AIG CEO Calls Buffett’s Reason To Expand Insurance Business ‘Strange’

Robert Benmosche, chief executive officer of American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG) expressed that he was surprised and called Warren Buffett’s statement strange regarding his recent move to hire the four senior executives from the insurance giant, and objective to to expand Berkshire Hathaway’s (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) commercial insurance  coverage.

AIG CEO Calls Buffett’s Reason To Expand Insurance Business ‘Strange’

During an interview with Bloomberg television’s Betty Liu, Benmosche said, “I’m surprised that Warren would want to get into a business and wait for people to call. It kind of sounds a little strange to me.” He added, “But that’s okay. I’m sure it was opportunistic.”

Furthermore, Benmoche emphasized that American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG) has plenty of talented executives. He said, “We have plenty of talent. And so, Warren wants to take a few people, and wait for them to call him to build a business, God bless him”

Yesterday, Buffett told Liu during an interview that the four executives from American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG) recently hired by Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) had been in contact with his company for a long time. He also said that his conglomerate aims to increase the sales of its commercial coverage “very big time.”

The four senior executives who left American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG) to join Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) include Peter Eastwood, chief executive officer of Americas property casualty operation,  David J. Bresnahan, president of Lexington Insurance Co., David Fields, chief reinsurance officer, and Sanjay Godhwani, president of property/casualty group—Latin America and the Caribbean.

The insurance giant already appointed executives who will replace the four senior executives. John Doyle, head of global commercial business of American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG) will take over all the responsibilities of Eastwood in an interim basis. Peter Schimek will serve as the new head of American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG)’s Americas property casualty unit, while Alexander Baugh will replace Fields as chief insurance officer.

Benmosche told Liu that Schimek has broad experience in the industry and displayed strong capability in performing other responsibilities including his previous role as head of AIG’s business operation in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. According to him, Schimek was involved in working with clients in 2008, when it was bailed out by the government. He assured the clients that AIG will survive the financial crisis.

“And you know what, he was pretty right. The brokers, the customers are all satisfied with who we put in place,” said Benmosche.