Throughout its history, as AIG built relationships and entered new markets, it has even led the creation of new city landmarks to showcase its commitment to a region.
In 1980, for example, the People’s Republic of China began to explore ways to allow more foreign investment, something it had long discouraged. This began with a joint venture between AIG and the country’s state-run insurance company, and in 1986, AIG deepened that relationship when it joined with Atlanta-based Portman Companies and Japan’s Kajima Corporation to provide a loan so the Shanghai government and Exhibition Center could develop the ambitious Shanghai Centre—three towers that include housing, a 700-room hotel, ballroom, meeting areas, restaurants and offices.
In 1991, AIG hosted a financial services conference at the Shanghai Centre to address the expansion of services within Shanghai. A year later, AIG became the first foreign insurer to receive a license by the People’s Republic of China to provide life and non-life insurance within Shanghai.
AIG doesn’t invest only in new markets to bring about change. One example of an important domestic investment is Atlantic Station, a development in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1997, the city launched a project to replace a dilapidated steel mill located on 138 acres north of downtown. The mill had been classified as a brownfield, or highly polluted area, by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Working with the developer and the local government, AIG provided environmental coverage for the work that was done to clean up the land and make it safe. Then, AIG Global Real Estate Group worked with a local developer to build homes and plan a bridge that would provide access to nearby highways. When Atlantic Station opened in 2005, it was the largest brownfield redevelopment in U.S. history and a much-needed influx of commerce within Atlanta’s borders.
In 2006, a similar effort unfolded across the world. AIG developed the 5.7 million-square-foot International Finance Centre Seoul (IFC Seoul) and became the first foreign company to enter a long-term ground lease with the Seoul Metropolitan Government. AIG raised the capital and oversaw the building, keeping its commitment through the recession. The four towers opened in 2012 and became known as a significant Seoul landmark. Brookfield Properties purchased the towers in 2016.
Successes like these, helping to reshape entire cities, encourage AIG to continue to invest in its relationships and in the regions where its partners call home.