MetLife Foundation and ‘The Financial Inclusion Challenge’ Seek Best Solutions for Financial Access Across Asia

Second Year of Sponsorship Continues Foundation’s Focus on 2 People
Billion Excluded from Financial Mainstream

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MetLife Foundation announced today its exclusive sponsorship of the
second year of The Financial Inclusion Challenge. The Challenge,
sponsored by MetLife Foundation and managed by The Wall Street Journal,
is a competition encouraging nonprofit and for-profit organizations to
showcase programs that provide innovative, sustainable solutions for
individuals and families struggling to be part of the financial
mainstream. Winners will be recognized at an awards dinner in Hong Kong
later this year.

In addition to The
Financial Inclusion Challenge
, The Wall Street Journal has launched
the second phase of Financing the Future, an editorial initiative
which provides news and insights about the world’s 2 billion people who
are largely excluded from banking, lending, insurance, credit, investing
and other basic financial services.

“At MetLife, one of our core beliefs is that people should have access
to the financial tools they need to live a prosperous life,” said Chris
Townsend, president of MetLife Asia, and a MetLife Foundation Board
Member. “This belief has inspired MetLife Foundation’s focus on
financial inclusion, which has a significant and far-reaching impact in
our growing region.”

In addition to The Challenge, MetLife Foundation in collaboration with
WSJ. Custom Studios, will host for a second year a thought leadership
website called Multipliers
of Prosperity
. This rich, multi-media content hub brings life to the
issue of financial inclusion through video, infographics, and original

Multipliers of Prosperity has resulted in engaging thought leaders,
practitioners and policy makers on the opportunities and challenges
facing the financially excluded. In particular, the editorial series, Financing
the Future
, has resulted in increased engagement on the topic with
influencers like Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation, Tory Burch
Foundation, FINCA and others.

“Highlighting what financial stability can do to propel people out of
poverty is an important story for our newsroom and a crucial factor in
the development of nations across Asia,” said Paul Beckett, Asia Editor
of The Wall Street Journal. “We look forward to bringing our reporting
expertise to illustrate these issues over the next six months.”

In 2016, Financing the Future will focus on three new areas –
women and microfinance; digitizing payments and the intersection of
venture capital and financial inclusion. New features on Multipliers of
Prosperity will include a video series, photo galleries, an interactive
map and original content by an award-winning journalist.

“We believe this project with The Wall Street Journal and WSJ. Custom
Studios has helped us point the spotlight on what’s working, what needs
attention, and solutions to help more people achieve their full
financial potential,” said Dennis White, president and chief executive
officer of MetLife Foundation.

Some significant achievements from the 2015 initiative include
recognizing three winners of The Financial Inclusion Challenge –
Shanghai F-road Commercial Services, Telenor Pakistan and Kiva –
organizations working to provide financial solutions focused on mobile
banking and microfinance for the underserved and unbanked. Production of
a new editorial series by The Wall Street Journal in Asia, Financing
the Future,
which resulted in 35,572 social shares and engagement
with influencers whose tweets reached more than 50 million followers.
The creation of a thought leadership website which helped raise
awareness on the topic of financial inclusion with 108,904 page views
and 15,886 social shares and, the Silver Midas Award for ‘A Dispatch
from India,’ a short film highlighting the work of Ujjivan, a
microfinance institution and partner of MetLife Foundation in India.

In 2013, MetLife Foundation committed $200 million over five years
toward advancing financial inclusion around the world. To date, it has
committed more than $103 million toward that goal, with more than $30
million invested in programs advancing financial inclusion in Asia. The
Foundation’s strategy, which includes sourcing diverse, high-impact
portfolio of partners and developing signature programs, aims to have
significant impact in communities around the world.

About MetLife Foundation

MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long
tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since
its founding through the end of 2014, MetLife Foundation has provided
more than $700 million in grants and $70 million in program-related
investments to organizations addressing issues that have a positive
impact in their communities. Today, the Foundation is dedicated to
advancing financial inclusion, committing $200 million to help build a
secure future for individuals and communities around the world. For more
information, please visit


Nandika Madgavkar, 908-340-5707
Short, +852 62913260