News in Brief: Ex-AIG leader dies at 70

by Maryvonne Gray 02 Mar 2015

News in Brief: Ex-AIG leader dies at 70

Ex-AIG leader dies at 70
Former AIG president and CEO Robert H Benmosche, has lost his five-year battle with cancer at the age of 70.

The company released a statement saying Benmosche had died on Friday at New York University’s Langone Medical Centre with his family at his bedside.

Described as ‘one of the most inspirational and successful leaders in corporate America by any measure’ by AIG board of directors chairman Robert S Miller, Benmosche won plaudits for restoring the insurer to sound financial footing after it nearly collapsed in 2008 and was bailed out with more than $180 billion in federal assistance.

Peter Hancock, who followed Benmosche into the role of current president and CEO, said he had been humbled and inspired by the example Benmosche set.

“Bob was driven by a remarkable belief in the possibility of greatness that exists in every person. He poured his energy and focus into enabling AIG’s people to live up to their potential, and that’s why this company today is a sustainable enterprise that understands the importance of meeting and exceeding the expectations of all our stakeholders.”
 
Buffett drops hints on his successors
Billionaire magnate Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance is currently awaiting its licence to operate in New Zealand, says he hopes his successor will be young enough to lead the company for at least a decade in the company’s latest annual report.

“My successor will need one other particular strength: the ability to fight off the ABCs of business decay, which are arrogance, bureaucracy and complacency,” Buffett said.

“When these corporate cancers metastize, even the strongest companies can falter.”

In his own letter, vice chairman Charlie Munger singled out reinsurance executive Ajit Jain and Berkshire Hathaway Energy CEO Greg Abel as two Berkshire executives who could succeed Buffett one day.

Both have been noted on short lists made by investors and the media, the NZ Herald reported.
 
Net income down for mutual insurer
FM Global’s 2014 net income fell 6.2% from that of a year earlier to U$965.4 million, the mutual insurer reported on Friday.

Net earned premiums increased 2% to US$3.6 billion while policyholder surplus rose 9.5% to US$10.6 billion. The commercial property insurer posted a 79.4% combined ratio in 2014, compared to 77.7% in 2013.

“The financial numbers speak to the strength of our business model as a mutual insurer and to our balance sheet, long-term trusted client partnerships and our employees’ single-minded commitment to our policyholder-owners,” said FM Global president and CEO Thomas A Lawson in a statement announcing the results.

The statement also noted that the insurer had previously announced that it would provide a membership credit of about US$465 million to eligible policyholders renewing between 30 June 2014 and 29 June 2015.
 
XL’s Catlin deal could prompt more regulation
Ireland-based XL Group plc has said it expects increased oversight from regulators globally after its proposed US$4.1 billion acquisition of Bermuda’s Catlin Group Ltd, Bloomberg reports.

“Following the completion of the proposed acquisition of Catlin, we believe that we would meet the criteria to be designated” an internationally active insurance group, the company said in its annual filing with US Securities and Exchange Commission.

XL Group “may become subject to a proposed international capital standard and enhanced regulatory supervision” if the insurer gets the IAIG label after the deal, the insurer added.