Peter Hancock to step down as AIG CEO; shares up

Icahn reportedly said in an interview on Bloomberg Television: "Peter Hancock and I don't see eye-to-eye on everything, but I really think that he and I see eye-to-eye on what they should be doing at AIG".

The note said that there are few executives with the skills to turn around AIG, but added that "several successful turnarounds within (the property/casualty sector) over the last decade or so suggest that it's achievable, notwithstanding the considerable difficulty", citing turnarounds at Aon P.L.C., CNA Financial Corp, Marsh & McLennan Cos.

At time of writing this, the stock traded up 1.91 percent. That moved the CEO past the halfway point of his capital-payout goal, but Hancock nonetheless faced questions after the company lost $2.96 a share in the fourth quarter.

Hancock had opposed Icahn and Paulson's efforts to break the company up, instead unveiling a cost-cutting and restructuring plan.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that the company's board was discussing whether to penalize or oust Hancock over a major setback to the insurer's turnaround plan.

On Thursday in a company release, Hancock said that without "wholehearted" support from shareholders, he felt it best to step down because he didn't want anything to undermine the progress that's been made at AIG.

US financial regulators deemed at the time that the collapse of AIG could set off a catastrophic series of events that would threaten the global economy.

The US government saved AIG from failure at the height of the 2008 financial crisis with a controversial $182 billion bailout that was later repaid in full by the insurer under Hancock's leadership.

On Thursday, billionaire investor and special advisor to President Donald Trump, Carl Icahn, said he supports the actions taken by AIG. For example, AIG has posted losses four out of the past six quarters.

  • Zachary Reyes