American International Group has issued a statement announcing the death of former president and CEB Bob Benmosche. The executive retired on Sept. 1 after spending five years heading up AIG. He had been battling lung cancer since 2010, reports Maureen Farrell of The Wall Street Journal.
Leading AIG through a critical time
When Benmosche took over at AIG, it was right after the U.S. government had made it a ward and forked over approximately $185 billion to bail it out. That was the single largest rescue package handed out by the U.S. government during the financial crisis.
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Under Benmosche’s leadership, AIG paid back all of the bailout money, making the final payment in 2012. The firm also paid an additional $23 billion in profits to U.S. taxpayers after the bailout. The former executive had been planning to author a book about his time at the insurance provider. The Wall Street Journal had reported last year that a publisher had paid him an advance to write the book.
Benmosche’s accomplished career
Before taking the helm of AIG, Bob Benmosche had been chairman, president and CEO of MetLife, leading the company’s transition into a public company in 2000. He was also executive vice president at PaineWebber where he oversaw the merger with Kidder Peabody and worked in a number of positions at Chase Manhattan Bank.
In 2013, he was inducted into the Insurance Hall of Fame, and St. John’s University School of Risk Management named him Insurance Leader of the Year in 2014.
AIG management on Benmosche’s passing
AIG President and CEO Peter Hancock said in a statement, “Bob was piercingly honest and driven by a remarkable belief in the possibility of greatness that exists in every person. He poured his energy and focus into enabling AIG’s people to live up to their potential, and that’s why this company today is a sustainable enterprise that understands the importance of meeting and exceeding the expectations all of our stakeholders.”
“Bob was one of the most inspirational and successful leaders in corporate America by any measure,” AIG Board Chairman Robert Miller said. “Everyone in the AIG family has been greatly blessed by Bob’s vision, his loyalty, and his friendship during his five years with the company,” he added. “Bob was a brilliant man who brought tremendous leadership, energy, passion, and tenacity to his job.”