Maurice R. Greenberg

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Maurice R. Greenberg
Born (1925-05-04) May 4, 1925 (age 93)
Chicago, United States
Nationality American
Ethnicity Jewish
Education LLB
Alma mater University of Miami
New York Law School
Occupation Former chairman and CEO of American International Group
Spouse(s) Corinne Phyllis Zuckerman (1950–present)
Children Jeffrey W. Greenberg
Evan G. Greenberg
Scott Greenberg
Cathleen London
Parent(s) Jacob Greenberg
Ada Reingold Greenberg[1]

Maurice Raymond "Hank" Greenberg (born May 4, 1925) is an American business executive and former chairman and CEO of American International Group (AIG), which was the world's 18th largest public company and the largest insurance and financial services corporation in history.

He is currently chairman and CEO of C.V. Starr & Co., Inc. (C.V. Starr), a diversified financial services firm that is named for the founder of AIG, Cornelius Vander Starr. He joined C.V. Starr as vice president in 1960 and was given the additional responsibilities of president of American Home Assurance Company in 1962. He was elected director of C.V. Starr in 1965, chairman and chief executive officer in 1968 and continues in that role. Greenberg is the chairman of the board of directors and managing director of Starr International Company Inc., and chairman and chief executive officer of Starr International USA, Inc. (Starr International USA). C.V. Starr and Starr International USA are collectively known as the Starr Companies.[3] Greenberg was named the most connected business executive in New York by Crain's New York Business.[4]

Early life

Greenberg was born to a Jewish family, the son of candy store owner Jacob Greenberg.[5] His father died when he was six and his mother, Ada Rheingold, married a dairy farmer.[5] Greenberg served in the United States Army in Europe during World War II, participating in the Liberation of Dachau, and in the Korean War, rising to the rank of captain;[5] he is a recipient of the Bronze Star.[citation needed] He received his bachelor's degree in pre-law from the University of Miami,[5] where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity,[citation needed] and his law degree from New York Law School in 1950.[5] He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1953. He holds honorary degrees from several colleges including Brown University, Middlebury College, New York Law School and The Rockefeller University.[citation needed]

Rise and fall at AIG

In 1962 Greenberg was named by AIG's founder, Cornelius Vander Starr, as the head of AIG's failing North American holdings after working for Continental Casualty Company (CNA) in Chicago. In 1968 Starr picked Greenberg as his successor. Greenberg held the position until 2005, when he stepped down amid a major leadership scandal and was replaced by Martin J. Sullivan. He was subsequently the subject of New York State civil charges which are still unresolved.[6] Greenberg is a social friend and was a client of Henry Kissinger. In 1987 he appointed Kissinger as chairman of AIG's International Advisory Board.[7]

In 2008 he appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" criticizing the board of directors of AIG.[8] In an interview with Reactions magazine in March 2010, serialised over three parts, Greenberg stated that he did not condone AIG's strategy of selling non-core assets to pay back the United States government, and believed the terms under which AIG was provided access to bail-out funds needed to be renegotiated.[9]

Other public positions

Greenberg is Chairman Emeritus of the US-ASEAN Business Council.[10] He is also vice chairman and director of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission. In the 1980s his extensive foreign connections prompted the Reagan administration to offer him a job as Deputy Director of the CIA, which he declined.[citation needed] He was awarded "CEO of the Year 2003" by Chief Executive Magazine.[11]

In 1990 Greenberg was appointed by Zhu Rongji, then Mayor of Shanghai, to be the first chairman of the International Business Leaders’ Advisory Council for the Mayor of Shanghai. In 1994 Greenberg was appointed senior economic advisor to the Beijing municipal government. He was awarded “Honorary Citizen of Shanghai” in 1997. He is a member of the advisory board of the Tsinghua School of Economics and Management, a member of the International Advisory Council of the China Development Research Foundation and China Development Bank.

Greenberg was appointed as a member of the Hong Kong Chief Executive's Council of International Advisers where he served from 1998 to 2005.[12] He is a former chairman and current trustee of the Asia Society, a trustee emeritus of the Rockefeller University, and is an honorary trustee of the Museum of Modern Art, all three institutions founded by the Rockefeller family. He is also a former chairman and current member of the US–Korea Business Council and a member of the US–China Business Council. He has served on the Board of Directors of the New York Stock Exchange, the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, and the Business Roundtable. He is a past chairman, deputy chairman and director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He is vice-chairman of the board of directors of the National Committee on United States – China Relations.

Greenberg is chairman emeritus of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital and the New York-Presbyterian Hospital Foundation, Inc. He serves as a member of the board of overseers of the Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, as a life trustee of New York University, a trustee for the School of Risk Management, Insurance, and Actuarial Science and is the chairman of the Academic Medicine Development Company (AMDeC). Greenberg also serves as a member of the President’s Council on International Activities of Yale University.[citation needed] He is on the board of directors of the International Rescue Committee and is active in a number of other civic and charitable organizations. He is a former trustee of the American Museum of Natural History.[citation needed] He also serves on the board of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.[13]

As chairman of The Starr Foundation, Greenberg oversees the disbursement of major financial support to academic, medical, cultural, and public policy institutions.[14] He is also the former Chairman of The National Interest.[15] The Maurice "Hank" Greenberg Scholarship, administered in his name by the US-China Education Trust, supports the studies of ten Chinese students from low-income families each year at Yunnan University.[16] In February 2014 Greenberg led a group through Starr Investment Holdings that acquired health insurance claims processor MultiPlan Inc for around $4.4 billion.[17]

Incident with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Greenberg gained visibility when he clashed with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over the Iranian president's denial of the Holocaust. On September 20, 2006, the Council on Foreign Relations hosted a small meeting of select council members with Ahmadinejad, who began by saying that we need to "continue studying" whether it happened. According to David E. Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent for The New York Times,[18] Greenberg listened for fifteen minutes while Ahmadinejad continued talking about the Palestinians, World War II, and if the Holocaust killings had happened at all. Sanger writes, "Then Hank Greenberg, who had been on a slow boil through the evening, spoke up. He had been a young soldier at the end of the war, and participated in the liberation of the camps. 'I went through Dachau in the war and saw with my own eyes.'" President Ahmadinejad responded by asking if Greenberg was old enough to have participated in the liberation of Dachau.[19] "I'd like an answer regarding whether you think the Holocaust occurred," insisted Greenberg. To which Ahmadinejad replied "I think we should allow more impartial studies to be done on this."[20]

Legal issues

The State Attorney General's Office is pursuing Greenberg in civil court.[21] Spitzer did bring civil charges against Greenberg, though Spitzer and his successors dropped seven of the nine initial charges.[22]

In November 2012 a Miami court dismissed Greenberg's claims that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York breached its fiduciary duties to AIG shareholders.[23] In late 2011 Greenberg's Starr International announced a lawsuit against the federal government. According to Reuters, the lawsuit seeks $55.5 billion in damages against the government stemming from the government's financial bailout in 2008.[24][25] Following a lengthy trial in Fall 2014, the Court of Federal Claims ruled in June 2015 that the federal government acted without authority, but did not award any damages.[26] That decision is on appeal.[27] The market value of the 79.9% of AIG Common Stock the government acquired on the day of the government agreed to loan AIG up to $85 billion was $55.4 billion. By the end of 2012, AIG had repaid all of its loans and the government had made a $17.7 billion profit on the AIG equity it had acquired as a result, plus $6.7 billion in interests and fees.

In July 2013 Greenberg filed a civil lawsuit against Spitzer alleging that Spitzer made repeated defamatory statements against him.[28] In December, 2013 Greenberg filed a complaint with the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics alleging that New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had violated the state’s public officer’s law by making disparaging comments about him that could potentially taint a jury venire in any trial.[29]


Greenberg married Corinne Phyllis Zuckerman in 1950 and they have four children:

Greenberg and Lawrence Cunningham wrote The AIG Story. Greenberg's career is chronicled in the 2006 book Fallen Giant: The Amazing Story of Hank Greenberg and the History of AIG.[32] He is also mentioned in the book "All devils are here".


  • 2009: Double Helix Medal[33]


  1. Sleeman, Elizabeth (2003). The International Who's Who 2004 (67 ed.). Routledge. p. 646. ISBN 1-85743-217-7 
  2. Farrell, Andrew. "In Pictures: Notable Drop-Offs". Forbes. 
  3. "Who We Are".  External link in |website= (help)
  4. "200 Most-Connected New Yorkers". Crain's New York Business. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Jewish Business News: "Hank Greenberg’s Starr Investments Buying Healthcare Claims Company Multiplan for Over $4 Billion" retrieved March 29, 2015
  6. MSNBC-AIG's meltdown has roots in Greenberg era
  7. Kissinger connection – see Walter Isaacson, Kissinger: A Biography, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992, (updated 2005). (pp. 739–40)
  9. See Part 1, March 2010, Reactions
  10. [1]
  11. C.J. PRINCE. "CEO of the Year Award: Maurice R. Greenberg, AIG CEO". 
  13. "Board of Trustees". Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  14. Retrieved 13 October 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. "GSS Scholarships". US-China Education Trust. Retrieved 2011-04-11. 
  17. Ramakrishnan, Sruthi (17 Feb 2014). "Group led by Greenberg's Starr to buy MultiPlan for $4.4 billion". NEWSPAPER. US. Retrieved 17 Feb 2014. 
  18. Sanger, Dave E. (2009). The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power. New York: Random House and Google Ebooks. p. 60. ISBN 9780307407924. 
  19. "Crazy like a Fox: Business Leader Maurice R. Greenberg Describes Ahmadinejad's Performance". The National Interest. September 21, 2006. 
  20. Sanger, Dave E. ibid.
  21. The People of the State of New York by Andrew Cuomo v. Maurice R. Greenberg, [2] New York Court of Appeals, June 25, 2013
  22. "Two charges against AIG’s Greenberg dropped". Associated Press / MSNBC. 9/6/2006.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  23. Bray, Chad (November 19, 2012). "Judge Tosses Suit Over AIG". The Wall Street Journal. 
  24. Vikas Bajaj, "A.I.G. Rejects Shareholder Suit", The New York Times, 9 Jan 2013
  25. Zajac, Andrew (7 Oct 2014). "AIG Failure Might Have Caused ‘Mass Panic’, Geithner Says". Case: Starr International Co. v. U.S., 11-cv-00779, U.S. Court of Federal Claims (Washington).  The market value of the 79.9% of AIG Common Stock the government acquired on the day the government agreed to loan AIG up to $85 billion was $55.4 billion. By the end of 2012, AIG had repaid all of its loans and the government had made a $17.7 billion profit on the AIG equity it had acquired as a result, plus $6.7 billion in interest and fees. Plaintiff’s Findings of Fact, pages 299 and 505,; “Treasury Sells Final Shares of AIG Common Stock, Positive Return on Overall AIG Commitment Reaches $22.7 Billion,” Treasury Department Press Release (December 11, 2012),
  26. Kessler, Aaron (June 15, 2015). "Ex AIG Chief Wins Bailout Suit, But Gets No Damages". New York Times. 
  27. Frankel, Alison (December 15, 2015). "Federal Reserve tries to repair damage from AIG bailout case in new brief". Reuters. 
  28. Rojas, Marcela (July 15, 2013). "AIG's ex-CEO Greenberg files lawsuit vs. Spitzer". USA Today. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  29. "Ex-AIG hed Greenberg files complaint against Schneiderman". Long Island Newsday. December 30, 2013. 
  30. Fortune: Greenberg & Sons: AIG CEO HANK GREENBERG is a tough boss and a tough dad. Two of his sons left his company in anger. If only the story had ended there. By D$EVIN LEONARD February 21, 2005
  31. [3]
  32. [4]
  33. CSHL Double Helix Medal Honoree

Further reading

  • "Greenberg and Sons", Fortune magazine, February 21, 2005.
  • Maurice R. Greenberg and Lawrence A. Cunningham, The AIG Story (2013)
    • review: James Freeman, "Insurer to the World," Wall Street Journal Feb. 6. 2013

External links

Business positions
Preceded by
Cornelius Vander Starr
Chairman of AIG
Succeeded by
Robert B. Willumstad
Preceded by
Cornelius Vander Starr
Succeeded by
Martin J. Sullivan