Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The unpublished history of AIG.

In 1962 the founder of AIG gave control of the company's US holdings to Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg. Greenberg then changed the focus of AIG from personal insurance to "high-margin corporate coverage" and, in 1987, he appointed Henry Kissinger as chairman of AIG’s International Advisory Board.

Maurice Greenberg's history is a very interesting one to follow. After all, he is a past Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York - an organisation that loaned money to AIG at AIG's request to prevent the company's collapse this month and on terms that were acceptable to the AIG board.

In 2005 AIG's board forced Greenberg to resign from his post as Chairman and CEO under following criticism from Eliot Spitzer, attorney general of New York State. Spitzer alleged fraudulent business practice, securities fraud, common law fraud, and other violations of insurance and securities laws. The charges were dropped later and civil action followed. The year before two AIG executives pleaded guilty to criminal charges in connection with their "illegal course of conduct" relating to 'payoff agreements' with (at least) one other corporation for steering clients to AIG and for soliciting rigged bids for insurance contracts.

Other current positions of AIG's most influential man:
- As current Chairman of the Starr Foundation Greenberg "oversees the disbursement of major financial support to academic, medical, cultural, and public policy institutions."
- He is Honorary Vice Chairman and Director of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission.
- Current Chairman and Trustee of 3 institutions founded by the Rockefeller family.
- A former Chairman and current member of the US–Korea Business Council, a member of the US–China Business Council, and the Business Council.

In the past he has served on the Board of Directors of the New York Stock Exchange, the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, and the Business Roundtable. (Former US President Reagan offered him a job as as Deputy Director of the CIA, which he declined.) in the years of 1998-2005 Greenberg was a member of Hong Kong Chief Executive's Council of International Advisers .

From Wikipedia today.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_R._Greenberg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_International_Group

3 comments:

Brenda Rosser said...

UPDATE to 24th June 2008. The then latest saga in AIG’s three-year battle to regain control of a block of its shares held by Starr International Co, the company controlled by AIG's former chief executive, Maurice "Hank" Greenberg. US District Judge Barbara Jones in New York dismissed AIG claims that Starr was in breach of contract or of an AIG compensation plan, and that it unfairly held the stock. The ruling allows claims that SICO breached its fiduciary duty and was unauthorized in its assumption of the shares to proceed to trial. The $20 billion block of AIG shares, which makes Greenberg his former company’s largest stockholder, had been used mainly to compensate AIG executives. [Greenberg is also chairman of CV Starr, another company once affiliated with AIG and holding a large block of AIG shares.]

Judge Dismisses Some AIG Claims Against Starr International; Others Can Move to Trial
http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/1710350/

Blissex said...

As Brenda Rosser writes, AIG under Greenberg was a much murkier company than you write.

For example as hinted the compensation structure was apparently dominated by generous stock options/grants paid to executives not by AIG itself but by Starr International, which was owned by Greenberg.

So in a sense the CEO was in effect paying on the side AIG's executives. Conflicted or what?

http://money.cnn.com/2008/05/01/news/companies/AIGs_divorce.fortune/

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