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AIG Chief Says Insurer Needs At Least Two Years to Repay Government Aid

Source: NY Times

Posted on 21 Dec 2009

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In an interview with The Financial Times, American International Group (AIG) CEO Robert H. Benmoshe said the insurer will need at least two years to repay its debt, but is benefiting from an aggressive management style. AIG received $180 billion in taxpayer funds.

"The more time we [have], the greater the probability we’ll pay back all of [the aid]. But our goal is to pay back all of it” he told the newspaper in an interview.

Mr. Benmosche cited his aggressive managerial style as a key factor in halting the slide of the company, galvanizing a demoralized staff and resisting U.S. government pressure to sell assets quickly.

“They were basically saying ‘let’s divest everything’,” Mr. Benmosche said. “The problem for me was that if the sum of the parts is less than the whole, and the whole is what you need to pay back the government, it’s not going to work.”

Mr. Benmosche was appointed chief executive officer of AIG in August 2009, succeeding Edward Liddy.