by Structured Settlement Watchdog
Industry scum churner Patrick Hindert's published "first draft" of the AIG structured settlement time line gets an incomplete:
Anything in the chart prior to the 1970s is essentially irrelevant in an AIG "structured settlement time line". For example there were no structured settlements done in 1919, let alone AIG structured settlements.
From a structured settlement historical perspective this should help fill out the story:
Prior to the completed acquisition of American General Life in August 2001, AIG was primarily a major consumer of structured settlement annuities as part of the resolution of its casualty claims. Its structured annuity issuing companies, American International Life Assurance Company of New York and AIG Life had finicky underwriting rules and were generally not competitive on catastrophic cases because they did not do medical underwriting.
Prior to its acquisition by AIG, American General (founded in May 1926) was a substantial insurer in its own right with leading positions in life insurance, retirement savings products, consumer finance and structured settlements. The co-founders of one of its subsidiaries VALIC (a one time structured annuity writer for American General in New York state) were visionaries integrally involved in the introduction of variable annuities, a massive industry today. American General was also one of the first group of life insurers to offer "no-lapse guarantee universal life" (a potent estate planning tool that guarantees face amount if minimum premiums are paid) in the 1990s. Now many companies do. One of the goals of American General acquisition as stated by then CEO Maurice "Hank" Greenberg was "giving AIG an even stronger platform from which to capitalize on the significant growth we see in retirement savings in the years ahead".
American General's structured settlement department was built up initially under the leadership of John Jefferies, a lifetime member of NSSTA, and subsequently the Steele brothers after Western National Life was absorbed by American General in 1994 through 1998 and Jefferies retirement. AIG gazumped and paid American General's then recent merger partner Prudential plc to terminate that agreement.
The marriage of AIG and American General resulted in an integration of the American General and AI Life structured settlement operations under one roof, in Amarillo Texas. AI Life immediately gained the structured settlement medical underwriting expertise that it sorely needed. The annuity issuing components of AIG structured settlements operation appear to maintain the largest dedicated staff of any structured annuity issuer.
The AIG American General website publishes an acquisition timeline covering the time periods 1990-2007 for AIG and from 1945-2001 for American General. As certain assets are sold in orderly fashion to pay off the $85B line of credit with the Fed, readers should be mindful of the cost of the assets being sold and calculate accordingly. If I had to make a prediction I'd say you will probably note a trend of wise insurance investment decisions.
The AM Best downgrade of the structured settlement underwriting companies, American General Life and American International Life Assurance Company of New York from A++ to A+ did not occur until June 17, 2008, a date when Hindert was busy attending the JG Wentworth "Thought Leadership Conference. On June 18, 2008 when Hindert had lapped up the last bit of JG Wentworth "Flavor Aid"** and finished lobbing "parablas lascivious" at JG Wentworth CEO Michael Goodman, he made no comment about the AM Best action, or the fact that S&P had just removed the credit watch on AIG it had applied in May. Here's how this author reported the facts. Hindert now reports this occurrence as happening in 2005.
** It was indeed poisoned Wyler's Flavor Aid that the Jonestown disciples of former monkey salesman and Rev. Jim Jones drank on the way to their deaths, not the commonly maligned Kool Aid.