AIG turns focus to acquisitions

AIG’s new chief executive is turning the company’s focus away from share buybacks to spend money on ‘great additions to the company’

AIG turns focus to acquisitions

Insurance News

By Ryan Smith

American International Group (AIG) will likely slow the pace of its share buybacks and up its spending on acquisitions, according to its new chief executive.

AIG DEO Brian Duperreault said Wednesday that the company would slow the pace of share buybacks, which have been a component of the two-year turnaround plan launched last year by former CEO Peter Hancock, according to Reuters. Instead, the company will focus more on acquiring “great additions.”

“I’d love to find great additions to the company,” Duperreault told reporters Wednesday. “I think the important thing is that we look at companies that can make us better.”

AIG has lately been the target of activist investors led by billionaire Carl Icahn, according to Reuters. Under the turnaround plan implemented by Hancock, the company intended to return $25 billion of capital to investors by the end of 2017. So far, the buyback program has returned $18.1 billion to shareholders.

But that’s a pace Duperreault said was unlikely to continue “because there are other things I can use the money on.”

“My job is to figure out what’s the best use of capital, and I want a balance,” he said.

Duperreault, a protégé of former AIG CEO Hank Greenberg, took the reins at the company in May after Hancock stepped down, citing a lack of confidence among investors and directors, Reuters reported.

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