Sunday, June 17, 2007

Maurice Greenberg: Post-AIG, Greenberg Drives On

Many people start second careers after they retire. Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg is trying to build a second empire after a bitter departure from American International Group Inc.

In March 2005, at age 79, Mr. Greenberg stepped down as chief executive of AIG during a probe by then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. He soon dropped his chairman title, too, leaving the insurance powerhouse he built.

Now 82, Mr. Greenberg heads two firms once affiliated with AIG and named after its founder, Cornelius Vander Starr. The firms hold $20 billion in AIG stock. Under Mr. Greenberg's control, they have been raising cash by selling AIG shares. He wants Starr International Co. to be a player in the world of private money, and he is expanding the reach of the other firm, insurance brokerage C.V. Starr & Co.

The Wall Street Journal: Was there any point at which you thought about just stopping day-to-day business altogether?

Mr. Greenberg: Never crossed my mind.

WSJ: Why do you like working in foreign markets?

Mr. Greenberg: That's where the opportunities are. Russia is a very fast-growing economy. I grew up in the insurance business, which is a risk business. That's what it's all about. If you don't take risks, get out of the business.

Full Interview

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