2008 Financial Crisis: A Ten-Year Review

Fireside Chat with Peter Hancock, former president and CEO of AIG, and Rob Armstrong, Financial Times


Hancock, who took the helm at AIG in February 2010, discusses his role in “putting Humpty Dumpty back together again,” in an interview with Tett. His task was especially difficult, he says, because of the degree of vilification. AIG was a poster child, rightly or wrongly, for the excesses that brought on the financial crisis. Hancock set out to restore trust in AIG and stave off liquidation. That meant 120 board meetings in a single year and countless negotiations with government agencies. “We had to persuade people that the whole was worth more than the sum of its parts,” he says. AIG insured 100,000s of businesses that would have fallen if the company hadn’t been saved. The government bailout was paid back in full in November 2012, according to Hancock. “Part of what we saved is still the largest insurance company in the world,” he says.

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