AIG’s chief executive said the company is putting behind its troubles of the past 14 months over regulatory and accounting issues and is looking forward to continued growth, celebrating the news with a 10 percent jump in its dividend payment.
“Since I addressed you in August 2005, we have achieved a great deal during a period that, unquestionably, has been the most challenging in AIG’s history,” said Martin J. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer of New York-based American International Group.
The company has resolved accounting and regulatory issues and developed open and transparent relationships, he said. AIG, he continued, has absorbed the catastrophes from last year, at a cost of $2.1 billion in after-tax losses, but still has managed to post more than $10 billion in net income and revenue of $109 billion. These are substantial increases over last year, he noted during a shareholders meeting held today.
Mr. Sullivan said the company is looking to grow further with the help of overseas investments and business opportunities in Asia.
Recognizing its performance, Mr. Sullivan announced the company would increase its dividend by 10 percent.
The company said it would pay a common stock of 16.5 cents per share, up from 15 cents a share. The dividend will be paid on Sept. 15 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 1.
“We are an organization that has always led our way into new countries, new markers, and new ways of doing business,” Mr. Sullivan said in conclusion. “We will continue to be leaders and there is no limit to what we can accomplish in the years ahead.”
Briefly mentioned during the meeting, and keeping in line with that leadership role, AIG recently posted on its Web site its policies and programs on environmental and climate change.
The four-page posting recognizes that climate change is an ongoing phenomenon and is likely the result of human activity. The company also recognizes business opportunities through incorporation of climate changes into its insurance underwriting process, exploration of investment strategies, and participation in the trading of green house gas emission mitigation within the European Union.
The company’s consulting services will become involved in actively marketing to clients programs that identify energy efficiency improvements “that translate directly into carbon reductions.”
AIG has established an office of Environment and Climate Change headed by Alice LeBlance, an economist and expert on climate change.