Confronted With Hotel Bills, AIG Says, "This Is Totally Normal!" And "We're Having Another One!"

AIG says that the “retreat” that ABC News reported on the other day was really just an event for AIG’s top independent agents — and that only 10 employees were present out of 100 attendees. Here’s how they explain in a press release:

The event, mischaracterized as an “Executive Retreat,” was held by one of AIG’s insurance subsidiaries for independent life insurance agents, not for AIG employees. These agents were top business producers for the company, and of the more than 100 attendees, only 10 were employees of the AIG subsidiary who were there to represent their company. No AIG executives from headquarters attended. The meeting was planned months before the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s loan to AIG.

AIG went on to say that they are reevaluating their costs, but stressed that business must continue as usual.

“AIG is focused on doing what is necessary to address our capital structure, repay the Fed credit facility and emerge as a healthy global insurer. In the meantime, our insurance businesses continue to operate normally and satisfy the needs of our policy holders.”

To that end, AIG will be holding another event for brokers at a Ritz-Carlton hotel in northern California (shown above).

Bloomberg says:

The event, in Half Moon Bay in northern California, is designed to “motivate and educate” about 150 independent agents that sell AIG coverage to high-end clients, spokesman Nicholas Ashooh said. “These sorts of sales meetings are an essential function,” he said. “We have them around the world all the time.”

About 50 AIG employees will also attend the meeting. Ashooh said he didn’t know the cost of the event or whether the agents AIG is hosting would stay overnight.

Rep. Henry Waxman, who chaired the hearings on AIG and objected to the expenditures has not responded to AIG.

If you’re interested in looking over the receipts from the first event, The Smoking Gun has them.

AIG plans meeting at California Ritz-Carlton Resort [Bloomberg]
AIG clarifies agent meeting [AIG]
Rock Out With Your Bailout [The Smoking Gun]