Exclusive: AIG boosting Washington lobbying effort as hiatus prompted by crisis ends

Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:06pm EDT
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By Douwe Miedema

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Insurer American International Group AIG.N is ramping up its lobbying team in Washington, almost six years after it halted such efforts following its rescue by the U.S. government during the financial crisis.

Many large companies deploy a handful of staff to provide access to Capitol Hill and the White House, but AIG has employed no officially registered lobbyists since 2009. Some of its government relations positions in Washington, which companies typically use to influence policymaking by regulators and other government officials, have been left vacant.

Yet in May of this year, Lauren Scott started working as AIG's director for international regulatory and government affairs in Washington, according to her LinkedIn profile. She was previously a director of international and insurance regulation at the American Council of Life Insurers, a trade group.

That follows the arrival in February of Mary Frances Monroe - a former Federal Reserve supervisor who worked for a Washington consultancy firm - as AIG's head of international regulatory in February, also according to LinkedIn.

Scott and Monroe did not respond to requests for comment. AIG declined to comment.

The lobbying build-up comes at a critical time for the insurer, which has been subject to new supervision by the Federal Reserve after it was designated as a "systemically important" firm by a top U.S. regulatory panel.

It is not clear whether the two will officially register as lobbyists, something that anyone spending more than 20 percent of their working hours on influencing senior U.S. policymakers needs to do. It is also unclear how much of their work is domestic, and how much focused on international lobbying.

Monroe worked as a registered lobbyist in a previous position, but Scott did not, according to official records.   Continued...

A banner for American International Group Inc (AIG) hangs on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange, Ocotber 16, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid