New era of transparency sees AIG expand IR efforts

NEW YORK: American International Group (AIG) announced that it will establish an investor relations call center designed to answer questions from both individual and institutional investors.

NEW YORK: American International Group (AIG) announced that it will establish an investor relations call center designed to answer questions from both individual and institutional investors.

The investor "help desk

will be designed to provide a rapid response to such questions. The New York-based insurance and finance behemoth also announced that it was adding resources to its IR department as part of the effort.

The announcement comes in the wake of a consistent decline in the value of AIG shares in recent months.

"We want to ensure that all of our investors have ready access to reliable information about our company,

said AIG chairman Maurice "Hank

Greenberg in a statement released by the company. "In the current environment, rumor, innuendo, and other misinformation circulated by various sources can generate unwarranted concerns."

Although no allegations have been leveled directly at the company, there has been speculation that AIG stock's recent decline may be due in part to concern over the financial transparency surrounding several accounting scandals.

AIG has not had a reputation for openness with its investors, as the company held its first-ever quarterly earnings conference call in late April.

Some skeptics said that the new IR help desk might be seen as a mere repackaging of everyday IR functions. "Calling it a 'help desk' certainly raises the profile,

said Lou Thompson, CEO of the National Investor Relations Institute. "Yet these are the same things that many IR people do much of their day over the phone and through their companies' websites."

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