AIG chief, alumnus Benmosche 2013 Commencement speaker
Robert H. Benmosche, a 1966 graduate of Alfred University with a degree in mathematics and now chief executive officer of American International Group Incorporated (AIG), will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary Doctor of Business degree during Alfred University’s (AU) annual commencement exercises, scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18, at McLane Center on the AU campus.
“We are delighted Bob Benmosche agreed to return to Alfred University to deliver this year’s commencement address,” said AU President Charles M. Edmondson. “He has an extraordinary reputation as a person who can turn a company around. First, he is credited with rescuing MetLife, and taking it public, and then he was called out of retirement to lead AIG back to solvency after the crisis of 2008.”
The University will also bestow an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters on Peter Cuneo, a 1967 alumnus of Alfred University who is completing his second three-year term as chairman of the AU Board of Trustees. Like Benmosche, Cuneo is also regarded as a rescuer of failing corporations, including Marvel Comics, which he took from a struggling publisher of comic books to an entertainment company worth billions.
Benmosche joined AIG as president and chief executive officer in August, 2009. He was also elected to the AIG Board of Directors. Under his leadership, AIG succeeded in paying back the federal government for the funds it received to keep the corporation from failing and bringing down the global economic system.
AIG is not the first corporate giant Benmosche has rescued. He joined MetLife as an executive vice president in 1995 to direct the merger of New England Mutual with MetLife, and to head MetLife's individual sales force and retail product development. He became president and chief operating officer from 1997 until he was named chairman of the board, president, and chief executive officer in 1998.
During Benmosche's tenure, MetLife acquired General American and Traveler's Life and Annuity. After an 11-year career with MetLife, Benmosche retired to his refurbished villa and vineyard in Croatia, but came out of retirement to head AIG after the bailout in 2008.
Before joining MetLife, Benmosche spent more than 13 years at PaineWebber Group Incorporated, where he served in several capacities, including senior vice president of marketing; chief financial officer of the Retail Brokerage Division; and as executive vice president from 1989-1995, serving as the head of operations and technology and director and sales manager for over 1,500 retail investment advisors. He also directed the merger of Kidder Peabody into PaineWebber in 1994. Earlier in his career, Benmosche was a Chase Manhattan Bank vice president and a staff consultant with Arthur D. Little.
Following graduation from AU, where he played football for two years and was a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps, Benmosche served in Korea as a lieutenant in the United States Army Signal Corps.
He is a current member of the Board of Directors of Credit Suisse Group AG and previously served on the Board of Directors of the New York Philharmonic. He was a member of the Alfred University Board of Trustees from 1996-2005. He is a member of the Founders Society at Alfred University.
A native of Brooklyn, Benmosche was raised in Monticello, NY.
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