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AIG Ex-Chief Gave Stock to Wife Days Before Quitting

April 13, 2005|From Associated Press

Three days before he resigned as head of American International Group Inc., Maurice "Hank" Greenberg gave his wife 41.4 million of his shares in the insurance company, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday.

The disclosure came the same day Greenberg declined to answer questions posed by government investigators probing transactions at AIG.

AIG's board forced Greenberg, 79, to relinquish his posts as president and CEO on March 14, and he retired as the company's chairman two weeks later. Greenberg transferred the shares to his wife, Corinne P. Greenberg, on March 11, according to his filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The shares are valued at $2.2 billion, based on AIG's current stock price.

Greenberg directly held 1.95 million shares after the transfer, not counting additional shares he still held through Starr International, a company that sets AIG managers' salaries and which holds AIG shares.

Howard Opinsky, a spokesman for Greenberg's legal team, declined to comment on the filing, as did an AIG spokesman.

At Tuesday's deposition, Greenberg invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination in response to all questions during the 45-minute session, according to a person who attended the meeting but asked not to be identified.

There was no public statement from Greenberg.

Investigators who attended the session with Greenberg in New York Atty. Gen. Eliot Spitzer's office in Manhattan included members of Spitzer's staff, representatives from the Securities and Exchange Commission and lawyers from the New York state Insurance Department.

The investigators are looking into a number of transactions involving reinsurance, which is insurance that insurers buy to reduce their risk.

Also Tuesday, leaders of the nation's largest public retirement systems said they would ask for full board approval to sue AIG, seeking recovery of $400 million in stock losses.

California Treasurer Phil Angelides, a board member of the $182.9-billion California Public Employees' Retirement System and $125-billion California State Teachers' Retirement System, cited "grievous damage" to holdings of more than 2 million California retirees and employees from misconduct at AIG.

"The losses are beyond the realm of excessive," CalPERS President Rob Feckner said. He will ask the full CalPERS board next week to begin legal action against AIG, its executives and auditors.

An AIG spokesman declined to comment.

California's pension funds hold more than $1 billion of AIG stock -- 20.9 million shares. The company's stock has dropped by more than $19 a share since the start of federal and state investigations into its finances.

Shares of AIG rose $1.10 to $53.20 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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