Greenberg Sues AIG To Get Copies of Board Notes, Minutes
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WILMINGTON, Del. – American International Group Inc.’s departed chief, Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, yesterday sued the company he once led, seeking a court order to force it to hand over notes and minutes of AIG board meetings from February 9, 2005, to the present.
The Greenberg-led Starr International Co. Inc. filed the so-called “books and records” action in Delaware’s Court of Chancery, where Mr. Greenberg faces a lawsuit seeking to recover for AIG millions in alleged improper payments.
Mr. Greenberg says he wants to seek the records of board action that led to a $1.6 billion settlement, announced in February, with state and federal regulators who had raised questions about the insurer’s accounting and reinsurance deals.
AIG’s chief executive, Martin Sullivan, said at the time that the settlement was “a major step forward in resolving the legal and regulatory issues facing AIG.”
However, Mr. Greenberg, the company’s former chairman and CEO, in court papers said he has questions about the settlement, and wants to see how AIG’s board handled things.
The complaint cites quarrels that five states have regarding their share of the settlement funds related to workers’ compensation coverage. The complaint says these quarrels could be evidence of other problems with the settlement, or possible mismanagement in general.
Starr International is a major shareholder of AIG, holding, at last report, nearly 308 million shares, and the suit invokes a special Delaware law that allows shareholders to see corporate records if they suspect wrongdoing.
Yesterday’s lawsuit is one of several involving the insurer; its ex-chairman; Starr International, and a related company, C.V. Starr & Co.
Stuart Grant, the attorney leading the Delaware lawsuit against Greenberg over AIG’s payments to the Starr companies, said he had not seen Mr. Greenberg’s books and records lawsuit.
Relations between AIG and the former chairman are not good, the lawyer said. “I think they’re very hostile,” Mr. Grant said.
Any AIG documents Mr. Greenberg would be entitled to see, he added, probably would be available as part of “very significant multiple lawsuits in New York. Why he doesn’t just ask for it as part of discovery is beyond me.”
AIG spokesman Joe Norton said the company has no comment at this time.