Management at American International Group's financial products unit asked its employees to let the unit know by 5 p.m. on Monday if they plan to return all or part of the bonuses they got under an employee retention program, said the Wall Street Journal, citing a person familiar with the matter.
The request comes amid tight corporate security for AIG, which has received more than $170 billion in taxpayer money. The insurer urged staff to take measures "to increase their overall safety and security" due to "a growing sense of public attention fueled by increased media scrutiny."
In a memo, employees are advised to "avoid wearing any AIG apparel (bags, shirts, umbrellas, etc.) with the company insignia" and to make sure badges with the AIG name are not visible when they are outside the office.
Employees should also report to building security any individuals "who appear to be out of place or spending an inordinate amount of time near an AIG facility," according to the memo.
"Avoid public conversations involving AIG and do not engage any media personnel regarding the company," the memo also warned.
Visitors should be escorted by an AIG employee at all times when inside an AIG building, and employees are advised to "question individuals that you do not recognize and appear to be out of place."
Employees are also advised to avoid propping doors and be aware of those trying to "piggy back" into the building.
And the scutiny for AIG is only getting more intense. Connecticut state Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) and Representative Ryan Barry (D-Manchester), issued subpoenas Friday, ordering AIG employees to appear at a state legislative hearing on Thursday, March 26. The list includes AIG CEO Edward M. Liddy.
Duff and Barry are co-chairs of the Connecticut General Assembly's Banks Committee. The subpoenas were issued with the approval of state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.
The committee is requesting testimony as well as original or copies of documents regarding AIG's retention bonus plan and any related contracts or agreements.
According to the lawmakers, the activities of the AIG are of interest to the banking committee for their deliberations on legislation over regulation of the securities industry, hedge funds and the mortgage industry.
State lawmkers say AIG's actions have destabilized the mortgage and lending markets in Connecticut and excessive compensation could have led to employees taking risky measures that caused further destabilization.