NEW YORK (TheStreet) --American International Group (AIG) tapped longtime J.P. Morgan executive Peter Hancock as its new CEO, choosing a man with scant background in insurance but deep experience in the type of complex financial instruments that forced the giant company to take a $182 billion bailout.
Hancock, 55, spent 20 years at the predecessor to what is now JPMorgan Chase (JPM), founding its global derivatives group and rising to chief risk officer and CFO before resigning in 2000.
The selection, while not unexpected, still indicates a big departure, according to Roddy Boyd, author of the book "Fatal Risk: A Cautionary Tale of AIG's Corporate Suicide."
"For years anybody who ran any major unit at AIG unless it was administrative or clearly a trading desk was an insurance guy. That's all gone, and they're clearly signalling that AIG's future although clearly it will be an insurance company in dozens of different ways, the person running AIG has got to be a truly financial Wall Street savvy guy," says Boyd.
Hancock has been with AIG since 2010, spending most of that time as head of its property and casualty business.
He had been reported last month to be one of two finalists for the position along with Jay Wintrob, head of AIG's life insurance and retirement business, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Hancock will succeed Robert Benmosche effective Sept. 1. Benmosche, 70, is widely credited with turning around AIG after it received a $182 billion bailout, the result of taking on too much derivatives exposure.