AIG Reviewing Goldman, Other Deals

By | May 12, 2010

AIG is reviewing its dealings with all its counterparties during the financial crisis, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., to see if it was harmed, Chief Executive Robert Benmosche said Wednesday.

The bailed-out insurer will take appropriate action if it finds something, Benmosche told shareholders at the annual meeting, when asked if AIG would sue Goldman.

Goldman’s role in events that led to American International Group Inc.’s September 2008 government rescue has come under scrutiny. The investment bank was one of the largest beneficiaries of the bailout money given to AIG’s counterparties after the rescue.

AIG also incurred a loss last year as it ended trades with Goldman on a security similar to the one at the center of a Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit against Goldman.

Last week, a source told Reuters that AIG had canceled a plan to hire Goldman for restructuring advice, turning instead to Citigroup Inc and Bank of America Corp.

AIG Chairman Harvey Golub said Goldman was a “fine firm,” and the insurer would work with the Wall Street bank if doing so served its interests.

The shareholder meeting, the second since the government took a nearly 80 percent stake in AIG, lasted only about half an hour. It was held at the offices of AIG’s general insurance unit, Chartis, a few minutes’ walk from AIG’s headquarters in lower Manhattan.

AIG has agreed to sell its headquarters, and more of its employees are set to move later this year to the building housing Chartis’ offices at 180 Maiden Lane.

Benmosche, fresh from a first-quarter profit, said he expects operating profit to continue to show improvement.

But he warned that net income would be volatile over the next few quarters because of accounting-related issues, like amortization and goodwill.

AIG reported a first-quarter profit to the company of $1.5 billion. Continuing insurance operations earned $2.2 billion before tax, up from $908 million a year earlier.

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