AIG will return to the Australian market from today with Chartis announcing it has dropped its existing name and reverted to its former title in line with an ongoing global rebranding to AIG.
AIG chief executive Noel Condon says the Chartis brand will be shelved completely in Australia after the group recovered from a disastrous 2007-2008, when it received financial support from the US Federal Government to avoid bankruptcy.
Condon says during that period the global insurer “got pounded and suffered a near death experience” which has heavily influenced the group’s actions since that time.
He states that while the AIG name is established, the branding and what the company now stands for is new, claiming the ‘near death experience’ had changed the organisation.
“We believe that the way we have begun to approach claims is as a fair minded, open, more compassionate insurer than we were in the past,” Condon says.
Brokers have heavily supported the move according to Condon who says many continued to support and use Chartis insurance products but had to explain who Chartis was to clients.
“Over the past few years clients and brokers told us they were staying with us, particularly in Australia and the response to the rebranding has been to a person – this is a good idea because it is such a strong name.”
The Chartis brand was developed as part of break up strategy for the AIG group slated for late 2009 but was shelved after the appointment of president and global chief executive officer Robert H. Benmosche earlier that year.
Benmosche engaged in a series of sales of AIG business units and focussed the core operations on life and pensions business in the USA and general insurance in other markets around the world.
Condon says as a result of this AIG has paid $22bn in government loans and protected insurance assets for the benefit of policy holders.
“We saw this as not being for the benefit of shareholders but policy holders and the continuity in claims since that time has borne this out.”
The Chartis brand will be phased out worldwide after first being switched back to AIG in the United States in October last year and progressing through regional locations through 2013.