by Baz Hiralal
After coming out of retirement in 2009 to run American International Group Inc., Robert H. Benmosche will step down as president and CEO of the insurer and be replaced by Peter D. Hancock.
Not only did Benmosche have the task of saving AIG from collapse and repaying a $182 billion taxpayer bailout, three and a half years ago his doctors gave him an "encouraging prognosis" regarding treatment for cancer. At the time, AIG said he would serve for at least the next 12 to 18 months, with chairman Robert Miller at the ready. However, Benmosche stayed on and led a streamlining of the massive insurer along with the repayment of the bailout plus nearly $23 billion.
As a testament to AIG's progress, in May 2013, S&P raised its rating of the property/casualty group to 'A+' from 'A', its rationale being that: "We believe that management is committed to maintaining and enhancing AIG's competitive position in the global P/C and U.S. life businesses represented by the AIG PC and AIG L&R groups. As a result, we view these significant operations as core to AIG's group financial strength profile."
At that time, the only major noncore asset remaining in AIG's portfolio was International Lease Finance Corp. AIG completed the sale of the aircraft leasing unit to AerCap Holdings NV, which paid $3 billion in cash and about $4.6 billion in AerCap stock.
Benmosche retired as chairman and CEO of MetLife Inc. in 2006. He joined MetLife as an executive vice president in 1995 to direct the merger of New England Mutual with MetLife, and to head MetLife's individual sales force and retail product development. He also led the transition of MetLife from a mutual to a public company in 2000. Benmosche previously spent more than 13 years at PaineWebber Group Inc. and directed the merger of Kidder Peabody into PaineWebber in 1994. The transition at AIG will happen in September. He will remain in an advisory role.
Hancock is an executive vice president and was named CEO of AIG Property Casualty in March 2011, when the division was reorganized into two major global groups, commercial and consumer.
He joined AIG in 2010 from KeyCorp, where he was vice chairman, responsible for Key National Banking. Hancock also spent 20 years at JPMorgan Chase & Co., where he established the global derivatives group, ran the global fixed income business and global credit portfolio, and was the firm's chief financial officer and chief risk officer.
Jane Mendillo plans to step down as president and CEO of Harvard Management Co. She returned to Harvard University to run its now-$32.7 billion endowment just two months before the September 2008 bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. The endowment grew to nearly $37 billion in 2008 before succumbing to the financial crisis.
Lately, endowment returns trailed the rest of Ivy League schools, gaining 1.7% annually in the five years ended in June 2013, according to data compiled by Charles A. Skorina, founder of an executive search firm that bears his name. In a statement, HMC noted an estimated average annual return of 11% to 12% for the five years ended June 30, 2014. The portfolio Mendillo began managing was left by Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser to Allianz SE and former CEO of Pacific Investment Management Co. LLC.
From 2002 to 2008, Mendillo was chief investment officer for Wellesley College, where she built the college's first investment office. Before that, she was an investment officer at HMC from 1987 to 2002.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission named Aitan Goelman as director of the division of enforcement. Goelman joins from Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, where he has been a litigation partner for 11 years. He focused on white collar crime and complex commercial litigation.
Goelman previously served in the Department of Justice for nine years, including as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York and as a special attorney to the U.S. attorney general.
In Houston, Evercore Partners Inc. hired Randy Crath as a senior managing director, oil and gas investment banking, advising companies on the acquisition or sale of international exploration and production assets. Crath was most recently a managing director at Scotia Waterous Inc. He has worked in of international corporate finance positions at Scotiabank since 1984, with the past 10 years focused on international acquisitions and divestitures.
Pacific Investment Management Co. LLC hires Geraldine Sundstrom as a managing director and portfolio manager. Based in London, she will start no later than the first quarter of 2015 Sundstrom was a partner at Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP, where she led the emerging markets strategy fund. Before that, she was a portfolio manager at Moore Capital Management LLC. Earlier, Sundstrom held senior fixed income research roles with Citigroup Global Investments and Pareto Partners.
Duane Morris LLP announced that Tomas M. Thompson and Mark A. Bradford joined the firm's trial practice as partners in Chicago from DLA Piper.
Chicago-based law firm Much Shelist PC named Gregory B. Mann to its management committee and elevated Gregory D. Grove to equity principal. The firm also said Jonathan L. Loew and David L. Rieser were promoted to principals.
Grove, head of the firm's venture capital group, focuses on private equity, venture capital and corporate transactions.
Clippings from the next column:
-- BNP Paribas SA's chief operating officer Georges Chodron de Courcel plans to retire.
-- Evercore Partners Inc. hires Donald Monson as a senior managing director, technology investment banking.
-- Arlington Asset Investment Corp. appoints J. Rock Tonkel Jr. as CEO.
-- Susquehanna Financial Group LLLP appoints Akir Gutierrez as director of research.
After coming out of retirement in 2009 to run American International Group Inc., Robert H. Benmosche will step down as president and CEO of the insurer.