American International Group Inc., the insurer under pressure from activist investors, may eliminate about 125 positions in the U.K. as it scales back in certain countries and moves jobs to lower-cost locations, according to people familiar with the plan.
The company could reduce the region’s staff by as much as 5 percent, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing a plan that hasn’t been disclosed publicly. Based on the headcount of 2,500 there, that means 125 could be affected, according to one of the people. Employees were informed of the plan last month in a note from the chief executive officer of AIG’s U.K. operations, Anthony Baldwin, the people said.
AIG CEO Peter Hancock has resisted calls from activist investor Carl Icahn to split up the company, saying he favors a broader business mix that includes life and retirement insurance. AIG has disclosed a plan to cut at least 200 jobs at five locations in New York City, including at its headquarters.
“To become a leaner, more profitable and focused insurer, AIG plans to reduce expenses by $1.6 billion through 2017,” Jon Diat, an spokesman for the firm, said March 22 in an e-mailed statement. The company declined to comment further on the U.K. reductions. “As we take action to meet our expense target, staff reductions will occur.”
AIG shares have tumbled more than 13 percent this year, compared with an increase of less than 1 percent in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.