Credit analysts are starting to weigh in on the upheaval at the top at American International Group Inc., New York.[@@]
AIG says Maurice Greenberg, 79, who has been chief executive officer of the company since 1968 and chairman since 1989, will be keeping the title of chairman, but that Martin Sullivan, who has been the company’s co-chief operating officer, is now the CEO.
Meanwhile, Howard Smith, the chief financial officer, is taking a leave. AIG says Howard Bensinger, who has been the company’s treasurer and comptroller, is now the CFO.
A.M. Best Company, Oldwick, N.J., says it has placed its AA plus financial strength ratings for AIG member companies under review with Negative implications.
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, New York, says it has placed its AAA long-term counterparty credit rating for AIG on CreditWatch with negative implications.
Moody’s Investors Service, New York, lowered its outlook for AIG’s debt ratings and financial strength ratings on AIG’s property-casualty insurance, life insurance, mortgage insurance and reinsurance operations to Negative, from Stable.
Fitch Ratings, New York, went a step further, downgrading its long-term AIG debt ratings to AA plus. But Fitch gave the AA plus rating a “Stable” outlook.
S&P credit analyst Grace Osborne in a conference call took note of the Greenberg and Smith departures and said regulatory scrutiny from the New York attorney general’s office and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission “has not abated.”