Hank Greenberg Talks…and Ducks
Writer Ed Leefeldt recently sat down with Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, the chairman and CEO of C. V. Starr & Co. to talk about the industry, the economy and AIG. The brilliant, irascible industry icon, who has a legendary reputation for his brusque and honest manner, declined to talk about some topics but was candid about others.—Editor
I was on my way down to my office. Then the first plane struck, and I saw it hit. Then the second plane hit just as I got to my office. AIG’s office was only a few blocks away from the Twin Towers. Downtown turned black. We put our medical department down in the lobby to pull people off the street. We set up kind of a makeshift refuge for people who couldn’t get home and were choking on the street
We were back in operation within a few days. We had a contingency plan, and that went into effect. We operated from uptown. We didn’t miss a beat.
Several days later, President Bush asked several insurance executives to come down to the White House. He met with us. You may recall the airlines couldn’t get insurance. We put it together within 20 hours. I left the White House, got on my cell phone and started the ball rolling. We had it done almost overnight.