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History

The AIG story begins in China in 1919, when American Cornelius Vander Starr started an insurance agency in Shanghai. The enterprise grew first across China, then across the globe, with every new market and culture, we deepened our understanding of risk and helped create innovative ways to deliver value to our clients.

This timeline captures some of the events from our history that demonstrate our willingness and ability to explore new opportunities for our clients and for our company.

Thank you for being part of our story.

Timeline

  • 1919

    1. 1919
      Cornelius Vander Starr establishes American Asiatic Underwriters (AAU), a general insurance company, in Shanghai, China.
  • 1920

    1. 1923
      Nelle Vander Starr joins the company’s early operations in Shanghai, China, later becoming the first woman executive.
    2. 1926
      The first U.S. office, American International Underwriters (AIU), opens in New York City.
  • 1930

    1. 1937
      First Latin American market operation opens in Cuba.
    2. 1939
      Company headquarters relocate from Shanghai, China to New York City.
  • 1940

    1. 1943
      During World War II, many company employees — both those in the military and civilians — are affected by the global conflict. C.V. Starr helps employees and their families by providing financial support and supplies during the war and jobs after the war. Also, he personally corresponds with families of employees who were being held in an internment camp. As one employee’s mother wrote to her son, “As soon as [Mr. Starr] had any word at all from the American Red Cross about you, he phoned me. He told me you were safe.”
    2. 1944
      Myriam Niemtzoff joins the Argentina operations as the first employee, later becoming a marine manager.
    3. 1946
      Soon after World War II, C.V. Starr opens offices, in Japan and Germany to provide insurance for the U.S. military.
    4. 1947
      Lilo Wiegand, one of the women who helped build AIG, joins the company in West Berlin. During the Berlin Blockade of 1948-1949, she singlehandedly runs the West Berlin office and keeps it open serving clients. Ms. Wiegand manages the West Berlin operation for over 15 years.
    5. 1948
      Through the Marshall Plan, 1948 to1952, the United States gave almost $13 billion (more than $100 billion today) in economic support to more than a dozen European countries still recovering from the war. C.V. Starr is an early and committed supporter of the Marshall Plan, and the company plays a part by providing insurance for vital infrastructure projects in Germany, Greece, and Turkey.
  • 1950

    1. 1951
      The company establishes its first Middle Eastern operation, in Lebanon.
    2. 1952
      The acquisition of general insurer Globe and Rutgers Insurance Group, which includes the American Home brand, expands the company’s domestic market presence.
    3. 1953
      Offices open in the United Kingdom.

      The company provides aid to victims of the devastating floods in the Netherlands by making a $10,000 donation to support recovery efforts.
    4. 1954
      The company provides insurance coverage for a scientific expedition to the North Magnetic Pole aboard the ship, Monte Carlo. The 11-person crew faces many challenges on their way to the top of the world including strong storms and pack ice.

      The Franklin Life Insurance Company (later acquired by AIG) is one of the first businesses in the U.S. to enter the computer age when it purchases a Universal Automatic Computer (UNIVAC). The computer performs a range of functions including premium billing, premium accounting, dividend accounting, agency commission accounting, and valuation of reserves. Experiencing phenomenal sales growth, Franklin Life management determines that new technology is necessary to keep up demand and future growth.

      Operations begin in South Korea.
    5. 1957
      Offices open in Australia.
  • 1960

    1. 1962
      AIG provides travel accident insurance for the New York Yankees’ cross-country trips during the World Series.
    2. 1967
      American International Group (AIG) incorporates in Delaware.
    3. 1968
      Maurice R. Greenberg succeeds C.V. Starr as company leader.
    4. 1969
      AIG stock begins publicly trading.
  • 1970

    1. 1972
      AIG provides coverage for the construction of the Washington D.C. Metro transit system.
    2. 1973
      AIG holds a companywide contest to design the first logo for American International Group, Inc. Open to all employees around the world, Filemon G. “Sam” Samiley in the Philippines office, creates the winning concept.
    3. 1974
      Muhammad Ali and George Foreman enter the ring in Kinshasa, Zaire, for the Rumble in the Jungle boxing event. AIG provides transmission coverage as the match is broadcast in approximately 100 countries worldwide.
    4. 1975
      AIG is the first U.S. Insurance organization to establish a direct business relationship with the People’s Republic of China following a visit by President and CEO Maurice R. Greenberg.
    5. 1976
      AIG opens operations in Ireland, the first wholly American-owned insurer established in the country.
  • 1980

    1. 1984
      AIG begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
    2. 1987
      AIG’s Japan operation establishes an educational program to foster cultural exchange between Japan and the United States and to help Japanese students discover America.
  • 1990

    1. 1992
      The People's Republic of China grants AIG a license to operate a life and non-life insurance business in Shanghai, the first foreign insurer granted a license in over 40 years by the Chinese government.

      Lloyd’s of London and AIG reach an agreement to establish the first insurance company underwriting operation located at Lloyd’s.
    2. 1995
      An earthquake hits the Japanese city of Kobe. An AIG crisis management team responds quickly, assessing damage (including the company’s own network of offices), visiting clients, and laying the groundwork for a large-scale adjustment process.
    3. 1997
      AIG launches microinsurance operations, with the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA).
    4. 1999
      AIG acquires Sun America, Inc., a leading retirement and financial services company.
  • 2000

    1. 2001
      AIG acquires American General Corporation, a leading life insurer

      Tata and AIG form a joint venture general insurance company in India.
    2. 2005
      The AIG Disaster Relief Fund supports Hurricane Katrina recovery and humanitarian efforts in New Orleans by providing aid and comfort to its employees, its clients and the communities it serves.

      Martin J. Sullivan is appointed AIG President and CEO.
    3. 2006
      AIG acquires Travel Guard, a provider of travel insurance programs and emergency travel assistance.
    4. 2007
      AIG became the lead insurer of the World Trade Center project, providing coverage to protect people on and around the site, the property, and the environment. The complex project — with activities like blasting, steelwork, and concrete formwork — requires a team effort between the developers, workers, and AIG to ensure the safety and security of the people who work at the site.
    5. 2008
      AIG Chairman Robert Willumstad becomes CEO.

      A financial crisis hits the U.S., the government provides support to AIG, and Edward M. Liddy becomes AIG Chairman and CEO.
    6. 2009
      Robert H. Benmosche is named AIG President and CEO.
  • 2010

    1. 2011
      An earthquake off the coast of Japan triggers a tsunami that devastates the Sendai region. In the aftermath, AIG helps coastal Japanese communities by using innovative technology to shorten claim times, and provide financial support and emergency supplies.

      The company expands by acquiring Fuji Fire and Marine, a leading non-life insurer in Japan.
    2. 2012
      AIG signs an agreement with the New Zealand Rugby Union to sponsor the All Blacks including Maori All Blacks, All Black Sevens, New Zealand Women’s Sevens, New Zealand Black Ferns and New Zealand Under 20s rugby teams.

      AIG restructures itself, fully repays its assistance from the U.S. government plus a profit, restores its reputation, and relaunches its brand.

      AIG introduces CyberEdge, designed to protect against the full potential impact of a cyber breach, including financial, legal, investigative and reputation exposures.
    3. 2013
      AIG launches sponsorship of the Dublin GAA’s hurling, football, ladies, and camogie teams.

      AIG Road Safety initiative starts in Asia in collaboration with public and private organizations to develop technologies and driver education programs that help improve road safety.
    4. 2014
      Peter D. Hancock is named AIG President and CEO.

      AIG acquires Ageas Protect, a provider of life protection products in the United Kingdom.
    5. 2015
      AIG receives approval from the FAA to operate drones to conduct inspections for risk assessment and develops unmanned aircraft insurance.

      AIG acquires Ireland’s Laya Healthcare.