Filed Under:Markets, Commercial Lines

Hancock expects AIG execs to stay with company; says they've 'been through a lot together'

Incoming American International Group CEO Peter Hancock indicated yesterday as he took the helm that he is confident longtime AIG executives will decide to remain with the company.

Jay Gelb, a managing director and property and casualty analyst for Barclays Capital, asked Hancock if he’s “received commitment from other leadership of AIG to remain at the company?”

“As far as the commitment of the senior leadership of the company, I think we’ve all been through a lot together over the last five years,” Hancock said. He added, “I’m very hopeful that everybody who went through the challenges over the last five years looks forward to the next five years with as much enthusiasm as I do."

The question was asked against the background of the AIG board’s decision to appoint Hancock instead of Jay Wintrob as CEO. Hancock and Wintrob were the finalists for the CEO job to replace Benmosche, the AIG board acknowledged some time ago.

Wintrob has been with AIG’s life unit since 2001. He headed SunAmerica, which was acquired at that time by AIG.

But, he has headed AIG’s life business as CEO and president of AIG Life & Retirement at American International Group, Inc. since 2009, at a time when the company was controlled by the U.S. government.

And, as noted by retiring CEO Robert Benmosche during the AIG conference call today, “Life and Retirement continues its excellent run, as we’re becoming a stronger and stronger competitor in that space.”

Hancock joined the company in 2010 as chief risk officer at a company controlled by the government, specifically the Federal Reserve, from J.P. Morgan. He worked at J.P. Morgan for 20 years, establishing its derivatives group before becoming CFO. Hancock was promoted to the property and casualty post in 2011 after joining a year earlier to manage the credit-default swaps unit, AIG Financial Products, whose activities forced the company to seek a government bailout.

Hancock did not respond directly to the question of whether retaining control of the P&C unit directly will be “a temporary situation or perhaps permanent,” as asked by Gelb.

Gelb asked, “Given the size of AIG, it feels like that’s a pretty big load for one person to carry, running more than—essentially being CEO, plus being responsible for the largest single unit of the company?”

Hancock responded by saying that, “increasingly John Q. Doyle, [CEO of global commercial insurance], and Kevin Hogan, [CEO of CEO of global consumer insurance] have assumed the broader strategic leadership that those two very large segments deserve.”

And, Hancock said that AIG is “very focused on making the whole company more flatter in the hierarchy,” and is therefore, minimizing the layers of management between the CEO and the trenches “to improve our responsiveness to the customers and markets.”

AIG securities filings to the SEC indicate that Hancock will get a compensation package of $11.8 million a year as the insurer’s new CEO.

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