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Director, Head of Municipal Credit Research

Date Posted: Dec 6, 2017

Location: Whippany, NJ, US, 07981

Company: MetLife

Role Value Proposition: MetLife is looking to hire a senior analyst to lead the Municipal Credit Research group. Reporting directly to the Head of Global Credit Research, this executive will be responsible for assigned sectors and credits, oversee a group of 3-5 research analysts, and be responsible for determining the direction and priorities of the group as well as making portfolio investment and trading recommendations in the sector. 

 

The Municipal Credit Team is part of the Global Credit Research team, which includes over 60 Analysts located around the world and representing ~$190 billion of MetLife’s ~$580 billion[1] AUM in combined managed assets. MetLife Investment Management (MIM) believes that specialization is important for rigorous, in-depth credit analysis. As such, Municipal Credit Analysts are focused on specific sectors and possess in-depth knowledge of the municipal market. The Municipal investment team follows a disciplined approach to credit research and portfolio construction. Prior to making investment decisions, the Analyst provides a fundamental, bottom-up credit opinion. The Portfolio Manager evaluates the strategic fit for each security based on established investment guidelines, including factors such as credit quality, yield, issuer concentration, and industry weighting, as well as a relative value assessment. In addition, MIM overlays its bottom-up credit approach with a top-down macro view of key economic, market, and industry trends, as well as cross-sector comparisons. Ideas are generated at any and every stage of the process, and by any member of the team. Our strategy in municipals is to identify issuers with strong business profiles, improving credit fundamentals, and attractive valuations. We invest in publicly-traded, U.S. Dollar-denominated taxable and tax-exempt bonds issued by U.S. municipal entities, including  state and local governments, as well as revenue-generating enterprises that provide public services such as toll roads, airports, universities, public utilities, and hospitals. For the General Account, we generally invest in credits with a long term view, and with the expectation that the credit profile of the issuer will withstand both external shocks and dips in the business cycle.

 

In addition to managing General Account assets, MIM also has a growing business managing third party client funds.  In September 2017, MetLife, Inc. acquired Logan Circle Partners (LCP), a traditional institutional fixed income asset manager. Culturally, LCP shares MIM’s strong focus on in-depth fundamental research, investment performance, client service and risk management. The product offerings and client base that LCP brings to the MIM platform are complementary to MIM’s existing products and clients. Both firms believe there is significant opportunity to cross-sell and further develop the combined capabilities in each other’s primary markets, including Municipals.

 

MetLife’s municipal bond portfolio has grown to about $15 billion in actively managed assets, with ~75% invested in taxable municipals, making MIM the second largest investor in this asset class. 

 

Key Responsibilities:

  • Manage municipal research team including proactive thought leadership and excellent communication with key stakeholders
  • Monitor and evaluate market, sector and issuer-specific developments
  • Analyze primary and secondary investment opportunities in assigned sectors and perform active surveillance of portfolio holdings
  • Communicate credit views and ideas to PM and trader(s), including positioning of the portfolio at the sector and issuer level
  • Contribute to the timely analysis of investment opportunities, including the development of purchase/sale recommendations and relative value ideas within the Unit by keeping abreast of all aspects of the municipal market, including new developments, issuance, and structures
  • Make buy/sell investment recommendations based on credit views and relative value analysis, including written credit memos for new purchases and annual reviews
  • Present credit analyses to management credit committee
  • Partner as needed with Distribution & Marketing to serve as a subject matter expert and client resource

 

Essential Business Experience and Technical Skills:

  • 15+ years relevant municipal credit analysis experience in support of actively managed taxable and tax-exempt portfolios, ideally within a global asset manager
  • In-depth knowledge of a specific municipal sector: state and local general obligation and/or healthcare, preferred
  • Effective motivational leadership skills and ability to flex to meet diverse team needs
  • Ability to work effectively with others at all levels of the organization
  • Proficiency in Open Bloomberg, Excel, Word
  • Solid quantitative and analytical skills
  • Strong organization skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • MBA, CFA or equivalent

 

Leadership Competencies:

  • 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.
  • 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: SVP Credit Research
  • Direct reports/team: 3 research analysts
  • Key Stakeholders:  Portfolio Managers, Traders, Research peers and Senior Global Credit Management

 

About MetLife:

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 $500 billion in managed assets as of December 31, 2016.  We are ranked #42 on the Fortune 500 list for 2017. In 2017, we were named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for the second year in a row. DJSI is a global index to track the leading sustainability-driven companies.

                                                                                                                                             

While we have tremendous respect for the past, we are a company firmly focused on the future. To adapt to a changing world, we are undergoing one of the most dramatic transformations in our history to reinvent how we do business so we can thrive in any environment. We are moving away from a traditional product-development model to one driven by customer insights. We are challenging historical norms by humanizing our industry and designing every customer experience to reflect the modern company we’re becoming. 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.

 

At the center of our business strategy is a commitment to One MetLife – collaborating, sharing best practices, and recruiting, developing and retaining the best talent in the industry. We live by our values:  Put Customers First, Be the Best, Make Things Easier, and Succeed Together. They guide how we operate every day. 

 

[1] As of 9/30/2017. Includes all assets managed by MIM.

 

 

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: New Jersey