(Reuters) - American International Group Inc’s new chief executive Brian Duperreault said on Wednesday the company would likely slow the pace of share buybacks and instead spend on acquisitions.
“I’d love to find great additions to the company. I think the important thing is that we look at companies that can make us better,” Duperreault told reporters in an interview after the company’s annual general meeting in New York.
To meet the objective, AIG would slow the pace and frequency of share buybacks, which have been part of the company’s two-year turnaround plan launched by former CEO Peter Hancock.
AIG has returned $18.1 billion to shareholders through buybacks since announcing the plan last year.
“The likelihood we can continue the pace of share buybacks is low because there are other things I can use the money on,” Duperreault said.
AIG named Brian Duperreault, 70, as its CEO in May, selecting a protege of former CEO Hank Greenberg and an industry veteran known for his turnaround expertise.
The company’s shareholders on Wednesday approved 2016 compensation for executives, including former CEO Hancock, who said on March 9 that he would depart once the board found a replacement, citing a lack of confidence among directors and investors.
Shareholders voted to award Hancock a total compensation of $9.58 million, including a $1.6 million base salary, longer-term incentive pay in stock worth more than $7.8 million and additional funds.
Hancock was not awarded a cash bonus for his work last year, after the company’s dismal financial performance roiled shareholders.
AIG, the largest U.S. underwriter of commercial property and casualty policies, reported a better-than-expected first-quarter operating profit in May, helped by investment returns and cost cuts.
Reporting by Suzanne Barlyn in New York and Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Meredith Mazzilli