SEC reportedly probing AIG sales practices for retirement products

Insurer's stock drops drop on report the agency is looking at the unit that handles retirement plans for school districts and universities

Oct 29, 2019 @ 2:45 pm

By Bloomberg News

American International Group Inc. shares slumped Tuesday amid a report that the Securities and Exchange Commission is probing sales practices for retirement products at a unit that handles plans for school districts and universities.

The stock fell as much as 2.6% after the Wall Street Journal said the SEC was inquiring about whether incentives at an AIG unit rewarded salespeople for pitching higher-cost products and whether the payments that AIG's representatives received for selling certain products were properly disclosed.

Judy Burns, an SEC spokeswoman, declined to comment.

Regulators have sought to clarify conflict-of-interest rules for sales by brokers and advisers of certain products. The SEC announced new rules in June that would require brokers to act in the best interest of clients after an earlier effort by the Department of Labor fell apart. The SEC inquiry into AIG allegedly centers around a unit's arrangements with school districts and universities.

[More: DOL fiduciary rule won't help some 403(b) retirement plans]

Several high-level executives at the AIG unit were put on administrative leave in recent weeks, the Journal reported. An AIG spokesperson said the company couldn't comment at this time on any regulatory inquiries or personnel matters.

"It is our policy to cooperate fully with all regulatory inquiries and to take steps to ensure compliance with the law and best practices," the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

[Recommended video: Advisers demanding help to improve the client experience]

AIG stock recovered from earlier declines, and was down 1.3% at $51.86 at 1:35 p.m. in New York.

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