AIG United Guaranty, whose affiliate companies provide mortgage guaranty insurance, announced plans to expand both its European and Asian operations as part of its “international growth program.”
It has appointed a number of senior executives to head the expansions.
In Europe AIG United announced the appointment of Chaim Kiffel, who headed the company’s first international venture in Israel, as VP-Europe and the Middle East, responsible for the European market. He will work in the company’s office in Jerusalem and EU headquarters in London.
Eric Klopfer, formerly with GE Mortgage Insurance, will manage the London office to coordinate strategic business development with emphasis on structured products. His broad background in mortgage insurance includes specific experience in the European housing finance market.
In Spain AIG United said that following the opening of its Madrid branch in late 2003, it concluded an agreement in April with Banesto, Spain’s fifth largest bank and a member of the Santander Group, to cover mortgage credit risk. “The exclusive agreement with Banesto facilitates expansion of the bank’s mortgage lending program for loans with loan-to-value (LTV) ratios above 80 percent, to a maximum 97 percent,” said the announcement. It’s also in “advanced discussions with other lenders in that market and expects to close additional agreements during 2004. Operations in Spain are managed by Joaquin Monge.”
In Italy AIG United Guaranty announced that it has hired Corrado Pavanati, currently with Unicredito Bank, one of Italy’s leading lenders, as a country manager to develop business in Italy. He will join the Milan office in July. The company expects to be writing business in Italy by first quarter 2005.
According to Doug Rivenburgh, senior VP-International Group, “These organizational changes and new office locations reflect a long-term commitment to the European market.”
The company announced that Chris Wei, who has joined United Guaranty as vice president and regional manager of AIG United Guaranty’s Asia-based operations and development efforts, based in Hong Kong, will lead its efforts in Asia. Wei most recently served as chief risk officer with Allstate Canada.
In addition, AIG United Guaranty said it has “secured the first and only mortgage insurance license in Taiwan. Operations in Taiwan are being led by John Chang, who assumed country management responsibilities in May 2004. Chang’s background includes mortgage lending with Citibank and management of Aegon’s bancassurance team in Taiwan.”
According to Rivenburgh, these steps support intensified efforts to establish mortgage insurance operations elsewhere in Asia, expanding on the successful business relationship begun with the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation in 1999. “AIG United Guaranty is actively exploring several Asia markets including Korea, Japan, China, and India,” he indicated. “These steps reflect our long-term commitment to global operations, with strong emphasis on Asia.”
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