A Brief History of American General Corporation
Incorporated in Houston, Texas in 1926, our company began its journey as American General Insurance Company, a fire and casualty insurance business. It was one of the nation’s first multiple-line insurance companies permitted to underwrite both fire and casualty insurance. American General paid a dividend in 1929 and every year thereafter.
The company grew in the 1930s despite the Great Depression, and by 1936 had capital and surplus exceeding a million dollars.
Growth and Diversification
Diversification began in 1939 when the company established its first subsidiary, American General Investment Corporation to finance real estate, automobiles and other purchases. By that time the company was licensed to operate in nine states and had assets of over $2 million.
Between 1954 and 1964, American General acquired a fire and casualty company in Marshall, Texas, and life insurance companies in Hawaii, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. In the 1960s the services extended to cover other financial services such as the distribution of mutual funds, mortgage banking with real estate subsidiaries, the sale of variable annuities and title insurance, equipment leasing and financing, and investment counseling.
In 1964, American General acquired Commercial and Industrial Life Insurance Company of Houston and Maryland Casualty Company of Baltimore, a property and liability company founded in 1898. The acquisition made American General a major property and casualty insurer and expanded its reach to every state and Canada.
American General acquired Patriot Life Insurance Company of New York in 1966 and between 1975 and 1982 made thirteen divestitures and twelve acquisitions, including Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company, an innovator in sales of tax-deferred annuities to the employees of nonprofit organizations. In 1968 the acquisition of Life and Casualty Insurance Company of Nashville followed. By 1974, American General, with $674 million of capital and surplus, was the largest financial organization in Texas.
Beyond an Insurance Company
In 1980 American General Insurance Company became a general-business holding corporation to simplify its regulatory environment and reflect its evolving structure. American General Corporation, as this parent company was named, coordinated the operation of company subsidiaries throughout the decade as it developed a reputation for buying other insurance companies and profitably assimilating them. By 1983, the company employed 13,205 workers and had assets of over $32 billion dollars.
In 1988 the company doubled its consumer-finance operations by acquiring the consumer-finance division of Manufacturers Hanover.
In 1989 the “AmGenCorp” sold its property-liability segment to a Swiss-based insurer and group life and health insurance operations to Associated Insurance Companies. In 1991 American General merged with California-Western States Life Insurance Company into a subsidiary, creating American General Life Insurance Company of Delaware. The AmGenCorp continued to operate as the parent company of a number of subsidiaries in the 1990s.
Throughout the last decade of the 20th Century, with $23 billion in assets, American General Corporation offered home-service insurance, special-markets insurance, and the services of a finance and real estate division.
New Millennium, New Goals
American General entered the new decade with new goals, new aspirations and almost-a -century full of experiences that formed the basis of its professional principles. After being re-founded in California, the AmGenCorp became a major player in real estate development and construction. Within a ten years period, between 2003 and 2013, the company completed construction projects with an aggregate contract value of approximately half-a-billion dollars. Besides having full-service construction and architectural design capabilities, the company also provided its clients with property investment consultancy.
As a partner and consultant to numerous real estate, insurance, construction, property law and land development firms and experts, the AmGenCorp has developed a lively network of leaders in overseas land investment enterprises. Our company has set its place in this global dynamism, not only as a leading player that provides its clients with the most profitable investment opportunities, but also as a trusted mentor to various enterprises in need of having a better understanding of the ways in which capital is secured in the United States.
As we move closer to our centennial, our goal is to make sure that our existence in the field is beyond self-improvement and profit. Today, American General Corporation offers an experienced, reliable, helping hand to business owners in the U.S. as well as foreign investors who seek to realize their dreams in a world full of competition and exploitation. We welcome friends and partners from around to world to join us in creating value for the future by making every step count.
Together, we build it.