NEW YORK — The finances of American International Group Inc. are “far more stable” than they were a few months ago, according to the company’s top executive.
Edward Liddy, the chairman and chief executive officer of AIG, New York, gave that assessment of AIG Tuesday at the company’s annual meeting.
Liddy said he is optimistic about the ability of AIG to repay the loans provided by the federal government.
Problems have rocked the company since its last shareholders meeting because “AIG strayed from what it does best: the business of insurance,” Liddy said.
In recent months, the faltering economy has made it more difficult for AIG to get fair value for the properties it is trying to sell to repay the government, but returns on assets should improve when the economy improves, Liddy said.
Liddy talked about progress with efforts to repay debt to the federal government by putting two major foreign insurance subsidiaries, ALICO and AIA, into special purpose vehicles, and he also talked about efforts to prepare AIU Holdings, AIG’s global property-casualty insurance franchise, for a possible stock offering.
AIG now has an “excellent chance” to repay the federal government, Liddy said.
When shareholders asked about AIG’s stock price, Liddy declined to speculate on when the price of the stock might recover.
Liddy said he is a “bad stock picker.”
AIG’s stock could recover, but other stocks may recover faster, Liddy said.
Shareholders defeated a number of proposals, such as a proposal to reincorporate AIG in North Dakota and a union pension plan proposal to require executives who leave AIG to keep a “significant percentage of shares acquired through equity compensation programs” until 2 years following the end of their employment at AIG.
The AIG board argued that the U.S. Treasury Department already has imposed executive compensation restrictions on the company, and that the company should keep its remaining executive comp flexibility.
The proposal to change AIG’s jurisdiction of incorporation from Delaware to North Dakota was offered by shareholder Mark Filiberto.
North Dakota has stricter corporate governance standards, according to proposal supporters.
AIG’s board opposed the measure, arguing that the resources needed to reincorporate the company would be put to better use on advancing the company’s restructuring efforts.
Shareholders approved 7 of 8 company proposals, including a proposal for a 20-to-1 reverse stock split.