Senior Director of External Communications, Life & Retirement

New York NY
April 24 2018
Insurance, Securities
Functional Area:

CM - Communications

Estimated Travel Percentage (%): Up to 25%

Relocation Provided: No

American General Life Insurance Company

AIG is seeking a high performing Senior Director of External Communications, Life & Retirement business for the New York office.

The Role

  • Communications is the steward of AIG's brand and reputation. We tell AIG's story—create and drive compelling narratives, campaigns and announcements around our businesses—both within and outside the company. Our audiences include AIG employees, clients and communities, investors and the public.
  • AIG's operating structure is designed to reflect how our business is marketed and underwritten, allowing us to maximize our global platform by empowering our businesses with the best competitive advantage and ability to serve our partners and clients.
  • AIG's three main businesses include General Insurance, Life & Retirement (L&R) and Blackboard. General Insurance consists of two operating segments - North America and International. L&R consists of four operating segments - Individual Retirement, Group Retirement, Life Insurance and Institutional Markets. Blackboard is AIG's new standalone technology-driven subsidiary.
  • The IDEAL candidate will have a strong track record (10-15 years) of consultative experience and PR agency experience, successfully handling executive/CEO level and crisis communications. Strong preference towards candidates with experience in dealing with policy related issues for consumers as well as asset management. Must have direct Life & Retirement insurance industry experience.

Primary Purpose of Position

  • Lead External Communications for AIG's L&R business. As the leader of this newly created team you will help establish external communications strategy for L&R and oversee its execution to support the unit's business and policy goals.
  • The position is responsible for designing and delivering creative communications campaigns and narratives, driving awareness of L&R products and services—including those offered by its Individual Retirement, Group Retirement, Life Insurance, Institutional Markets and Retail Mutual Funds businesses—by placing strategic oriented stories in relevant publications.
  • To be successful in this position, the executive in this role must possess superb strategic skills, a collaborative can-do mindset, and a willingness to roll up your sleeves and execute.
  • Additional responsibilities include enhancing L&R's social media presence and creating narratives that support business goals, and building and maintaining relationships with key media.
  • You will develop programs to build L&R executives as thought leaders in their respective markets on appropriate social platforms, manage award submissions in conjunction with the businesses and corporate, and secure/manage executive speaking engagements.

  • You will oversee digital communications for L&R and collaborate with the L&R communications team to create and repurpose content for multi-channel use across AIG's external digital platforms and employee-focused intranet.
  • The role includes responsibility for drafting press releases, public statements and pitching.
  • The role requires a communications leader with a strong track record of placing high-impact stories in national media, key regional newspapers, broadcast, and financial services industry trade publications across a wide spectrum of publications—individual retirement , annuities, group/plan sponsor , life insurance, asset management and institutional financial products.
  • We are also looking for a leader with proven track record of driving compelling narratives through social media platforms.
  • The role is also responsible for leading and coordinating communication initiatives with external public relations agencies representing L&R businesses.
  • The position reports to the Head of Communications for L&R.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • In partnership with the Head of Communications for L&R, develop a comprehensive communications program and implement external public and media relations efforts
  • Collaborate with the and the lead communicators for the L&R businesses in the development of a press strategy for L&R and its businesses (including written and electronic media outreach, crisis management and relationship development)
  • Assist in the development of PR plans for the L&R businesses and help position the executives who lead these businesses as industry thought leaders
  • Provide media prep/training to CEOs of the L&R businesses as needed and hands-on experience during any meetings with journalists
  • Draft/manage campaigns/releases/talking points for media interviews/media statements and all public relations initiatives
  • Research opportunities for positive press coverage and speaking opportunities, e.g., industry conferences, media conferences, etc.
  • Develop awards list in conjunction with the businesses, and drive process and demonstrate results.
  • Organize all materials related to public relations function (editorial calendars, media lists, press releases, reporter research, etc.)
  • Coordinate all targeted publication listings and rankings reports
  • Oversee the gathering of media and analyst coverage, analysis, and storage of clips and files as needed;
  • Serve as a corporate spokesperson for L&R to the news media, along with the media relations team
  • Collaborate closely with the rest of the AIG Corporate Communications team, particularly media relations colleagues representing General Insurance
  • Contribute to enterprise-wide, corporate media relations initiatives
  • Collaborate with corporate marketing in relation to social media, brand development and corporate website

Position Specifications

  • 12-15+ years of corporate communications experience in a strategic advisory capacity, including 8-10 years of hands-on external communications and digital media experience.
  • Must have direct Life & Retirement insurance industry experience.
  • Agency background/experience preferred. Journalism background a significant plus.
  • Flexible work mentality, travel as needed, and willingness to be available nights/weekends in times of crisis as needed.
  • High-level contacts across media industry at major national and trade publications.
  • Proven track record of media generation with national publications (WSJ, NYT, FT, Wash Post, Bloomberg, Broadcast TV).
  • Financial Services/Retirement/Asset Management Industry experience.
  • Must be a collaborative team player; consultative in nature and a confident decision-maker; role also requires a high level of self-motivation and ability to drive editorial/media generation process forward in a complex organization. Get things done.
  • Interpersonal skills necessary to work continuously, effectively and skillfully with senior executives across AIG
  • Bachelor's degree in Communications, PR, Journalism or related field, Master's degree preferred


New York, NY

It has been and will continue to be the policy of American International Group, Inc., its subsidiaries and affiliates to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. We provide equal opportunity to all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, religion, age, gender, gender expression, national origin, veteran status, disability or any other legally protected categories.

At AIG, we believe that diversity and inclusion are critical to our future and our mission - creating a foundation for a creative workplace that leads to innovation, growth, and profitability. Through a wide variety of programs and initiatives, we invest in each employee, seeking to ensure that our people are not only respected as individuals, but also truly valued for their unique perspectives.