AIG traces its roots from a humble, two-room insurance agency in Shanghai, China, to the leading global insurance organization it is today. Time and time again, the deep expertise of AIG’s people has allowed the company to pioneer new markets, products and services to help clients address their most challenging risks.
Looking ahead, the most important part of AIG’s history is yet to be written. We remain committed to the principles that have guided us: excellence at understanding risk, commitment to keeping our promises and dedication to exemplary corporate citizenship.
A History of Innovation
At the heart of AIG’s success has been its vision, ingenuity and willingness to seek out new markets and develop new ways to help our clients manage their risk.
American Asiatic Underwriters opened for business by Cornelius Vander Starr in Shanghai, China — one of the first Western insurers to sell directly to local Chinese clients
National Life and Accident Insurance Company, later to become part of AIG, recognized the marketing potential of radio and in an unorthodox move, launched radio station WSM along with what has become the longest-running radio program in U.S. history, “The Grand Ole Opry”
First U.S. office opened in New York
Operations established in Havana, Cuba — later to become regional headquarters during World War II
First foreign insurance company to enter Japan after World War II
American International Reinsurance Company formed in Bermuda, leading to the development of captive insurance for a broader market
VALIC, later to join AIG and become AIG Retirement Services, enrolls the first public school district in a 403(b) retirement program — an American first
American International Group, Inc. incorporated in Delaware
Celebrated 50th anniversary and stock began publicly trading
Listed on the New York Stock Exchange
First foreign insurer licensed to operate in the People’s Republic of China
SunAmerica, later to become part of AIG, introduced Polaris® — one of the nation’s first multi-managed variable annuities
Acquired SunAmerica, Inc., a leading retirement and financial services company
Provided one of the first cyber security insurance protection programs
Acquired American General Corporation, a leading life insurer
Led the insurance effort to protect the aviation industry following the 9/11 terror attacks
Acquired Travel Guard®, a provider of travel insurance programs and emergency travel assistance
Participated in the formation of the consortium Blue Marble Microinsurance
Debuted fixed annuity product with a guaranteed living benefit nationwide, including the first-ever of its kind in the state of New York: the Assured Edge Income Builder®
Blackboard Insurance began its technology- and analytics-driven business serving commercial customers in the middle market
Acquired Validus Holdings, Ltd., a leading provider of reinsurance, primary insurance and asset management services
The official Centennial website - 100.aig - tells more of AIG’s story, celebrating the value we deliver to our clients, to our stakeholders and to the world.