When Sachin Shah took over as chief executive of MetLife’s Japanese operations one of his first moves was to shift all the executives out of their big offices at the top of the US insurer’s Tokyo headquarters, to sit with their staff.
“It was globalisation on steroids,” said Shah who was part of the deal team and led integration through to closing of the Alico acquisition in November 2010.
During the global financial crisis AIG priced many policies to go in Japan to keep cash coming in at a time when it had to repay the US government for its $182 billion bailout as well as to keep agents who were shocked by the turn in the company’s fortunes, according to a person familiar with the matter. Shah declined to comment on AIG’s policies. Alico also had a relatively high level of customers letting their policies lapse.