The AIG saga: ERM lessons

I reviewed Fatal Risk: A Cautionary Tale of AIG’s Corporate Suicide for Contingencies magazine this month. To quote myself:

Boyd, a veteran Wall Street journalist, writes that AIG’s demise was a suicide, though AIG’s behavior was no more suicidal than a chain smoker’s—a series of unforced errors compounding. Though he doesn’t emphasize it, Boyd’s story also shows how enterprise risk management should, and should not, be practiced.

Hank Greenberg, of course, built the company. While he was there, Boyd writes, ERM consisted of Hank scouring every deal (and every dealmaker). If Hank liked the deal, it happened. If he didn’t, the deal didn’t.

This worked well while Hank was in charge. His successors, in Boyd’s account, lacked Hank’s savvy. Tragedy ensued.

The full article can be found here.

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