In his new role, Collis' primary responsibility will be the Citibank business for the region.
"My role is to make sure we get the most out of Citibank," he said.
"It's a huge challenge with the multi-regulators, diverse cultures and, for me, the big opportunity is blending the Australian experiences with these marketplaces."
He said his assignment was to broaden and strengthen the relationship with Citibank.
"Citibank is one of the top focuses for MetLife globally," he said.
MetLife Inc paid US$11.5 billion for Citigroup's insurance business and with that purchase price also got the long-term distribution agreement for up to 10 years.
In appointing Collis to the new role, MetLife chief executive Neil Mason said "it's a recognition of Richard's capabilities in relationship management and business development".
Mason also said it was a tremendous vote of confidence in the Australian team.
Collis' replacement in Australia has not yet been announced and an active search is underway. Collis will remain based in Australia.
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