AIG promotes Mark Lyons to finance chief, replacing Sankaran

The American International Assurance building in Hong Kong. (AFP pic)

NEW YORK: American International Group Inc promoted Mark Lyons, who rejoined the insurer earlier this year, to succeed Sid Sankaran as chief financial officer.

Lyons became AIG’s chief actuary of general insurance in June and will continue in that role until a successor is named, the company said Tuesday in a statement. Sankaran will remain as an adviser for the year-end reporting process.

AIG Chief Executive Officer Brian Duperreault has been revamping management since taking over in 2017 as he seeks to boost confidence in the insurer, which has slumped 32% this year.

Lyons joined a conference call with analysts last month to explain his review of the company’s reserves, with comments that some analysts said should help ease investor concerns.

“We are confident that he will further strengthen our financial processes and forecasting capabilities, as well as build on the progress we have made to restore AIG’s position as a growing, profitable leader in the insurance industry,” Duperreault said in the statement.

Upon returning to AIG, Lyons initiated a review of reserves, announcing that in the third quarter he had the project about 75% completed. The rest would be analysed during the last three months of the year.

Lyons joined AIG the second time from Arch Capital Group Ltd., where he had worked since 2002. He has been at firms including Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Zurich Insurance Group AG.

Sankaran took over the CFO role in early 2016 after being named chief risk officer beginning in 2010.

He worked as CFO under former CEO Peter Hancock and defended the company’s strategy against activist investor Carl Icahn, who had been pushing for a breakup of the insurer.

When Hancock stepped down in 2017 and Duperreault was named as the new leader months later, Sankaran continued as CFO.

Duperreault and Lyons are scheduled to present at the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. conference Wednesday morning.

Peter Zaffino, who leads the general insurance business, and Kevin Hogan, who is in charge of the life and retirement operations, will also be at the conference, the company said.