In a world of giant public companies with a global reach, $12 million may not seem like much. For American International Group, it’s a very big deal.
In the 2019 fourth quarter, AIG reported $12 million in underwriting income for its property/casualty business it lists as General Insurance, compared to a more than $1 billion loss in the 2018 fourth quarter. It was enough to help the company achieve a full year in General Insurance underwriting profit, something it hasn’t had in a very long time.
CEO Brian Duperreault, brought in to help turn around AIG in 2017, has long promised this result. Now that it happened, he almost seemed incredulous while speaking on the matter during the company’s Q4 2019 earnings call on Feb. 13.
“It’s hard to say, given all the issues at AIG over the last decade-plus, but I honestly can’t remember the last time AIG had a full year of underwriting profit,” he said. “This inflection point was critical to achieve and reflects the tremendous efforts by our team in General Insurance, led by [AIG president, global chief operating officer and CEO of General Insurance Peter Zaffino], who effected a turnaround on a scale and timeline never before seen in our industry.”
Dupperreault said the General Insurance team used “disciplined execution and leadership” in 2018 and 2019 that “not only dramatically reshaped our portfolio, it stimulated the global market cycle I believe is improving and sustainable.”
In his victory lap statements about the General Insurance turnaround, Duperreault noted that the company’s clients, distribution and reinsurance partners and other stakeholders AIG’s efforts to turnaround its business.
“While there is still much work to be done, our strategy is clearly working,” Duperreault said.