Ex-AIG CEO Hank Greenberg launches new insurer

Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, one-time CEO of American International Group and one of the insurer's largest shareholders, is reuniting with some of his former colleagues for a new insurance venture.

Greenberg's firm, C.V. Starr & Company, has launched Iron-Starr Agency Limited, a joint venture with Ironshore Inc. Iron-Starr Excess will act as a specialty lines insurance and reinsurance managing general agency, domiciled in Bermuda, according to an announcement from C.V. Starr.

Initially, Iron-Starr Excess will focus on the production of excess financial and commercial lines insurance and reinsurance products through U.S. insurers, Bermuda or other offshore carriers, including catastrophic excess casualty insurance for Fortune 2000 and other clients. It will issue policy limits up to $75 million.

"There are significant opportunities in this market, and C.V. Starr together with Ironshore has the team to get the job done," Greenberg said in a statement.

Kevin Kelley, Ironshore's CEO who used to work under Greenberg at AIG's Lexington Insurance subsidiary, said in a prepared statement that the partnership allows his company to enter the excess casualty market "with additional backing and support to offer larger limits, consistent with the needs of these clients."

"We look forward to developing a long-standing relationship with C. V. Starr and are excited about this new venture," he said. "This arrangement will assure customers that during these challenging times, they have a syndicated alternative that understands their needs and has the experience to be a long-term solution on Finance."

Ironshore also features six former AIG employees as its executives.

Greenberg has been a frequent critic of the $150 billion federal bailout of AIG, the company he left in 2005 amid money mismanagement claims by former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

In November, Greenberg told IFAwebnews.com that while the impact of the relief funding will take years to realize, he believes AIG will be minimized to a worldwide property-casualty company with "some modest life remaining assets, but it is hard to tell."

Greenberg has also been skeptical of the government's 79.9% ownership role in the insurer, as it could hurt raising capital in the future.

C.V. Starr is an independently owned holding company with insurance agencies and a portfolio of global investments. Through its insurance operations, C.V. Starr writes specialty lines covering aviation, marine, energy, excess casualty and property, accident and health, including risks with international exposures.

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