AIG today is half its pre-crisis size in terms of assets and revenues, but its 2013 profit was nearly two-thirds its 2006 income of $14B. and higher than $6.2B in 2007.
If Bob Benmosche had a genius, it was his ability to unload assets at decent prices over the past several years in what not only was a buyer's market, but often where there weren't any buyers at all.
If Benmosche had a weak spot, it was his blunt talk (sometimes known as telling the truth), including his claim that public outrage over bonuses paid to some AIG employees was based on "ignorance." As politically incorrect as that statement may have been, its purpose seemed clear: To let Benmosche take the heat for his troops.
"Often times, with firms that survive trouble, they end up with the CEO the firm needs, not the one they want,” he said.