AIG Investment Unit Rebranded PineBridge Before Sale (Update1)

By Hugh Son and Kristen Haunss
Bloomberg News
November 20, 2009

Nov. 20 (Bloomberg) -- American International Group Inc.'s fund management arm has been renamed PineBridge Investments as the bailed-out insurer prepares to sell the unit to Pacific Century Group.

The sale of the business, which managed $88.7 billion as of June, will be completed next month, according to a regulatory filing. Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li's Pacific Century agreed in September to pay about $500 million for the subsidiary, parts of which had previously been called AIG Global Investment Corp. The name change was officially announced today in a statement from PineBridge.

AIG has rebranded property-casualty and life insurance units to distance the operations from a name associated with a $182.3 billion U.S. bailout. The AIG logo has been "thoroughly wounded and disgraced" by the backlash over retention bonuses handed out after the government rescue, former Chief Executive Officer Edward Liddy said in March.

The new name marks a "significant point as we transition to being an independent business," Win Neuger, CEO of PineBridge, said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. "We look to the future with a great deal of enthusiasm and confidence."

AIG, which needed a U.S. rescue in September 2008 after soured bets tied to housing markets drained cash, is the biggest single customer of PineBridge. AIG and its subsidiaries made up 30 percent, or $26.6 billion, of the fund company's assets under management. Institutional investors made up $36.7 billion, and retail investors another $25.4 billion.

AIG's Address

The name PineBridge is based in part on the address of AIG's New York headquarters, 70 Pine St. AIG agreed in June to sell the tower and a nearby building to a group led by South Korea-based Kumho Investment Bank for an undisclosed price.

PineBridge operates in 32 countries and its headquarters will remain in New York, the company said today.

AIG renamed its U.S. auto-insurance unit 21st Century to ease a sale. The business was sold to Zurich Financial Services AG for $2 billion this year. AIG revealed in July a new brand, Chartis Inc., for the property-casualty division it is moving into a special-purpose vehicle. AIG also said it would change the name of an annuities unit to Western National Life.

AIG CEO Robert Benmosche, who took charge in August, has halted some auctions, including those of Japanese life insurers and an advisory business, saying the company can get higher prices by waiting for markets to recover. The firm struck deals to raise more than $12 billion in asset sales.

The insurer's bailout includes a $60 billion Federal Reserve credit line, a Treasury investment of as much as $69.8 billion and $52.5 billion to buy mortgage-linked assets owned or backed by the company.

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