Bob Benmosche

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Robert H. Benmosche
Robert Benmosche.JPG
Born (1944-05-29) May 29, 1944 (age 70)
Brooklyn, NY
Residence Suffern, New York and Boca Raton, Florida
Nationality American
Education B.A. 1966
Alma mater Alfred University
Occupation CEO
Employer AIG
Salary US$13.9 million per annum
Title President & CEO of AIG
Term August 2009 – August 31st 2014
Predecessor Edward M. Liddy
Political party
American Libertarian
Religion Jewish
Spouse(s) Denise
Children 2

Robert H. "Bob" Benmosche (born May 29, 1944) is the former president and chief executive officer of American International Group (NYSE: AIG).[1] Benmosche was appointed President & Chief Executive Officer by the US Department of Treasury and AIG Board of Directors to succeed Edward M. Liddy.[2][3] Benmosche is best known for his leadership at American International Group where he led a turnaround, improved profits 60% year over year, and paid down government aid pledged by the Bush and Obama Administrations.[4][5]

Early life[edit]

Benmosche was born in Brooklyn, New York.[6] Benmosche traced his Jewish lineage back to Lithuania where his great-grandfather, Moshe Kreiskol, was one of the first Jews to serve in the tsar’s army in the 1830s. Benmosche’s grandfather, Rabbi Herman Benmosche moved the family to the United States in 1894.[3][7]

Benmosche’s father passed away when Benmosche was 10 years old, leaving him, his three siblings, and his mother with $250,000 in debt and the unfinished Patio Motel, in Monticello, New York. The family kept the motel; the young Benmosche did housekeeping, caddying, and operated the switchboard. Benmosche’s first job, as a teenager, was a truck driver delivering Coca-Cola.[3]

Benmosche attended Alfred University . In 1966, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics.[3]

From 1966-1968, Benmosche served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, serving a tour of duty in Korea in the U.S. Signal Corps where he led the setup of field communications.[3]


Benmosche began his career when he joined Arthur D. Little and Information Science as a consultant.[3]

In 1975, Benmosche joined the Chase Manhattan systems group. In 1982, Benmosche joined Paine Webber to lead the development of Paine Webber’s Central Asset Brokerage Account.[3]

During his 14-year tenure at Paine Webber, Benmosche gained experience in marketing and operations in different business units, using the knowledge he gained to become Chief Financial Officer of the company’s retail business. As his career progressed at Paine Webber, Benmosche continued to gain new responsibilities, eventually earning a promotion to the position of Executive Vice President and Director of Operations, Administration and Technology. In that role, he oversaw the merger of Kidder Peabody’s operations and systems with Paine Webber’s.[3]


Benmosche left Paine Weber to join the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in 1995. He was later promoted to president and Chief Operating Officer, and in November 1997 in his role as COO, oversaw individual and institutional as well as international insurance operations. In 1998 he was named Chairman of the Board and CEO. He retired in 2006.[3][8] During his tenure, he oversaw MetLife's successful transition from mutual company to publicly traded firm.[9]

After being a member of the board of Credit Suisse AG for eleven years, Benmosche retired in April 2013.[9]

Innkeeper and vintner[edit]

Benmosche owns Villa Splendid in Dubrovnik, Croatia. In 2001, Benmosche bought the one-time discothèque and spent the next six years renovating it. In 2006, Benmosche purchased land and imported 1500 Zinfandel plants from Napa Valley, California.[10] In 2011, Benmosche’s vineyard produced 3,000 bottles of wine under The Benmosche Family Dingac label.[3]

AIG Turnaround[edit]

In mid-2009, Benmosche was appointed CEO of American International Group. He assumed that role on August 10 of that year. He was recruited by Jim Millstein who was Chief Restructuring Officer at the US Department of Treasury.[3][11]

During his first meeting with employees, Benmosche stated that Congress was composed of "crazies," that he would not cooperate if asked to testify before Congress, and that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who had investigated AIG, "doesn't deserve to be in government." He later asked for a personal private jet and said that he might quit over government-imposed pay restrictions.[12]

In 2010, Benmosche testified to the Congressional Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) Oversight Panel, on May 26 [8], that AIG would repay the U.S. Government and American taxpayers’ investment in AIG in full, with a profit. “AIG is now on a clear path to repaying taxpayers ... At the end of the day, the U.S. government will make an appropriate profit,” he testified.[13]

Benmosche oversaw the sale of non-core assets in AIG’s portfolio to pay down the $182 billion in government aid.[14][15] Business units such as American Life Insurance Company (Alico), American General Finance, 21st Century Insurance, Nan Shan and AIA were sold.[16][17][18][19][20]

On December 14, 2012, Benmosche announced that the U.S. government and American taxpayers received their full investment in AIG, plus a $22 billion positive return. Benmosche’s management has been credited with leading the company to back to profitability, the full repayment to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, reducing the Treasury Department’s stake in AIG to below 20% and the repayment of the 2008 $85 billion federal loan.[21][22]

Battle with Cancer[edit]

In 2010, Benmosche was diagnosed with cancer. He continued to work while also undergoing an aggressive oral chemotherapy regime.[23][24][25]

In an interview with Charlie Rose in December 2012, Benmosche said that he will stay at his current position for two more years.[26]

In August 2014 Benmosche accelerated the timetable of his retirement from AIG due to the progression of his cancer. Doctors have given him only nine months to one year to live. Peter Hancock took over the role of CEO on September 1, 2014.[27]


In September 2013, Benmosche gave an interview to The Wall Street Journal in which he compared public outrage over AIG bonuses to the lynching of black Americans, saying the uproar "was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitch forks and their hangman nooses, and all that–sort of like what we did in the Deep South [decades ago]. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong."[28] This was seen as a reference to the $165 million in bonuses paid out in March 2009 to employees of AIG's "financial products" division, which sold the credit derivatives that put AIG deeply in debt after the Lehman Brothers collapse and compelled the Federal Reserve to "bail out" AIG with an $85 billion loan six months earlier.[29] His comments were labeled offensive by a number of commentators,[30][31] with Congressman Elijah Cummings calling for him to resign, and Benmosche later apologized for the remarks.


  • Insurance and Technology magazine identified Benmosche as one of the insurance industry's "Tech-Savvy CEOs" in 2010.[32]
  • Benmosche ranked 42nd in Fortune magazine’s Top 50 Business Leaders of 2010.[33]
  • The New York Times DealBook/ Andrew Ross Sorkin named Benmosche “2010 Executive of the Year” [34]
  • Benmosche ranked #59 of Top 100 CEOs by Harvard Business Review, Jan. 2010.[35]
  • Insurance and Technology magazine names Benmosche 2011 “Mover and Shaker”.[32]
  • The New York Police & Fire Widows’ & Children’s Benefit Fund named Benmosche as an honoree in 2012.[36]
  • 2013 winner Insurance Hall of Fame [37]

Past Roles[edit]

Benmosche's career has included:[38]

  • AIG, CEO from 2009 to 2014
  • Metropolitan Life, CEO from 1998–2006
  • Metropolitan Life, President from 1997–2004
  • Metropolitan Life, EVP Individual Business from 1995–1997
  • PaineWebber, EVP Southern Division Sales Group 1994-1995
  • PaineWebber EVP and Director of Operations, Administration and Technology from 1987-1994
  • PaineWebber, CFO Retail Business from 1986–1987
  • PaineWebber, Senior VP Marketing from 1982–1985
  • Chase Manhattan Bank, VP Technology from 1975-1982
  • Arthur D. Little, Staff Consultant from 1969–1975
  • US Army 1966-1968


  1. ^ "Robert Benmosche: Executive Profile & Biography – Businessweek". Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Block, Melissa. "Pay Czar Outlines Compensation Limits". All Things Considered. National Public Radio. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Man Who Saved AIG -". Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Koppenheffer, Matt. "1 Thing to Focus on From AIG's Earnings". Motley Fool. Motley Fool. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Berkowitz, Ben. "Treasury says to raise $5 billion from AIG stock sale". MSNBC. MSNBC. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "AIG CEO defends holiday, slams "lynch mob" attacks". Reuters. August 27, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Recalling a Screen Legend's Legacy-". Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Scism, Leslie; Lublin, Joann S.; Pleven, Liam (August 10, 2009). "AIG Chief: Loud Voice And a Listener's Ear". The Wall Street Journal. p. C1. 
  9. ^ a b Son, Hugh (August 18, 2009). "AIG’s Benmosche Scuttles Auction of Advisory Unit". Reuters. 
  10. ^ "AIG CEO Robert Benmosche The Insurance Executive Makes Wine in Croatia -". Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  11. ^ Son, Hugh (August 14, 2009). "AIG Changes Bylaw to Ensure Chairman’s Independence". Bloomberg LP. 
  12. ^ "AIG: The country's most tone-deaf CEO". Fortune. December 31, 2009. 
  13. ^ "AIG Under Troubled Asset Relief Program, Panels 4 & 5.". C-SPAN. 
  14. ^ Davies, Paul. "AIG sells $6bn AIA stake to pay down debt". Financial Times. Financial Times. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  15. ^ "Overall Positive Return on $182 Billion AIG Commitment during Financial Crisis Reaches $15.1 Billion after Treasury Announces $2.7 Billion in Additional Expected Proceeds from AIG Common Stock Sale". US Department of Treasury. US Department of Treasury. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  16. ^ Dennis, Brady (9 March 2010). "AIG sells Alico unit to MetLife for $15.5 billion -". Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  17. ^ "AIG sells American General unit to Fortress at loss -". Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  18. ^ Lifsher, Marc; Zimmerman, Martin (17 April 2009). "AIG selling 21st Century Insurance to Farmers Insurance -". Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  19. ^ "AIG Said to Agree to Sell NYC Headquarters Buildings (Update2) -". 2 June 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  20. ^ "AIG sells Atlantic Station pieces -". Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  21. ^ "Treasury sells big chunk of AIG stock at a profit -". 11 September 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  22. ^ Son, Hugh (August 14, 2009). "AIG Changes Bylaw to Ensure Chairman’s Independence". Bloomberg LP. 
  23. ^ MG, SERENA (October 26, 2010). "AIG Chief Is Being Treated for Cancer". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  24. ^ Jessica, Pressler. "The Randian and the Bailout". New York Magazine. Retrieved Oct 21, 2012. 
  25. ^ Berkowitz, Ben (January 24, 2011). "Benmosche beats back cancer to stay at AIG". Reuters. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  26. ^ "Charlie Rose Talks to AIG Chief Robert Benmosche". Bloomberg. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  27. ^ Wallace, Gregory (28 August 2014). "Outgoing AIG CEO given terminal cancer diagnosis". Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  28. ^ Scism, Leslie. "AIG’s Benmosche and Miller on Villains, Turnarounds and Those Bonuses". September 23, 2013 (Wall Street Journal). Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  29. ^ Gongloff, Mark (24 September 2013). "AIG CEO: Bonus Uproar 'Just As Bad' As Racist Lynch Mob". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  30. ^ Chittum, Ryan. "WSJ buries the lead deep on AIG’s CEO". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  31. ^ Pareene, Alex. "Hey, white guys: No, you’re not the victim of a "lynch mob"". Salon. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  32. ^ a b Burger, Kathy (January 6, 2011). "AIG's Bob Benmosche Reflects on His Career". Insurance & Technology. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  33. ^ Newcomb, Peter (November 19, 2010). "2010's top people in business". CNN Money. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  34. ^ Ross Sorkin, Andrew (January 3, 2011). "Roasting and Toasting The Dealmakers". New York Times. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  35. ^ T. Hansen, Morten (January 2010). "100 Best-Performing CEOs in the World". Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  36. ^ Gordon, Amanda (October 12, 2012). "Scene Last Night: Swizz Beatz, Michael Moore, Estelle". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  37. ^ "2013 Winner Insurance Hall of Fame". Property Casualty 360. 
  38. ^ Retrieved 2009-08-31

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
Edward M. Liddy
Succeeded by
Peter Hancock