AIG names ex-Prudential head to run AIA

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US insurer AIG has confirmed it is replacing the head of its Asian unit AIA before listing the company in Hong Kong with a view to raising about 23 billion US dollars.

Mark Tucker, a former head of British insurer Prudential, is to take over from Mark Wilson, who has been head of AIA since 2006, Dow Jones Newswires reported, citing the company.

The move follows the collapse last month of Prudential's 35.5-billion-dollar (27.5-billion-euro) monster takeover bid for AIA, which Wilson had opposed.

The failure of the mega-deal forced AIG, which is seeking to repay billions of dollars in government bailouts that it was given during the economic crisis, to look again at a Hong Kong listing of AIA to raise fresh funds.

AIG and AIA did not immediately return phone calls Monday.

"After reviewing various options to monetize AIA's substantial value, we have concluded that an IPO is our best option," AIG Chief Executive Robert Benmosche was quoted as saying.

"Mark Tucker has the public company experience, track record, relationships, judgment, and leadership qualities that will help us accomplish our ambitious goals of not just taking a company of AIA's size and scope public, but building on this great platform for the long term to create Asia's pre-eminent, publicly traded insurance company."

In another management shake-up at the US insurance giant, AIG last week named director Robert Miller as its new chairman, following the resignation of Harvey Golub, who had clashed with Benmosche.

AIG aims to raise as much as 23 billion US dollars from share sales of AIA to strategic investors and to the public at a Hong Kong offering by late October or early November, Dow Jones said, citing people familiar with the situation.

The cash will go to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which holds a stake in AIA and has been AIG's top creditor since a federal bailout of the insurance giant in 2008.

© 2010 AFP

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