As of December 31, 2016, AIG companies employed 56,400 people. The company operates through three core businesses: General Insurance, Life & Retirement, and a standalone technology-enabled subsidiary. General Insurance includes Commercial, Personal Insurance, U.S. and International field operations. Life & Retirement includes Group Retirement, Individual Retirement, Life, and Institutional Markets.
AIG's corporate headquarters are in New York City and the company also has offices around the world. According to the 2016 Forbes Global 2000 list, AIG is the 87th largest public company in the world. On December 31, 2016 AIG had $76.3 billion in shareholder equity.
AIG was founded 19 December 1919 when American Cornelius Vander Starr (1892-1968) established a general insurance agency, American Asiatic Underwriters (AAU), in Shanghai, China. Business grew rapidly, and two years later, Starr formed a life insurance operation. By the late 1920s, AAU had branches throughout China and Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. In 1926, Mr. Starr opened his first office in the United States, American International Underwriters Corporation (AIU).
After World War II, American International Underwriters (AIU) entered Japan and Germany, to provide insurance for American military personnel. Throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s, AIU continued to expand in Europe, with offices opening in France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. In 1952, Mr. Starr began to focus on the American market by acquiring Globe & Rutgers Fire Insurance Company and its subsidiary, American Home Fire Assurance Company. By the end of the decade, C.V. Starr's general and life insurance organization included an extensive network of agents and offices in over 75 countries.
In Australia and China, AIG is identified as a large financial institution and provider financial services including credit security mechanisms. In the United States, AIG is the largest underwriter of commercial and industrial insurance.
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