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AIG cuts see Head of Capital Markets Shah moving on


As global primary insurance group AIG gets to grips with the pressures being placed on it by activist investors, resulting in a cull of senior management, one of those leaving the firm is Samir Shah, Head of Capital Markets.

Shah has been instrumental in AIG’s reinsurance strategy, having held the position of SVP and Head of Reinsurance Buying, from 2011 to 2014, before which he was Chief Risk Officer.

During Shah’s time at AIG the insurer has tapped the capital markets for reinsurance protection through the sponsorship of catastrophe bonds and insurance-linked securities at least nine times, with the most recent being the six month parametric cat bond Compass Re II Ltd. (Series 2015-1) and the mortgage insurance ILS deal Bellemeade Re Ltd. (Series 2015-1).

Shah was also responsible for driving AIG’s centralisation of reinsurance buying over recent years, an exercise which helped the insurer to become more efficient and to access the appropriate types of capital for laying off its risks.

Shah moved to the newly created role of SVP and Head of Capital Markets in late 2014, allowing him to focus on developing AIG’s access to the ILS and capital markets, for reinsurance and underwriting capacity support.

However, with activist investors pushing AIG to rationalise, reduce costs and potentially break itself up, while pressures from being identified as one of the globally systemically important insurers weigh, the firm announced a 23% cut in senior management during its third-quarter earnings call. Shah has been one of those affected.

Shah plans to remain active in the development of the alternative capital markets for insurance, which no doubt means he will emerge somewhere else with an ILS focus in due course.

The nine catastrophe bond and ILS deals sponsored by AIG under Shah’s watch, totaling almost $3.5 billion of risk capital secured: $425m with Lodestone Re Ltd. (Series 2010-1), $450m with Lodestone Re Ltd. (Series 2010-2), $575m with Compass Re Ltd. (Series 2011-1), $400m with Compass Re Ltd. (Series 2012-1), $125m with Tradewynd Re Ltd. (Series 2013-1), $400m with Tradewynd Re Ltd. (Series 2013-2), $500m with Tradewynd Re Ltd. (Series 2014-1), $300m with Compass Re II Ltd. (Series 2015-1) and $298.89m with Bellemeade Re Ltd. (Series 2015-1).

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