MetLife, Inc. is the holding corporation for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, or MetLife for short, and its affiliates. MetLife is among the largest global providers of insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs, with 90 million customers in over 60 countries. The firm was founded on March 24, 1868.On January 6, 1915, MetLife completed the mutualization process, changing from a stock life insurance company owned by individuals to a mutual company operating without external shareholders and for the benefit of policyholders. The company went public in 2000. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia’s Pacific region, Europe, and the Middle East. MetLife serves 90 of the largest Fortune 500 companies. The company’s principal offices are located at 1095 Avenue of the Americas in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, though it retains some executive offices and its boardroom in the MetLife Building, located at 200 Park Avenue, New York City, which it sold in 2005.HistoryEarly yearsThe predecessor company to MetLife began in 1863 when a group of New York City businessmen raised $100,000 to found the National Union Life and Limb Insurance Company. The company insured Civil War sailors and soldiers against disabilities due to wartime wounds, accidents, and sickness. On March 24, 1868, it became known as Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and shifted its focus to the life insurance business.