In the UK, AIG Europe Limited is one of the largest insurance companies specialising in the UK business insurance market. With offices throughout the country, AIG insures many of the UK’s top businesses, thousands of mid sized and smaller companies, as well as millions of individuals. Over the past 60 years, AIG has established an enviable reputation for developing innovative insurance products that keep in step with new trends and directions in business. Today, AIG has one of the widest product ranges in the market. youTalk-insurance sharing AIG insurance news and video.
“My First Year as AIG’s CEO: Looking Back, Looking Ahead”
Authored by Brian Duperreault, President and Chief Executive Officer, AIG (first published on LinkedIn):
A little over a year ago, I came home to AIG. I said then our goal was to make AIG a growing, profitable leader in the insurance industry. Having reached my first anniversary, this is a good time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished so far and where we’re headed.
When I arrived, I found AIG had areas of incredible strength, but there were also challenges within our businesses that needed to be addressed to achieve our goal. I’ve turned around companies before, and I knew that getting the foundation right would be key. It’s like constructing a building – you don’t see the work taking place below ground for some time, but once the foundation is set, the building goes up quickly. We needed to make sure we had the right people working in the right roles and pursuing the right strategy to grow in the way we want.
As I look back, I couldn’t be more proud of what our nearly 50,000 employees worldwide have accomplished to date. They’ve remained focused on protecting our clients’ futures despite ongoing change in the marketplace, including unprecedented natural disasters and ongoing regulatory uncertainty. I’ve been so impressed by the drive, talent and passion of my colleagues – they are the ones responsible for the sense of forward momentum at AIG and making us a better place to work.
I firmly believe world-class professionals like ours deserve world-class leaders. One of our biggest accomplishments over the past year has been making sure we have right talent to help nurture and grow our people. We’ve done this in two ways – we hired 14 new senior leaders, who collectively have brought roughly 350 years of collective industry experience to AIG. And we moved some of our existing leaders into new roles, while identifying high-performers internally and promoting them to senior positions.
“We are moving the right people into the right roles across the company, both to develop our internal team and better serve our clients.”
As we’ve built our team, we’ve also focused on building a structure that would empower us for success.
Shortly after I arrived, it became clear that we needed to reorganize our company in a way that played to our strengths and more naturally reflected how business is marketed and underwritten. In September, we created three new business units: General Insurance led by Peter Zaffino, Life & Retirement led by Kevin Hogan and Blackboard Insurance led by Seraina Macia.
A key part of this reorganization was empowering those within the businesses with both more authority to make decisions and more responsibility for performance. As a result, we’ve moved decision-making closer to our clients and distribution partners in the field, allowing us to deliver better end-to-end service. We’re also now better positioned to invest in specialist areas that set us apart from our peers. That’s what we want to be known for – being the smartest and the best in the areas that matter to our clients.
I’m pleased with the results of our work so far, but we are not done yet:
In General Insurance, we made key additions to our team in areas such as underwriting and actuarial; we made notable reductions in the volatility of our portfolio through our new reinsurance strategy; and we’ve committed to achieving underwriting profitability. Looking ahead, we will continue to strengthen our approach to underwriting and risk selection while growing profitable lines.
Life & Retirement has continued to deliver solid results and is now responsible for more than half of our pre-tax income. The breadth of our product portfolio and channel strategy remains our greatest strength, and we remain focused on maintaining our disciplined approach to writing profitable business.
While we are positioning ourselves for growth internally, we are also taking advantage of opportunities externally, like our acquisition of Validus, which remains on track to close mid-2018. Validus is a leading provider of reinsurance, insurance and asset management services and is an example of how we want to grow through M&A – pursuing strategic opportunities that strengthen AIG in multiple ways. We will continue to look for these kinds of opportunities to build capabilities we don’t currently have.
“The Validus transaction represents exactly the kind of deal we’re looking to do - it diversifies our business in new ways, brings us new capabilities and top talent, and we believe it will be additive to our earnings from the time it closes.”
There have been other important developments over the past year as well. We saw our “systemically important financial institution” (SIFI) designation rescinded, reflecting our efforts to de-risk the company over the past 10 years and allowing us to be more nimble and responsive. We also consolidated reinsurance for our Legacy Life & Retirement and General Insurance run-off lines under a new entity named DSA Reinsurance Company (DSA Re). By consolidating these liabilities under one legal entity with one management team, we were able to make our operations more efficient while maintaining our commitment to policyholders.
Each of these accomplishments on its own would be considerable; but achieving them all over the past year speaks to the talent, energy and focus of our people at AIG. There is still more work to do, and we will continue to tackle it with the same sense of urgency.
Where do we go next? Our priority last year was building the right foundation, and now we’re laser focused on execution and delivering results.
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