By Nadia Damouni and Paritosh Bansal
May 23 American International Group Inc's
board is looking for a new director with regulatory
experience, as the insurer readies for the government to
classify it as big enough to merit greater scrutiny, according
to two sources familiar with the situation.
AIG, which is already regulated by the U.S. Federal Reserve,
expects more oversight if it is declared a "systemically
important financial institution," or SIFI. The designation is
widely expected after the U.S. Financial Stability Oversight
Council told the company in October that it may do so.
AIG's board is looking at candidates who have run regulated
financial institutions as well as former regulators, according
to the sources. There is no specific time frame or deadline for
a new director to be named, the sources said. The names of
potential candidates could not be learned.
AIG spokesman Matt Gallagher declined to comment on
AIG has been reshaping its board since repaying the
government's crisis-era bailout. The search for a director with
regulatory experience highlights how major financial
institutions now feel even more pressure to manage their
relationships with regulators.
Earlier this month, AIG shareholders elected two new
directors to the board with insurance experience: William
Jurgensen, former CEO of Nationwide Insurance, and Theresa
Stone, a former insurance executive.
The board's regulatory, compliance and public policy
committee, is chaired by Douglas Steenland, the former CEO of
Northwest Airlines Corp and includes Jurgensen and Henry Miller,
a restructuring expert. The committee's duties include reviewing
AIG's relations with regulators and governmental agencies.
The search for a new director would also help the board
identify candidates as board members retire or leave for other
reasons, according to the sources.
Long-time director Morris Offit retired from the board this
month at the insurer's annual meeting. Arthur Martinez, the
former chief executive of Sears, Roebuck and Co, is 73 and now
the oldest member of the board, according to an AIG regulatory
filing in April. The board's retirement age is 75.
AIG was rescued during the financial crisis by the U.S.
government, which pledged $182 billion in taxpayer funds to prop
up the insurer. Under its outspoken chief executive, Robert
Benmosche, the insurer has since engineered a turnaround, and
ended the last vestiges of the bailout in March.