Elsewhere online
June 02, 2009

AIG Seeks Control of Charitable Endowment

The embattled insurance firm AIG is seeking control of a $490-million charity endowment in order to pay bonuses to its managers, according to the New York Post.

The endowment of the Starr International Foundation is operated by Hank Greenberg, AIG’s former chairman. It supports New York charities that include the September 11 Memorial and Museum.

The endowment was seeded with AIG shares from the Starr International Company, an offshore entity created in the 1970s by Mr. Greenberg and several AIG co-founders from which to compensate employees. The shares were transferred to the endowment in 2005, when Mr. Greenberg was pushed out of AIG’s board.

AIG argues that it has a right to all the stock going back to 2005, when it was worth about $20-billion; at the close of Friday’s stock market, the endowment’s holdings were valued at $490-million. The company is gearing up for a trial in federal court June 15; its lawyers say it is also seeking $27-million in grants given from the endowment over the last three years.

Neither Mr. Greenberg nor AIG representatives commented to the Post on the case.