AIG's CEO Issues Statement About $343,000 Phoenix Seminar

Bothered by news reports about another high-priced junket, AIG’s CEO Edward M. Liddy issued a public statement to correct the innacuracies he saw. AIG Media Relations emailed it to us and wanted to make sure we shared it with our readers, and since we’re all about sharing at The Consumerist, here it is:

Recent news reports have grossly mischaracterized an American International Group seminar for 150 independent financial planners held in Phoenix last week.

The financial planners are not AIG employees. In addition, the cost to AIG for this event was minimal. More than 90 percent of the costs were paid either by sponsors or by the independent financial planners themselves.

It is essential for AIG to conduct seminars of this kind to keep independent financial planners abreast of investment products and services including those offered by AIG. The financial planners are responsible for generating almost $200 million in revenue this year for AIG as of September 30th.

On October 10, I issued a directive to all AIG employees and subsidiaries to reduce expenses and conserve cash, including cancelling all nonessential conferences or meetings, unnecessary travel and excessive overhead. Since then, we have canceled more than 160 events. We conducted a top-to-bottom review of all expenses of the Phoenix meeting in advance and found that it was consistent with my October 10th directive. This conference was approved because it provides the kind of communication we must conduct with the people who sell our products if we are to be successful and repay the U.S. taxpayer.

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