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AIG’s CEO Robert Benmosche wants to quit

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The chief executive of bailed-out insurance giant AIG is considering stepping down due to government compensation limits, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

At a board meeting last week, Robert Benmosche told fellow AIG directors that he was “done” but agreed to think it over after other board members reacted with shock, the report said, quoting people familiar with the matter.

Benmosche, who took the job three months ago, was unhappy with constraints imposed by AIG’s government overseers, particularly a recent compensation review by President Barack Obama’s pay czar, Kenneth Feinberg, the newspaper reported.

AIG is 80 percent government-owned since it offered a financial lifeline last year to the company on the brink of bankruptcy amid a financial crisis.

AIG bosses reportedly met with Feinberg in New York last week and discussed difficulties of complying with pay policies and retaining talent at the company.

Benmosche was said to be prepared to step down in August, when his own pay package had not yet been formally approved by Feinberg.

His 10.5 million dollar pay package, including cash salary of three million dollars, was later finalized and is the largest compensation package approved under the Treasury Department’s recent curbs on executive pay, the report said.

AIG was the largest single recipient of US bailouts with the government pumping more than 170 billion dollars into the firm to keep it afloat and taking a controlling stake in the group in the process.

The company was in trouble after backing trillions of dollars in risky financial products amid a US home mortgage meltdown that triggered a global financial crisis.