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SEC probes retirement product sales practices at AIG: Report

AIG shares slumped Tuesday amid a report that the SEC is probing sales practices for retirement products at a unit that handles plans for school districts and universities.

The stock fell as much as 2.6% after The Wall Street Journal said the SEC was inquiring about whether incentives at an AIG unit rewarded salespeople for pitching higher-cost products and whether the payments that AIG’s representatives received for selling certain products were properly disclosed. Judy Burns, an SEC spokeswoman, declined to comment.

Regulators have sought to clarify conflict-of-interest rules for sales by brokers and advisers of certain products. The SEC announced new rules in June that would require brokers to act in the best interest of clients after an earlier effort by the Department of Labor fell apart. The SEC inquiry into AIG allegedly centers around a unit’s arrangements with school districts and universities.

Several high-level executives at the AIG unit were put on administrative leave in recent weeks, the Journal reported. An AIG spokesperson said the company couldn’t comment at this time on any regulatory inquiries or personnel matters.

American International Group Inc. (AIG) signage stands outside the company's headquarters in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. AIG is scheduled to announce third-quarter earnings figures on November 2. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

“It is our policy to cooperate fully with all regulatory inquiries and to take steps to ensure compliance with the law and best practices,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

In 2016, AIG sold its independent broker-dealer business, Advisor Group, to private equity firm Lightyear Capital.