AIG Names Smith Operating Chief for Commercial Insurance

American International Group Inc., the largest commercial insurer in the U.S. and Canada, promoted Michael Smith to chief operating officer of the division selling coverage to business clients.

Smith, 57, will report to John Q. Doyle, chief executive officer of global commercial insurance, the New York-based company said today in a statement. Smith most recently was president of global financial lines, a role that will be filled by James Shea, 48. Robert Thomas was named president of global specialty lines, Shea’s previous post. Thomas, 62, had been COO of the commercial business.

“Mike, Jim, and Bob are experienced and highly effective executives,” Doyle said in the statement.

Peter Hancock, CEO of AIG’s property-casualty business, has been seeking improved profitability by shifting the mix of business. He’s had to shuffle top leaders after the departures of executives including Peter Eastwood and David Fields to Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Smith’s responsibilities will include broker and client relations, global risk solutions and marketing. Prior to serving as head of financial lines, Smith was president of executive liability.

Shea has worked for AIG in cities including London, Paris and Tokyo. He started at National Union in New York, AIG said.

Thomas had been COO of commercial insurance since 2011. He was “instrumental in setting commercial insurance on the right path to improve its business mix and build its strategy,” according to today’s statement.

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