AIG has earned recognition from the Financial Times for innovation in the legal field. AIG Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Tom Russo, received the award for Most Innovative General Counsel at the Times’ Innovative Lawyers Awards, North America 2015.
Accepting the award at a gala at the New York Public Library, Mr. Russo emphasized that innovation involves collaboration—an innovative lawyer recognizes bright ideas and helps to implement them. Mr. Russo’s thoughts reflect AIG’s commitment to recognizing our employees’ bright ideas and fostering internal collaboration so that we can develop innovative solutions for our clients.
“At 72 to get this award is somewhat remarkable,” said Mr. Russo. “To me, innovation is frankly recognizing other people and trying to implement their ideas, and that’s exactly what I’ve tried to do. So it’s all those other people at AIG who have been quite remarkable. I’m just here on their behalf, and I’m honored and thrilled to accept this award.”
2015 marked the 10th anniversary of the Financial Times’ Innovative Lawyers report. The report, and the associated awards, recognize lawyers who have significantly contributed to their companies’ success by pre-empting difficulties, solving complex problems, and creating innovative solutions. The awards commend the individuals who have led innovation in the legal field.
Mr. Russo is recognized around the world for his creativity and leadership in solving complex challenges to help companies prepare for the future. Notably, he led AIG through negotiations with the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to enable our organization to repay the government and U.S. taxpayers with a profit. Mr. Russo negotiated more than 90 strategic transactions to sell AIG’s non-core assets, guided six sales of AIG common stock by the U.S. Treasury, and overcame unprecedented challenges in litigation to achieve a successful outcome for AIG and the U.S.
During his six years at AIG, Mr. Russo and his legal team have received more than a dozen awards for excellence. Mr. Russo, who built a pro-bono legal program from scratch, was a 2015 recipient of the “Pro Bono Service Award” from the New York State Bar Association. In 2014, his team was also named “Legal Department of the Year – Outstanding Legal Department” by the New York Law Journal.