For-sale sign is posted at insurer AIG Hawaii
By Greg Wiles
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Greg Wiles
AIG Hawaii has been told it is among the assets that may be sold as its parent company, American International Group Inc., looks to sell off parts of its worldwide business to pay off an emergency $85 billion loan made by the Federal Reserve last month.
The local unit is part of the AIG Personal Auto Group, which has been listed for sale by the New York-based insurer. AIG Hawaii President and Chief Executive Officer Robin Campaniano said it remains to be seen if his company is sold since AIG could conceivably reach the $85 billion mark through sales of other businesses.
"Who knows what's going to be first, what's going to be second?" Campaniano asked, noting it remains business as usual for the local operation.
On Friday, American General Chief Executive Officer Edward Liddy announced his intention to quickly sell units and remake the company as a smaller, profitable operation. In addition to selling its life insurance and retirement operations in the U.S., he said the company also may sell its plane-leasing unit, U.S. auto insurer and reinsurance business.
AIG Hawaii is the third-largest auto insurer in the state and employs more than 300 people statewide. Affiliated companies in the state include Hawaii Insurance Consultants and American Pacific Insurance Co. American Pacific has sent out a memo saying AIG Hawaii is a "crown jewel" within the AIG Personal Auto Group and that it sees the company remaining strong no matter what happens.
A sale of AIG Hawaii, which has an "A+" financial rating from Standard & Poor's, would require approval by state Insurance Commissioner J.P. Schmidt. He said any buyer will have to prove they are financially capable of taking over the unit.
"They have to show they would have the financial wherewithal to carry on the business and that it would be a beneficial transaction to the state of Hawai'i," Schmidt said.
Liddy last week said he would prefer "brand-name" buyers who are capable of buying large portions of AIG so the transactions would move quickly and benefit customers and employees. Campaniano, while declining to answer whether any local buyers were interested in AIG Hawaii, said he believed the local unit will do well no matter what happens.
If it isn't sold, it will remain part of a smaller, but stronger parent company, he said.
"I think we're going to come out a winner," Campaniano said.
Reach Greg Wiles at firstname.lastname@example.org.