According to a recent report made by Bloomberg News, the newly-appointed CEO of troubled insurer American International Group, Inc., Robert Benmosche, has made a statement explaining that he expects the company to be able to repay its federal debts and boost value for its shareholders. Just on the basis of the report, shares rose as much as 31% on the New York Stock Exchange, which is an excellent sign for continued growth, if the expectations are realized.
In an interview with Bloombeg, from on vacation in Croatia, Benmosche said, “At the end of the day, we believe we will be able to pay back the government and we hope we will be able to do something for our shareholders as well.” He continued, “My first charge is to get the company to operate at the level it used to operate, being the world’s best. The fact is we owe the U.S. government a lot of money and we are not going to be able to pay it back just by our profits, so we will sell some of the company off but only at the right time at the right price.”
In addition to his statements to the press, Benmosche has told AIG employees that he planned to rebuild the company’s profitable operations, explaining, “I don’t liquidate things, I build them.” The statement presaged last week’s halting of an auction of one of AIG’s investment advisory units.
Benmosche took the CEO position on August 5th, coming out of retirement at age 65 to helm the corporation. Previously, he had been CEO of the United States’ largest life insurer, MetLife, Inc. His task at AIG is to repay more than $80 billion in bailout loans from the Federal Reserve and Treasury, while also stabilizing the company.