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Does AIG have courageous leadership?

Posted by: Diane Brady on May 23, 2007

I’m curious about what’s going on at AIG these days. The National Hurricane Center issued its annual forecast on Tuesday. If they’re right—that 2007 will be a rough year for named storms—it could have huge implications for the mammoth insurer.

The company seems to have bounced back from its Eliot Spitzer-induced accounting scandal and the ouster of Hank Greenberg. But the real sweet spot in its earnings report last quarter? General insurance, which jumped 33% while life insurance was down. That’s a tricky mix when you consider that one storm can wipe out profits (Katrina racked up $84 billion in costs).

So what is CEO Martin Sullivan doing to make AIG soar in a world where natural disasters are likely to increase? I’d love to hear. What does he think about the laws in place to protect consumers and his industry? He certainly doesn’t seem as fond of trolling around the political circuit as his predecessor. But heading a company like AIG, GE and Exxon Mobil forces you (by virtue of size) to also have a strong voice on issues affecting your industry.

Come to think of it, which heads of public companies right now embrace the notion of courageous leadership? Some of the most outspoken leaders I’ve met are now working in private equity.



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