American International Group is currently focusing on evaluating current personnel as the successor for Robert Benmosche as president and CEO, Benmosche said today.
In comments on Fox Business Network today, Benmosche said he is suggesting that the company also take a look at external candidates to ensure the company has the right leadership to succeed him in running such a “large and complex company.” He also noted that the “company is clearly on the way up” as it continues to gain strength from its near-death experience in 2008.
He also said that in divesting its airline leasing unit, International Lease Finance Corp., it is taking a stake in the company, AerCap, that is buying the airline leasing unit that might extend two or three years. Benmosche said AIG hopes to complete that deal in the second quarter.
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He also said the company is in the process of de-risking its casualty insurance business through stronger underwriting and risk evaluation systems, but cautioned that the business is still “a zig-zap,” that is, subject to ups and downs.
He also said that as a systemically significant financial institution, AIG won’t be subject to the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) analysis by the Federal Reserve, or stress tests as they are also known, until 2015; bank ratings are being completed now and will be released shortly.
He also said that the “too big to fail” designation of AIG is a good thing, because it ensures that “we have excess liquidity above and beyond what we think would be necessary to meet a significant, significant stress event.”
Benmosche’s comments on succession were prompted by his earlier comments that he planned to leave the company in early 2015.
Benmosche made his comments in an interview with Maria Bartiromo.
Regarding the state of AIG, he said, “I think we have a very strong foundation of our business.
“We are continuing to focus on 2014, making sure that we continue to develop the leadership, the team, the company, making sure what we have will be sustainable well into the future.” He added that the company is working hard this year “because succession is clearly something we all have to deal with, starting with me.”
He said the board “really should make sure they have done an internal and external scan to make sure the best candidate is going to take AIG to the next level, because, “there’s no question this is still – for all that was simplified, this is a very large, complex company.
“And so supporting whoever they consider a CEO, is able to understand the complexity, the complexity of our risk management capability that we now have and thinking about how we can take that to a different level. So it’s not a simple business. It’s simplified,” Benmosche said.