More AIG to start the new year…

In some ways, it seems a bit sad to do the very first footnoted post of 2010 on AIG (AIG), which so dominated the news in 2009. But since the company filed one of the last 8Ks on Thursday afternoon, we just couldn’t ignore it for the sake of starting the year off with a clean slate.

The big news — if you could call it that — was AIG’s decision to pay the stock salary of its top executives with stock units, which according to the 8-K “reflects a value of a —basket of certain AIG subsidiaries”. The other option was to pay this in AIG common stock, which we’re guessing was not as palatable. In any event, it doesn’t really meet the normal “let’s file this late before a holiday” threshold — at least in our book.

Far more interesting –and attached to the 8K — was the “final determination” letter that Pay Czar Kenneth Feinberg sent to AIG CEO Robert Benmosche last week. The letter was an update to the initial determination letter sent back on Oct. 23.

Comparing the two documents via 10KWizard turns up some interesting changes, including AIG’s request on Nov. 20 for Feinberg to change some aspects of the initial determination. Here’s the section that caught our attention:

On November 20, 2009, AIG submitted a written request for reconsideration (the “Reconsideration Request”) of the Initial Ruling with respect to one Top 25 Employee. AIG’s prior submissions to the Office of the Special Master indicated that the Top 25 Employee would terminate employment with AIG during 2009, and the Initial Determination with respect to the Top 25 Employee reflected those submissions. The Reconsideration Request indicated, however, that the Top 25 Employee will remain in the employ of AIG. In light of that information, which was not previously considered by the Special Master, AIG requested that the Special Master reconsider the compensation payments approved in the Initial Determination for the Top 25 Employee.

From the filing, we know that this is not about General Counsel Anastasia Kelly or Deputy General Counsel Suzanne Folsom, whose resignations were reported here on Thursday. How? Because the letter uses the pronoun “his” to describe the employee. Here’s another snip:

AIG’s Reconsideration Request states that, rather than depart AIG prior to the end of 2009, the Specified Employee will remain in the employ of AIG. AIG has indicated that the employee is critical to AIG’s long-term performance and stability, and that his continued employment by AIG will significantly aid AIG’s ability to repay the taxpayer.

Adding it up, it means an extra $4.3 million for the unnamed employee, which certainly seems worthy of a pre-holiday dump.

Image source: Mark Lennihan/Associated Press