American International Group Inc. shares slumped Tuesday amid a report that the Securities and Exchange Commission is probing sales practices for retirement products at a unit that handles plans for school districts and universities.
The stock fell as much as 2.6% after the Wall Street Journal said the SEC was inquiring about whether incentives at AIG’s Valic unit rewarded salespeople for pitching higher-cost products and whether the payments that AIG's representatives received for selling certain products were properly disclosed. Judy Burns, an SEC spokeswoman, declined to comment.
Regulators have sought to clarify conflict-of-interest rules for sales by brokers and advisers of certain products. The SEC announced new rules in June that would require brokers to act in the best interest of clients after an earlier effort by the Department of Labor fell apart. The SEC inquiry into AIG allegedly centers around a unit's arrangements with school districts and universities.
Several high-level executives at the AIG unit were put on administrative leave in recent weeks, the Journal reported. An AIG spokesman said the company couldn't comment at this time on any regulatory inquiries or personnel matters.
"It is our policy to cooperate fully with all regulatory inquiries and to take steps to ensure compliance with the law and best practices," the spokesman said in an emailed statement.