Taking AIG From 'Sucks' to 'Rocks'

Its new CEO wants to put the right price on risk

When Peter Hancock joined American International Group in 2010 as a top aide to Chief Executive Officer Robert Benmosche, one of his first challenges was decorating the blank walls of his office. AIG’s collection of paintings tended toward dogs and ducks. Hancock’s tastes lean abstract. So he picked up some spray paint, spread newspapers around the dining room of his home, laid out a 6-foot-by-4-foot piece of canvas, and set to work. Inspired by the widespread contempt for the bailed-out insurer, he sprayed a giant white “AIG Sucks” in almost childish letters on a blue background. Over the first two letters of “Sucks,” Hancock painted a red “Ro,” spelling out “Rocks”—expressing the aspiration that would occupy the next phase of his life.

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