* Rebranding to AIG name to occur in fall
* CEO calls AIG name a ‘powerful asset’
(Adds background on AIG’s restructuring, byline)
By Ben Berkowitz
NEW YORK, June 28 (Reuters) - Bailed-out insurer American International Group Inc (AIG.N) will resume using its brand name in public in a move to recognize the company’s turnaround, Chief Executive Bob Benmosche said on Thursday.
AIG, which received $182 billion in government bailouts during the financial crisis, has all but shunned its own name for years.
Not only did various AIG units reorganize under rebranded holding companies, at one time employee ID badges did not even identify the company by name — a measure, Benmosche has said, to protect employee safety.
But with recent advertising tests showing higher response rates and lower customer acquisition costs for AIG-branded products, the company said it was time for a change.
“The increasingly positive sentiment toward AIG is a powerful asset,” Benmosche said in a memo to staff, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.
The company has been running ads for its Matrix Direct term life insurance business using “AIG Direct” branding since last September. Those new ads have been outperforming ads using the Matrix Direct brand by double digits.
The Chartis property and casualty business will be known simply as AIG starting this fall, while the SunAmerica life businesses will be known as AIG Life and Retirement.
Other AIG entities will keep their names but add an AIG tag to their logos.
Shares of AIG fell 2 percent to $30.23 in afternoon trade. The government remains the largest shareholder in the company with a 61 percent stake.
(Reporting By Ben Berkowitz; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and John Wallace)
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