Officials at PineBridge Investments, rid of the American International Group albatross, are ready for the firm to become a major player among insurance asset managers.
PineBridge — formerly AIG Investments, the insurance giant's money management business — was sold for $500 million to the Pacific Century Group in March 2010, with the proceeds of the sale helping to repay part of the U.S. government's $182.3 billion bailout of AIG.
Hans Danielsson, senior managing director and head of equity and fixed income, said in an interview that PineBridge plans to capitalize on its strong record of managing assets for AIG before its former parent company ran into financial trouble.
Mr. Danielsson said PineBridge, as AIG Investments, had managed other insurers' money, but it was a difficult proposition.
“I think there was some natural reluctance for major insurers to hire us because we were part of one of their competitors,” he said. “Now that we are independent, that concern is gone.”
While PineBridge had developed a strong legacy in managing assets for a wide variety of clients, “if you look at our history we are experts at managing insurance (company assets),” Mr. Danielsson said.
Pensions & Investments' 2010 survey of insurance company assets run by money managers shows PineBridge had non-affiliated assets under management of $30.95 billion as of March 31, up from only $5.7 billion three years earlier. The increase is a bit skewed however: PineBridge is still managing some of AIG's investments. Mr. Danielsson said around 60% of the insurance assets it manages comes from AIG. He said the company manages assets for 50 other U.S. insurance clients.
Mr. Danielsson said he sees plenty of opportunity to grow as insurers worldwide continue to outsource their assets following the financial crisis.
When asked by clients about the AIG debacle, Mr. Danielsson said he and his staff emphasize that AIG Investments, started in 1995, had 13 years of strong asset growth before the problems at the parent company surfaced. The investment team that drove that growth is largely intact, he added, with only one of 20 leaving since the troubles with its former parent surfaced.
“We have managed to retain our key investment personnel,” he said.