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Duperreault on the lookout for acquisitions

Road ahead: Brian Duperreault has indicated AIG may seek out acquisitions

Acquisitions are on the agenda for American International Group under new chief executive officer Brian Duperreault.

Speaking after the company’s annual shareholders meeting in New York on Wednesday, Mr Duperreault said: “I’d love to find great additions to the company. I think the important thing is that we look at companies that can make us better.”

He said he might scale back share buy-backs and use excess capital for acquisitions.

That would be a change of direction for the company, which last year embarked on a two-year plan to buy back $25 billion in shares by the end of 2017.

The scheme, which was instigated by former CEO John Hancock, has returned $18.1 billion to date.

Bermudian-born Mr Duperreault was appointed CEO of AIG in May. He previously worked for the company between 1973 and 1994, before going on to lead Ace Ltd, now Chubb. After retiring in 2006, he returned to head Marsh & McLennan Companies, the second-largest insurance broker in the world.

Then in 2013, he founded Bermudian-based Hamilton Insurance Group with New York-based Two Sigma Investments.

His extensive background in the sector, and his long association with AIG, made him the favourite choice to lead the giant insurance company as it continues to recover from the impact of the global financial crises of 2008.

And Mr Duperreault’s popularity with shareholders was clearly indicated in the result of the shareholders’ vote for the election of directors on Wednesday. He attracted the most votes in favour, some 743 million, and the least votes against at 467,732.

AIG has a global workforce of about 56,000 and a market capitalisation of $58.5 billion.