American International Group (AIG), the insurance giant under state and federal investigations into accounting irregularities, yesterday...
American International Group (AIG), the insurance giant under state and federal investigations into accounting irregularities, yesterday said it is nearly $4 billion poorer than it had thought only months ago.
The company, which is the world’s largest insurer, finally restated five years of financial results in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The filing, a 400-page document that is the company’s 2004 annual report, was delayed three times as AIG attempted to correct an accounting scandal that led to the ouster of Maurice Greenberg, 80, its longtime chief executive.
The restatement wiped out $3.9 billion in earnings from 2000 through 2004, to $33.91 billion.
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Martin Sullivan, AIG’s new president and chief executive, said in a statement that the New York-based company is remaking itself.
“We are embarking on a new era for AIG that will be marked by changes in the way we operate — including greater responsiveness and transparency … , ” Sullivan said. “I am confident that the changes we are initiating throughout the organization will make AIG an even stronger and better company.”
AIG’s restatement was sparked by a probe by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Last week, Spitzer filed a civil suit against the company, Greenberg and Howard Smith, AIG’s former chief financial officer, saying the company and its top executives used “deception and fraud” to mislead regulators and prop up the company’s stock price. Greenberg’s attorneys said they would dispute the allegations.
Greenberg resigned as chief executive officer and chairman of AIG in March, ending nearly 40 years at the helm of the insurance company. Smith was fired later for failing to cooperate with investigators.
Some analysts speculated that the release of restated earnings could hasten a settlement between the company and Spitzer’s office, which some analysts say has been clearly looking for AIG to issue revised profit figures.
Brad Maione, a Spitzer spokesman, declined comment.
Information about Greenberg’s resignation and Smith’s firing provided by The Associated Press.