10 Things You Didn’t Know About Metlife CEO Steven Kandarian

Most people who follow MetLife and trends in the business industry know that Steven Kandarian from his time as CEO of the giant in the insurance industry. He’s made several significant contributions to the company, but who is Steven Kandarian the person vs the high ranking executive? We thought you’d be interested in knowing more about him, so here are 10 things that you didn’t know about Steven Kandarian.

1. Kandarian showed business insight at age 12

Steven Kandarian was an unusual child who already had a good head for business. He had already started planning for his financial future and was busy making investments. Before the youngster was even a teenager, he made investments in stock. This is something that you don’t hear about every day simply because it doesn’t happen that often. While most 12 year olds are interested in sports or playing games with their friends, Steven was planning for his financial future.

2. He grew up in West Harfort, Connecticut

Kandarian is a native of Connecticut. He was born to Albert and Lillian Kandarian. The family purchased a home on Cumberland Road in 1963, when Steven was very young, and to this day his parents still live in the two story middle class home that he was raised in as a youth.

3. He took after his father, starting as a boy

Steven showed an intense interest in numbers and math from the time he was very young, according to his mother Lilian. She explained that this happened, in part, because his father had been an employee of the Internal Revenue Service Office for a long 30 year career. It’s rather obvious that Steven has been influenced by his parents.

4. He wasn’t born into a wealthy family

Steven’s father wasn’t a high powered executive and he wasn’t a wealthy man, but he took excellent care of his family. The Kandarians were a middle class family and Steven wasn’t privileged as a boy, or teen. He did make wise business investments and he worked his way up the ladder to become a high wage earning CEO.

5. Steven Kandarian is a lawyer

It wasn’t long after becoming the CEO of MetLife in 2011, that Steven prepared for one of the biggest legal challenges of his career. He took on a group of financial regulators which represented a significant threat to the corporation he worked for. The stringent regulations imposed rules that were bad for MetLife, and would force them to raise their prices to remain in business. He successfully challenged and legally won against their “overzealous” rules, proving his knowledge and skill in the practice of law.

6. He received high praise from the son of a Supreme Court judge

When Kandarian took on the regulatory committee, he asked for the assistance of Eugene Scalia, a lawyer skilled in challenging federal agencies. Eugene is the son of the late Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia. In an interview regarding the matter, the younger Scalia said of Kandarian, “I was impressed that he was seeing around the corner…in a legally sophisticated way.”

7. Steven Kandarian believes in telling it like he sees it.

Kandarian openly criticized the Feds. He made the suggestion that the Feds were getting their math wrong. After making this comment, he drew criticism from some analysts and investors as well, but he stood by his observation.

8. Steven attended an Ivy League college

Kandarian was admitted to the Harvard University MBA program in 1978. This was a big accomplishment, but not his only academic endeavor. he also earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and his economics degree from Clark University.

9. Steven Kandarian has known loss in his life

Steven had just one sibling, his older sister Linda Kandarian Ryan. She earned her master’s degree from the University of Hartford, pursuing her education as an elementary school teacher. Linda passed away in 2009, from cancer. Sadly, Mr. Kandarian knows what it is to have tremendous loss in his life as well as all the good that has come his way.

10. His ancestors are from Armenia

The Kandarian family immigrated to the United States in the late nineteenth century from Armenia. They fled their home country to avoid persecution from the Ottoman Empire. Lilian’s father (Steven’s grandfather) told the children they were to learn English and go to school because they would “never” return to Armenia.


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