- Strategy chief departs after billions of dollars of deals
- Seraina Maag also leaves amid effort to streamline operations
American International Group Inc. veteran Brian Schreiber, who shepherded multibillion-dollar deals that expanded the company and then shrank it after the 2008 credit crisis, is departing as the insurer overhauls management.
Seraina Maag, who rose to oversee regional operations after joining in 2013, also is leaving, Chief Executive Officer Peter Hancock wrote in memos to employees on Monday. The country heads that reported to Maag will work under commercial and consumer segments, which are run by Rob Schimek and Kevin Hogan.
Much of AIG’s leadership team has disbanded since Hancock became CEO in September 2014 and focused on shrinking and simplifying the company. In November, he said he would eliminate more than 20 percent of the top 1,400 senior employees, and some of the highest-ranking and longest-serving executives later announced their departures. The latest exits follow a review of how the New York-based company runs operations internationally.
“The outcome of this effort is a new organizational design structured around clients, capabilities and market opportunities,” Hancock wrote Monday in one of the memos obtained by Bloomberg. “It gives business leaders at different levels of the organization much greater end-to-end accountability for results and greater transparency into those results.”
AIG fell 65 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $52.35 at 1:33 p.m. Tuesday in New York, the biggest drop in the 20-company Standard and Poor’s 500 Insurance Index. U.S. exchanges were closed on Monday. Hancock’s company has declined about 16 percent this year.
Pressure on the CEO mounted after billionaire investors John Paulson and Carl Icahn called for a breakup of the insurer and AIG reported two straight quarters of losses. The company said last week that it would nominate Paulson and a representative of Icahn’s firm to the insurer’s board.
On Monday, Hancock said that Jeff Hurd was named chief operating officer. Hurd will retain responsibilities for transformation, administration and human resources, while also overseeing corporate marketing and communications, along with global business services.
Alessa Quane, who was named in December to be chief risk officer, will report
to Hancock and become a member of the executive leadership team, the CEO said. Maag had been a member of that group.
Jon Diat, a company spokesman, declined to elaborate on the memos. Initial exits under Hancock included Jay Wintrob, who led the life insurance division. Two months ago, Hancock announced the departures of Chief Financial Officer David Herzog and John Doyle, head of commercial insurance.
Schreiber joined under then-CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg in 1997 and helped build the company through acquisitions including the 2001 purchase of American General Corp. for more than $20 billion. The former Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. banker’s AIG career survived four more CEOs, including Robert Benmosche, who named Schreiber in 2009 to lead asset sales and then shifted him in 2013 to an investment-management role. The company repaid a government bailout in 2012, producing a more-than $22 billion profit for taxpayers.
Hancock named Schreiber strategy chief last year, which helped clear the path for Doug Dachille, the CEO’s former J.P. Morgan & Co. colleague, to became AIG’s chief investment officer. The role gave Schreiber oversight of global planning, communications, divestitures and mergers and acquisitions.
Hancock’s emphasis turned to further asset sales, a focus that intensified under pressure from Icahn and Paulson. The plan outlined by the CEO on Jan. 26 envisions returning $25 billion to shareholders over two years, with as much as $7 billion of that sum coming from divestitures and at least $4 billion from life reinsurance deals.
“I have served AIG with dedication and distinction for nearly two decades,” Schreiber said in an e-mailed statement on Monday. “With AIG’s strategy developed and moving forward, I now have decided to pursue new opportunities.”
Maag didn’t immediately respond to a LinkedIn message seeking comment. Hancock credited her for having “the courage” to propose changes while reviewing how her group would fit into a revised structure. She’ll leave after helping integrate businesses, he said.
Maag, who grew up in Switzerland, is a director at Credit Suisse Group AG. She joined AIG three years ago to lead the Europe, Middle East and Africa region after running North America property & casualty at XL Group Plc.