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AIG Continues Spending on Restructuring, Benefits in Process

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Restructuring

American International Group (AIG) has announced that it will spend $500 million on restructuring initiatives for organizational simplification, operational efficiency, and business rationalization. The company’s fourth quarter results included $188 million in pre-tax restructuring, which is primarily related to previously announced actions.

The initiatives are expected to generate annualized savings of approximately $400 million–$500 million when fully implemented. Of the total savings, $300 million will be in employee severance and one-time termination benefits, concentrated mainly on the senior levels of management.

AIG is expected to save another $100 million in costs associated with the modernization of its information technology platforms. The balance of the savings will be related to costs associated with the consolidation of legal entities and exiting the businesses with lower returns.

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Strategic actions

AIG announced the sale of AIG Advisor Group in January 2016, which is expected to close in 2Q16. The company has announced an IPO of up to 19.9% of United Guaranty, subject to regulatory approvals, as the first step toward a full separation. It also announced an agreement to sell operations in four Central American countries during the fourth quarter.

In 1Q16, AIG entered a two-year reinsurance arrangement with the Swiss Re Group, under which a proportional share of new and renewal US Casualty portfolio is being ceded. The arrangement will reduce the impact of the US Casualty loss ratio on the company’s overall loss ratio, in accordance with its strategic plan.

AIG also grew its book value per share by ~13% during the past year. Compared to this, book value growth per share was ~5% for Metlife (MET) and Allstate (ALL), and it was ~8% for Chubb (CB) in the past year.

Bailout funds

Insurance players (XLF) with bets in mortgage-backed derivatives faced huge losses after the 2007 financial crisis, resulting in higher risks of bankruptcy. Following the financial crisis, the US government gave AIG $182 billion in bailout aid, as the company suffered huge losses on mortgage-related derivatives bets.

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