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AIG CEO Benmosche: Rebuild First, Then Worry About Stock

American International Group is investing billions of dollars in "big data" as part of its major focus on "rebuilding the foundation of the company," CEO Robert Benmosche told CNBC on Wednesday.

"Our theme is: We want to make sure AIG becomes a great company again, and then we'll worry about whether we're a great stock," Benmosche told "Squawk Box."

"We're going to be much more scientific, more data based," he continued, "studying the claims [history] … to give us more predictive modeling capability for the future."

As for government regulation, he said: "It's in AIG's best interest to the regulated by the Federal Reserve. So we have an outstanding team from the Federal Reserve now at AIG. They're digging through everything we have. Verifying everything we have. Checking our policies. Checking out procedures."

Benmosche started the new year by saying it was not in the interest of AIG, its shareholders, or the public to join former AIG Chief Executive Hank Greenberg's lawsuit against the U.S. over the terms of its bailout.

(Read More: AIG Is Thanking America, Not Suing America: Benmosche)

Robert Benmosche, President & CEO of AIG.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Robert Benmosche, President & CEO of AIG.

On CNBC Wednesday, he elaborated, "Hank has a fairly good argument. He has some very good facts. And he's got some really bad emails from the government." But Benmosche said the potential gain from suing would have been too disruptive to rebuilding AIG relative to the possible return.

He did acknowledge that AIG's decision to not sue will open up the company to shareholder lawsuits. "I believe we will prevail in any lawsuit."

Earlier this month, AIG announced that it had paid back the final installment of the $182 billion bailout the company received from the government in 2008.

(Read More: AIG Makes Final Repayment to Government for Bailout)

Reflecting on his early days after taking over at AIG, Benmosche said: "When you have crisis, it doesn't help to panic everybody. And that's what you had, our government trying to panic people. … That was my hardest job, ... to get them to stop so the [employees] could come back to work and pay back the country."

"At the start, AIG had $2.65 trillion … of derivatives," he said. "Remember out of 44,000 trades—44,000 trades—121 or so went bad. Out of 44,000. Almost all the people did their job and did it well. The people who created the bad trades were all gone."

By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere; Follow him on Twitter @Matt_SquawkCNBC

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