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Liddy Speaks (A Little Early)

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WASHINGTON — American International Group Inc. is working quickly but methodically to establish separate identities for its best businesses and to shut down its financial products unit, according to AIG Chairman Edward Liddy.

Liddy is expected to present that account of the company’s activities Wednesday during a hearing organized by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Executives at AIG, New York, want to simplify the complex structure of the company, which now has a “global footprint and an intricate capital structure characterized by over 4,000 legal entities, cross-ownership, and myriad special purpose structures,” Liddy will testify, according to a written version of his testimony that was obtained today by National Underwriter.

AIG already has announced a number of large divestitures, including a recent agreement to sell AIG’s office building in Tokyo to Nippon Life Insurance Company, Osaka, for $1.2 billion.

The timing of future divestitures will depend on market conditions, Liddy says in the written testimony.

“We intend for taxpayers to realize the fullest possible value from every asset disposition,” Liddy says. “And we intend that every company that emerges at the end of the restructuring will be strong, transparent and a credit to all its owners.”

Earlier this year, AIG announced that it would continue to manage two major foreign insurance companies, ALICO and AIA, but would use an exchange of ALICO and AIA stock to reduce AIG’s indebtedness to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

“We expect to complete the contractual arrangements for these transfers in the near future,” Liddy says in the written testimony.

Liddy also talks about AIG’s plans to put AIU Holdings, the company’s global property-casualty insurance franchise, in a special purpose vehicle.

“This move will secure the value of that very substantial business in preparation for the potential sale of a minority stake, which ultimately may include a public offering of shares, depending on market conditions,” Liddy says.

Elsewhere in the testimony, Liddy discusses progress in efforts to wind down the derivatives portfolio at the AIG Financial Products unit.

Notional exposure has fallen to $1.5 trillion, from a peak of $2.7 trillion, Liddy says.

AIG continues to explore multiple options to “break apart these trading books so that we can reduce the remaining risks, sell off portions of the business, repay or otherwise retire the AIGFP debt, and exit this segment of the financial products business,” Liddy says.

Once the restructuring of AIG is completed, the parent company will be smaller, and the major insurance subsidiaries “will emerge with diverse products, strong management and clear growth strategies worthy of investor confidence,” Liddy says.

Liddy also comments briefly on AIG’s relationship with representatives from the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve System. “Representatives of the Fed and the Treasury, and their advisors, are engaged with various AIG offices every day,” Liddy says. “We view them as partners.”


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