May 15 American International Group
named Brian Duperreault as its new chief executive officer on
Monday, selecting a protege of former CEO Hank Greenberg and an
industry veteran known for his turnaround expertise.
Duperreault, age 70, is the founder and chief executive
officer of Hamilton Insurance Group Ltd in Bermuda, and is seen
as a short-to-medium term replacement for outgoing CEO Peter
Hancock, who announced plans to depart in March after the
insurer's fourth-quarter loss stunned investors and AIG's board.
He may only stay at AIG for 3 to 5 years to finish an
ongoing turnaround effort and groom a successor, several
recruiters said in interviews.
"Brian is uniquely qualified to lead AIG at this important
time," Douglas Steenland, chairman of AIG's board said in a
"He is a hands-on leader who has consistently delivered
strong bottom-line results," Steenland said.
The company's shares were up 1.7 percent at $62.01 in
premarket trading on Monday.
AIG is nearly three-quarters of the way through a turnaround
plan developed by Hancock, who intended to slim the New
York-based insurer through divestitures, improve its financial
performance and return $25 billion worth of capital to
Although AIG's poor fourth-quarter performance was a tipping
point for many investors, including billionaire activist Carl
Icahn, the company has since bounced back. Its first-quarter
operating profit beat expectations, helped by investment returns
and cost cuts.
AIG's board has also authorized an additional $2.5 billion
in share repurchases, putting the company closer to its capital
return target. Since announcing the goal, AIG has spent more
than $18 billion on stock buybacks and dividends.
Duperreault is described by many in the insurance business
as the industry's "elder statesman." After moving up the ranks
at AIG early in his career, he left in 1994 to build ACE Group
Inc from a small outfit to a global operation.
Duperreault, who took charge of Marsh & McLennan Companies
Inc in 2008, launched a successful turnaround effort at the
company, which had been struggling with reputational issues and
lost business after then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer
alleged that it had rigged bids for insurance contracts. Marsh
paid an $850 million civil penalty in 2005 to settle the claims.
However, Duperreault's appointment as AIG's head could test
whether those seen as possible internal candidates for the CEO
job will stay on board to help achieve Duperreault's goals.
The most prominent was Rob Schimek, CEO of AIG's commercial
insurance unit, who joined the company in 2005 as its chief
Industry sources describe Schimek, age 52, as capable and
accomplished, though he lacks Duperreault's turnaround
experience. During his time at AIG, he has been credited with
helping ink reinsurance pacts with Swiss Re AG and
Berkshire Hathaway Inc to offset long-term risks on
U.S. commercial insurance policies.
(Reporting by Suzanne Barlyn; Editing by Lauren Tara LaCapra
and Chris Reese)