Though AIG has made great strides toward restructuring its operations and starting to repay bailout funds, the insurance giant still embodies taxpayer scorn. AIG management ought to prepare for hostile questions and insult-hurling, if
last week's meeting of
investors is any indication. Shareholders had little sympathy for CEO Lloyd Blankfein and his managerial counterparts, although their votes didn't speak to the apparent anger and dismay.
Nonetheless, AIG has a prepared agenda for the event. Among the issues shareholders will vote upon are board composition and compensation at both the executive and employee levels.
will be covering the event live from AIG headquarters in Lower Manhattan, starting at 10 a.m. EDT.
Recent additions up for election are CEO Robert Benmosche, who is also president of the board, as well as Harvey Golub, Laurette Koellner, Christopher Lynch, Arthur Martinez, Robert Miller, Doug Steenland, and Henry Miller, all of whom joined the board or were nominated within the last year. Morris Offit, Suzanne Nora Johnson, and George Miles are also up for re-election, having joined AIG in 2008 or earlier. In addition, the government helped selected Donald Layton and Ronald Rittenmeyer as special director nominees. Taxpayers still hold an 80% stake in the firm through a $70 billion preferred stock investment.
Shareholders will also vote on a resolution that would give them a say on executive pay -- albeit nonbinding -- as well as AIG's 2010 stock incentive plan for employees.
Bonuses became a touchstone issue in the great
Wall Street vs. Main Street debate. AIG's compensation plans must now be approved by a special "czar" designated by the Obama administration to right-size the pay at bailed-out financial firms.
Anastasia Kelly, a top lawyer at AIG, recently resigned because she found her mandated pay cap to be insufficient.
Kelly's departure came months after another
high-profile kerfuffle involving employees from AIG's financial-products unit. The unit led to the firm's collapse, but its employees were needed for the
massive derivatives unwind the firm has been undergoing since September 2008. After word got out about their post-bailout bonuses, citizens began protesting and even sending death threats to some employees.
While tempers have cooled a bit since then, and Benmosche has done a fine job of boosting AIG's standing as well as employee morale, he's sure to face some tough questioning on Wednesday morning. Tune into the blog to see a real-time retelling of the day's events.
-- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York