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Insurance giant MetLife, Inc. has joined the R3 partnership, a consortium of 60 of the world's largest financial institutions focused on designing and applying distributed and shared ledger-inspired technologies for global financial markets.

As one of the largest insurers in the world, MetLife will partner with R3 members to explore how blockchain technology can be leveraged in an insurance environment to streamline activities such as new investments management, business processing, policy administration, customer payments and distribution of proceeds, said a statement.

Marty Lippert, executive vice president and head of MetLife's Global Technology & Operations organisation, said: "R3's work has proven how blockchain technology can disrupt how business is done today. MetLife is proud to be the first multinational insurer and 60th member to join this prestigious group."

The R3 team of financial industry veterans, technologists and blockchain and cryptocurrency experts collaborates with consortium members on research, experimentation, design and engineering to help advance technology to meet banking requirements for identity, privacy, security, scalability, interoperability and integration with legacy systems.

Consortium members worked closely with R3 to develop Corda™, its shared ledger platform specifically designed to record, manage and synchronise financial agreements between regulated financial institutions. While leveraging the benefits of blockchain systems, Corda™ also incorporates additional complex requirements necessary in many banking scenarios.

David Rutter, CEO of R3, said: "The addition of a major insurance player such as MetLife is testament to the growing interest in distributed ledger technology amongs the non-bank financial services community. Our consortium is now one of the largest of its kind ever assembled in the financial technology space, with some of the world's largest banks and financial institutions working together to deliver cutting-edge solutions that can be applied to the benefit of all end users and their clients."

MetLife joins the global network of R3 partners united in its lab environment, the R3 Lab and Research Centre, a center of gravity for collaborative research and testing of distributed and shared-ledger inspired technologies.