Former head of MetLife is to lead AIG

BATTERED insurer American International Group (AIG) was yesterday set to name Robert Benmosche, formerly head of US life insurer MetLife, as its chief executive officer, according to people familiar with the matter. <br /><br />The board of the bailed-out insurance giant anointed Benmosche as its fifth leader since 2005 at a meeting yesterday, taking its fight to nail down a long-term plan for recovery a step further. <br /><br />Benmosche will replace Edward Liddy, who was put in charge of the firm when it received the first chunk of a rescue package that eventually totalled $182bn (&pound;108bn), which AIG paid for by handing 80 per cent of its equity to the government. <br /><br />Benmosche, 65, retired from MetLife in 2006 after eight years at the helm of what is today the largest life insurer in the US. <br /><br />Born in New York, Bernmosche served in the Vietnam war and was a major supporter of the presidential campaigns of George Bush and, latterly, Hillary Clinton. <br /><br />He led MetLife&rsquo;s demutualisation in 2000, transforming the company from an insurer owned by its policyholders to one that is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.<br /><br />His success in restructuring MetLife&rsquo;s ownership could bode well for AIG, which is having to reshape itself completely in the wake of its government bailout. <br /><br />The AIG board is understood to have approved a remuneration package of between $7m and $10m for Benmosche, and first sought approval from the government before selecting him. <br /><br />The firm is expected to report second-quarter results this week, having reported billions of dollars in losses in each of the previous five quarters.