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Life Health > Life Insurance

AIG Wants to Buy Life and Annuity Issuers

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The head of American International Group Inc. has a different view of the U.S. life and annuity market than many of his colleagues.

Many big U.S. life insurers have responded to low interest rates, accounting rule changes and sales standards confusion by backing away from the sale of life insurance and annuities.

But companies backed by reinsurers and private equity funds have been buying life and annuity businesses.

Brian Duperrault, AIG’s chief executive officer, says he’s interested, too.x

(Related: Alternative Capital Is Set to Double Down on the U.S. Life Insurance Sector)

The topic came up last week during a conference call, when Duperrault was going over AIG’s second-quarter earnings with securities analysts.

The company reported spending $200 million on restructuring at its general insurance unit.

At the life and retirement unit,” we had another quarter of strong earnings and return on equity,” Duperrault said.

Later during the call, an analyst asked Duperrault how he sees opportunities for mergers and acquisitions.

Duperrault said he likes the idea of adding great people and great capabilities that can add to AIG’s portfolio mix.

“So, life insurance would be a place I would look,” Duperrault said.

Duperrault said he believes the AIG life and retirement business is somewhat confined, in terms of its geographic footprint.

“We’ve got great skill sets around retirement,” Duperrault said. “The demographics of the world are pretty consistent. People are getting older, and more in need of our capabilities every minute.”

Duperrault said he’d like to see AIG maximize its life and retirement services footprint.

“But acquisitions are very difficult to predict,” Duperrault said. “A lot of things have to go right. I can’t tell you whether we’ll do one in the near future.”

A link to an audio recording of the webcast is available here.

— Read AXA Plans to Sell Part of U.S. Life Unit to Publicon ThinkAdvisor.

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