Monday, July 06, 2009

I met someone from AIG

This is not intended to be news, and I don't make any money on the stock market so I have no personal interest in this subject. I just encountered a person that spoke candidly about where they where at in a circle of friends. I doubt he intended it to be repeated, but thought it was weighty enough that I didn't want it to end with just me.

So friend of a friend of a friend this weekend while I was out for 4th of July festivities turned out to work for AIG. He introduced himself as working for a failed financial institution, but his friend refused to let him get away with it so lightly and insisted that he tell the whole story. He started there in September and is working in the infamous risk management group, now given his recent tenure I will assume that he was a late comer that had little to no impact on the eventual (one month later) collapse of the company; but what struck me was that he was previously employed as a mechanical engineer. It immediately jumped out to me given my business school requiring me to take a finance course that both jobs where basically just math, so learning new equations to a scientifically minded individual would be a fairly natural transition. The draw of the job was that he moved from a small boring stodgy old town to New York, and claims that the dating pool is much better. I tend to believe that this is true, and can see the appeal to someone under 30 and still single.

His insight into the company is was that given that his direct manager of the group that his is associated with has yet to directly communicate any form of strategy, or relay any info about their future path, or really do anything even remotely manager-like is an indictment of the whole management staff. His manager only arrived 1 month before the chap that is the focal point of this story did, and has yet to have a single strategy meeting with the group, much less send an email outlining what the company was going to do to pull itself up from the hard times that they got themselves into, and he theorizes that he never will. He suggests that given the amount of fuck off time he has, AIG won't be rising from the ashes. They are no longer the bankable name they once where, and are not doing anything to improve that status.

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