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Analyst: AIG may want Duperreault as CEO

American International Group yesterday said its chief executive officer is to step down — and one Wall Street analyst suggested that Bermudian insurance veteran Brian Duperreault could be on the shortlist of candidates to take over.

Peter Hancock will remain the US insurance giant's CEO until a successor is found, AIG said yesterday.

The New York-based global insurer with offices in Bermuda, has posted losses in four of the past six quarters, with pressure for change building from billionaire activist investors Carl Icahn and John Paulson.

“Without wholehearted shareholder support for my continued leadership, a protracted period of uncertainty could undermine the progress we have made and damage the interests of our policyholders, employees, regulators, debtholders and shareholders,” Mr Hancock said in a company statement.

Doug Steenland, AIG's chairman, thanked Mr Hancock for his work in helping repay a $182 billion bailout from the US Government.

The chairman said Mr Hancock had “tackled the company's most complex issues, including the repayment of AIG's obligations to the US Treasury in full and with a profit, and is leaving AIG as a strong, focused and profitable insurance company”.

Shares of AIG fell 23 cents to $63.21 in New York trading yesterday, having initially risen on the news.

In a note to clients, Meyer Shields, an analyst with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, said the move was a “significant positive”.

“Of course, there aren't too many candidates with the skills needed to turn around this troubled global company, but several successful turnarounds” have occurred in the industry, Mr Shields added.

Mr Hancock's successor will be the seventh CEO since 2005 of a company which almost collapsed during the 2008 financial crisis.

Paul Newsome, an analyst at Sandler O'Neill & Partners, told Bloomberg News: “This was the board reacting to the poor news from the fourth-quarter results.

“The broader question is how is the management team totally going to change?” he said. “I suspect that the strategy will change, we just don't know how yet.

Elyse Greenspan, an analyst at Wells Fargo & Co, said in a note to clients yesterday that Mr Duperreault, the chairman and CEO of Bermudian-based Hamilton Insurance Group could be on the shortlist of candidates for the role.

A Bloomberg News story, speculating on who could replace Mr Hancock, also mentioned Mr Duperreault.

Bloomberg reported that Mr Duperreault is “one of the industry's most respected executives, and his current company already has a partnership with AIG in insuring small businesses. He worked at AIG for years, rising to become an executive, then leaving to become CEO of rival Ace Ltd. He then went to lead brokerage Marsh & McLennan during the 2008 financial crisis before leaving in 2012, then starting Hamilton.”

Bloomberg added reasons why he may not wish to leave his current job: “Hamilton is linked to hedge-fund firm Two Sigma Investments, one of the best-known quantitative money managers, and his investors have been happy with the partnership. Mr Duperreault, at age 69, may want to end his career at a steadily expanding company instead of AIG, which has been going through years of restructuring.”

A spokeswoman for Hamilton declined to comment on the speculation.

AIG CEO candidate? Brian Duperreault, CEO of Hamilton Insurance Group

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Published March 10, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated March 09, 2017 at 10:59 pm)

Analyst: AIG may want Duperreault as CEO

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