With the business transformation of American International Group playing out on “the biggest stage in the insurance business,” the leader of the carrier’s global commercial lines operation has heard a lot of market chatter from naysayers and opportunists.

Executive Summary

Rob Schimek, the CEO of AIG Commercial, talks about his personal path—from blue-collar roots in Pennsylvania to CPA and ultimately to CEO—and the importance of lifelong learning and hard work in positioning yourself for change. In this profile, Schimek also reviews the simple steps in the transformation of American International Group and progress to date in achieving goals that outsiders view as overly aggressive. Related article: "Applying Life's Lessons: The Road to Leadership."

Ever since Jan. 26, 2016, when Rob Schimek, chief executive officer of AIG Commercial, joined the group’s CEO Peter Hancock and other executives to announce the global insurer’s strategic update, analysts have questioned the achievability of the targeted financial goals of the multistep plan. And commercial lines competitors have asserted that they will attract talent from AIG’s restructuring operations.

What is Schimek’s reaction to all the talk?

Bring it on.

Competitive by nature, the former Deloitte partner and recurring participant in the World’s Toughest Mudder endurance event didn’t use those exact words to deliver his response. But Schimek was just as direct in his more elegantly worded assessment.

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