, commercial mortgage loans and direct equity investments in commercial real estate.


In addition to a strong track record and investment talent in both public and private assets, MIM’s competitive advantage lies in our deep credit underwriting fundamentals, seasoned and experienced individuals who have worked together for many years, and a disciplined risk managed approach that permeates the business. Institutional investors have access to MIM’s unique platform and capabilities, intellectual capital, and the ability to work with a financially-strong partner offering attractive long-term returns and well-managed risk.


Global Real Estate and Agricultural Investments

Global Real Estate and Agricultural Investments maintain a portfolio invested in commercial real estate and agricultural mortgages, as well as real estate equities. In addition to sourcing and active management of these investments, the groups are responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with key industry contacts and referral sources.  The mortgage portfolio and equity portfolio units are organized according to specialty, including agricultural, office, apartment, retail, industrial, and hotel properties.


The Agricultural Investments Unit collectively is charged with growing and managing an $18B mortgage portfolio across 6 primary regions, including West, Central, South, Timber, Agribusiness, and Latin America. Our customer base includes private land owners and institutional investors. Our objective is to expand our current platform and seek out new opportunities within our multi-state territory.


The Role

Reporting directly to the MD, Head of Agricultural Strategy Group (ASG), the Agricultural Strategy Group Director’s primary responsibility is to support the development and implementation of strategies designed to deliver relative and absolute value for MetLife’s agricultural real estate loan portfolio.  He or she will evaluate and approve loans as well as establish and oversee governance for the portfolio.  This leader will participate in all credit-related activities, including oversight of regional underwriting and credit administration, and act as a voting member of the ASG loan committee.  He or she will also have direct responsibility for some of the loans, including presenting proposals to senior management for further review and approval. 


Working closely with the regional office organization and other internal business units, the ASG Director will be responsible for the active management of portfolio investment strategies to meet or exceed investment performance objectives, including new loan production and investment income metrics.  He or she will collaborate and communicate with portfolio managers to manage new loan production, credit administration, and active portfolio surveillance across multiple regions.  This role will lead to talent management opportunities for the right hire.


Key Responsibilities:

  • Strategy
    • Assist the Head of ASG in defining short-term and long-term agricultural mortgage loan strategies, including new product development and portfolio construction across various geographies and property types
    • Leverage mortgage origination platform to source and screen potential new investment opportunities for investors
    • Develop and implement agricultural mortgage loan pricing, and structure new products to maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace
  • Loan approval, oversight, and governance
    • Review and approve loans
    • Partner with key stakeholders in managing financial plans and projections to maximize net investment income
    • Partner with regional origination teams to ensure consistent governance and protocols
    • Review and set policies on asset level guidelines in terms of loan structure
    • Monitor production performance against benchmarks and drive strategic agricultural loan origination, credit administration, and portfolio management decisions
  • Loan Servicing and administration
    • Review and approve loan-level credit administration
    • Oversee servicing actions and payment modifications
    • Ensure timely and accurate reporting



Key Relationships:

  • Reports to:  MD, Head of Agricultural Strategy
  • Direct reports/team:   Up to 1-2
  • Key Stakeholders:  Agricultural Finance Regional Directors, Agricultural mortgage originators, Legal, Loan Servicing, Head of RE & Ag Operations, Insurance Asset Management and MIM portfolio managers, Risk & Resolution team                  


Essential Business Experience and Technical Skills:

  • Minimum of 12+ years of agricultural finance experience including agricultural mortgage origination and credit support at both asset and portfolio levels across multiple regions and asset types
  • Broad scope of knowledge in agriculture, including agribusiness and specific crops, such as grapes, soybeans, corn, citrus, wine, timber, livestock, etc.
  • Strong strategic, analytical, and financial skills, with demonstrable proficiency in loan evaluation methodologies
  • Experience with loan servicing and modification actions, e.g. collateral restructurings, signoffs, amortizations, etc
  • Best-practice knowledge of governance and reporting requirements for institutional investors
  • Continuous process improvement mindset
  • Executive presentation & communication skills; comfortable and effective presenting business investment recommendations to senior leadership
  • Ability to prioritize to meet deadlines across an active and large portfolio
  • Strong partnership and influence leadership skills; works well across a highly matrixed, large, and geographically dispersed team
  • Strong leadership, coaching, and development skills
  • Bachelor's degree in Agriculture, Business Administration, Finance, or similar; MBA  a plus


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.


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 more than $587.7 billion in combined managed assets as of September 31, 2018. We are ranked #43 on the Fortune 500 list for 2018. In 2018, we were named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for the third year in a row. DJSI is a global index to track the leading sustainability-driven companies.


Our goal in everything we do is to offer customers truly differentiated value propositions that allow us to establish clear competitive advantages. We pride ourselves on being a trusted partner to our customers as they navigate life’s twists and turns. Visit us at to learn more about our brand, history, and values.



MetLife is a proud equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to attracting, retaining, and maximizing the performance of a diverse and inclusive workforce. It is MetLife's policy to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment based on 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.

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Nearest Major Market: Overland Park
Nearest Secondary Market: Kansas City