AIG shuns New York City comptroller's request for diversity data

AIG

American International Group rebuffed a request from New York City Comptroller John Liu, who oversees the city's $122 billion in pension assets, to release workforce-diversity data.

AIG hasn't joined other companies among the city's largest financial firms in providing access to information on female and minority employment, Michael Garland, Mr. Liu's executive director for corporate governance, said in an interview. Goldman Sachs and MetLife agreed in April to publicly release employment information that is required to be prepared for the federal government.

“We try to get to a place where the company recognizes it is in their self interest and the interest of shareholders to take the next step, and that's why companies agree,” Mr. Garland said. “AIG apparently is not there yet.”

The insurer “has engaged in discussions with the comptroller's office,” said Jim Ankner, a company spokesman. “AIG is very committed to diversity.” Matt Anderson, a spokesman for AIG's majority owner, the U.S. Treasury Department, didn't respond to messages seeking comment.

Mr. Liu, in an e-mailed statement Thursday, said investors are entitled to know about the diversity of companies in which they invest. “Many companies say they recognize the business case for a more diverse workforce and highlight their efforts to promote greater diversity,” Mr. Liu said. “But without disclosure of employment data, shareholders cannot be assured companies are practicing what they preach. This is a proposal we will continue to pursue.”

Goldman Sachs said 20% of its executives and senior officials in the country were female, compared with 17% at MetLife. The figure was 24% at J.P. Morgan Chase and 21% at Citigroup Inc., both of which have made the data available for years.

J.P. Morgan, Citigroup and MetLife all reported that a majority of their U.S. workforce was female, led by J.P. Morgan at 57%. The figure is 36% at Goldman Sachs.

The New York City Retirement Systems, which comprise the city's five pension funds, held more than 1.2 million Goldman Sachs shares, 2.3 million MetLife shares and 1.1 million AIG shares, according to an April 16 statement from Mr. Liu.