American International Group (AIG) appears to have bowed to pressure to divest assets, on Tuesday announcing the sale of AIG Advisor Group, one of the largest networks of independent broker-dealers in the United States.
AIG Advisor Group is to be sold to investment funds affiliated with Lightyear Capital LLC, a private equity firm specializing in financial services investing, and PSP Investments, one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers with C$112bn of assets under management as at March 31, 2015. It invests funds for the pension plans of the Public Service, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Reserve Force. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
AIG’s broker-dealer network has more than 5,200 independent advisors and more than 800 full-time employees. Advisor Group is comprised of four broker-dealers, FSC Securities Corporation, Atlanta, GA; Royal Alliance Associates, New York, NY; SagePoint Financial, Phoenix, AZ; and Woodbury Financial Services, Oakdale, MN.
AIG CEO Peter Hancock has been under increasing pressure from investors including activist Carl Icahn, to shrink the insurer and boost returns.
Commenting on the sale, Hancock said: “AIG continues to review its business strategy and take actions to become a more efficient, less complex company, able to respond to our clients’ needs with greater agility. We believe advisors, clients, and partners of Advisor Group will benefit from Lightyear's and PSP Investments’ ownership of the independent business, and we look forward to a continued relationship with Advisor Group as an important distributor of AIG products.”
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016, subject to regulatory approvals.
It was also recently reported that AIG is set to off-load a chunk of its mortgage guarantee company as part of a new vision for boosting returns and narrowing the company’s focus.