Monday, April 20, 2009

AIG and Citigroup - Details of the US Government's Ownership Arrangement

According to an article in this morning's Times, the government's shares in AIG (which amount to 77.9% of the common stock) are held in a trust which is controlled by three independent (theoretically) trustees. The trustees are Jill Considine, Chester Feldberg, and Douglas Foshee, and they will earn $100,000 a year.

The article says that certain dissident shareholder groups are angry that the trustees have been unwilling, to date, to go on the record on controversial issues such as executive pay. It also says that the trusteeship is the government's attempt to disclaim "control" of AIG (and thereby be able to avoid admitting that the company has been nationalized).

In May, the government's preferred shares in Citigroup will be converted into common stock (which could mean up to a 36% voting stake for the government); the Citigroup stock will be held in a similar trust arrangement.

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