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November 13, 2009

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AIG head now says he plans to remain in job

AMERICAN International Group Inc's CEO Robert Benmosche said on Wednesday he plans to stay in his job at the embattled insurer.

Benmosche announced his intentions in a letter to employees released by AIG following a report in The Wall Street Journal saying he was threatening to quit. The newspaper said Benmosche has been frustrated by heavy government scrutiny and cumbersome restrictions on executive pay.

In the letter, Benmosche said while he was frustrated by the regulatory oversight, he and the board of directors "remain totally committed to leading AIG through its challenges and to continuing to fight on your behalf."

AIG is in the process of trying to sell assets, streamline its operations and improve profitability in an effort to repay the government after being bailed out last fall at the peak of the credit crisis.

New York-based AIG received an aid package worth up to US$180 billion from the government in exchange for an 80 percent stake in the company. That bailout package also includes curbs on compensation for the insurer's 100 highest-paid employees.

Benmosche said he is in discussions about compensation packages with the Treasury Department and Kenneth Feinberg, who was appointed by the government to oversee pay packages for the seven companies that received the most bailout money.

Under the government's pay plan, cash salaries for the top 25 highest-paid executives will be limited in most cases to US$500,000.


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