Icahn pulling rank at AIG

November 23, 2015 09:26 AM

Activist investor Carl Icahn said he may propose adding a new director to American International Group's board, saying Peter Hancock, AIG's chief executive, was unlikely to "sincerely consider" his suggestion to split the company into three.

Icahn disclosed on Monday that he owned 42 million shares in AIG as of Oct. 28, which would make him the insurer's fifth largest shareholder, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The new director would agree in advance to succeed Hancock as CEO if asked to do so by the board, Icahn said in a statement, adding that he would reach out to shareholders by starting a "consent solicitation" soon.

Activist investors have used consent solicitations in recent years to push for board seats and corporate changes.

The billionaire, with the support of hedge fund manager John Paulson, recommended last month that AIG break itself apart. The move would return more cash to shareholders, Icahn said, and would help AIG rid itself of a regulatory burden.

Tensions have since mounted between Icahn and Hancock, who said this month that a breakup of AIG did not "make financial sense".

AIG shares were up 0.6% at $62.61 in early trading.

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