Back in September, AIG CEO Robert Benmosche went on the record saying he disagreed with former CEO Edward Liddy's plan to repay its $80 billion in government loans by divesting units outright. Instead, he said that selling stakes in the company's businesses was the better route, as it allowed the AIG to enjoy certain tax benefits while still trimming the fat.
Three months later, however, Benmosche seems to be altering his plan. According to a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Benmosche said AIG, in its current form, is too large.
"I feel strongly that AIG is too big today," Benmosche told the Journal. "It is extremely complex to manage, and we need to make sure it's more transparent, that it's smaller, and that we can make it on our own."
According to the report, while Benmosche has slowed the insurer's asset sales, he still sees such sales as vital, but believes competitive employee compensation is another key to the company's goal of repaying the bailout funds—a process he says would take years.
Benmosche went on to tell the Journal that the insurer's top executives have been struggling financially against the backdrop of global financial crisis. Additionally, 10 individuals who report directly to him have lost a combined $168 million in prior years' pay since last year's bailout. Another five employees at AIG's financial-products division, he said, have lost $88 million in prior pay.
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