Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes region of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product, the sixth largest population, the 25th largest land area of all U. S. states. Illinois is noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, natural resources such as coal and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, encompasses over 65% of the state's population; the Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway to the Illinois River. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports.
Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics. The capital of Illinois is Springfield, located in the central part of the state. Although today's Illinois' largest population center is in its northeast, the state's European population grew first in the west as the French settled the vast Mississippi of the Illinois Country of New France. Following the American Revolutionary War, American settlers began arriving from Kentucky in the 1780s via the Ohio River, the population grew from south to north. In 1818, Illinois achieved statehood. Following increased commercial activity in the Great Lakes after the construction of the Erie Canal, Chicago was founded in the 1830s on the banks of the Chicago River at one of the few natural harbors on the southern section of Lake Michigan. John Deere's invention of the self-scouring steel plow turned Illinois's rich prairie into some of the world's most productive and valuable farmland, attracting immigrant farmers from Germany and Sweden.
The Illinois and Michigan Canal made transportation between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River valley faster and cheaper, new railroads carried immigrants to new homes in the country's west and shipped commodity crops to the nation's east. The state became a transportation hub for the nation. By 1900, the growth of industrial jobs in the northern cities and coal mining in the central and southern areas attracted immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe. Illinois was an important manufacturing center during both world wars; the Great Migration from the South established a large community of African Americans in the state, including Chicago, who founded the city's famous jazz and blues cultures. Chicago, the center of the Chicago Metropolitan Area, is now recognized as a global alpha-level city. Three U. S. presidents have been elected while living in Illinois: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Barack Obama. Additionally, Ronald Reagan, whose political career was based in California, was born and raised in the state.
Today, Illinois honors Lincoln with its official state slogan Land of Lincoln, displayed on its license plates since 1954. The state is the site of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield and the future home of the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. "Illinois" is the modern spelling for the early French Catholic missionaries and explorers' name for the Illinois Native Americans, a name, spelled in many different ways in the early records. American scholars thought the name "Illinois" meant "man" or "men" in the Miami-Illinois language, with the original iliniwek transformed via French into Illinois; this etymology is not supported by the Illinois language, as the word for "man" is ireniwa, plural of "man" is ireniwaki. The name Illiniwek has been said to mean "tribe of superior men", a false etymology; the name "Illinois" derives from the Miami-Illinois verb irenwe·wa - "he speaks the regular way". This was taken into the Ojibwe language in the Ottawa dialect, modified into ilinwe·.
The French borrowed these forms, changing the /we/ ending to spell it as -ois, a transliteration for its pronunciation in French of that time. The current spelling form, began to appear in the early 1670s, when French colonists had settled in the western area; the Illinois's name for themselves, as attested in all three of the French missionary-period dictionaries of Illinois, was Inoka, of unknown meaning and unrelated to the other terms. American Indians of successive cultures lived along the waterways of the Illinois area for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans; the Koster Site demonstrates 7,000 years of continuous habitation. Cahokia, the largest regional chiefdom and urban center of the Pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, was located near present-day Collinsville, Illinois, they built an urban complex of more than 100 platform and burial mounds, a 50-acre plaza larger than 35 football fields, a woodhenge of sacred cedar, all in a planned design expressing the culture's cosmology.
Monks Mound, the center of the site, is the largest Pre-Columbian structure north of the Valley of Mexico. It is 100 feet high, 951 feet long, 836 feet wide, covers 13.8 acres. It contains about 814,000 cubic yards of earth, it was topped by a structure thought to have measured about 105 feet in length and 48 feet in width, covered an area 5,000 square feet, been as much as 50 feet high, making its peak 150 feet above the level of the pl
Chief executive officer
The chief executive officer or just chief executive, is the most senior corporate, executive, or administrative officer in charge of managing an organization – an independent legal entity such as a company or nonprofit institution. CEOs lead a range of organizations, including public and private corporations, non-profit organizations and some government organizations; the CEO of a corporation or company reports to the board of directors and is charged with maximizing the value of the entity, which may include maximizing the share price, market share, revenues or another element. In the non-profit and government sector, CEOs aim at achieving outcomes related to the organization's mission, such as reducing poverty, increasing literacy, etc. In the early 21st century, top executives had technical degrees in science, engineering or law; the responsibility of an organization's CEO are set by the organization's board of directors or other authority, depending on the organization's legal structure.
They can be far-reaching or quite limited and are enshrined in a formal delegation of authority. Responsibilities include being a decision maker on strategy and other key policy issues, leader and executor; the communicator role can involve speaking to the press and the rest of the outside world, as well as to the organization's management and employees. As a leader of the company, the CEO or MD advises the board of directors, motivates employees, drives change within the organization; as a manager, the CEO/MD presides over the organization's day-to-day operations. The term refers to the person who makes all the key decisions regarding the company, which includes all sectors and fields of the business, including operations, business development, human resources, etc; the CEO of a company is not the owner of the company. In some countries, there is a dual board system with two separate boards, one executive board for the day-to-day business and one supervisory board for control purposes. In these countries, the CEO presides over the executive board and the chairman presides over the supervisory board, these two roles will always be held by different people.
This ensures a distinction between management by the executive board and governance by the supervisory board. This allows for clear lines of authority; the aim is to prevent a conflict of interest and too much power being concentrated in the hands of one person. In the United States, the board of directors is equivalent to the supervisory board, while the executive board may be known as the executive committee. In the United States, in business, the executive officers are the top officers of a corporation, the chief executive officer being the best-known type; the definition varies. In the case of a sole proprietorship, an executive officer is the sole proprietor. In the case of a partnership, an executive officer is a managing partner, senior partner, or administrative partner. In the case of a limited liability company, executive officer is any manager, or officer. A CEO has several subordinate executives, each of whom has specific functional responsibilities referred to as senior executives, executive officers or corporate officers.
Subordinate executives are given different titles in different organizations, but one common category of subordinate executive, if the CEO is the president, is the vice-president. An organization may have more than one vice-president, each tasked with a different area of responsibility; some organizations have subordinate executive officers who have the word chief in their job title, such as chief operating officer, chief financial officer and chief technology officer. The public relations-focused position of chief reputation officer is sometimes included as one such subordinate executive officer, but, as suggested by Anthony Johndrow, CEO of Reputation Economy Advisors, it can be seen as "simply another way to add emphasis to the role of a modern-day CEO – where they are both the external face of, the driving force behind, an organisation culture". In the US, the term chief executive officer is used in business, whereas the term executive director is used in the not-for-profit sector; these terms are mutually exclusive and refer to distinct legal duties and responsibilities.
Implicit in the use of these titles, is that the public not be misled and the general standard regarding their use be applied. In the UK, chief executive and chief executive officer are used in both business and the charitable sector; as of 2013, the use of the term director for senior charity staff is deprecated to avoid confusion with the legal duties and responsibilities associated with being a charity director or trustee, which are non-executive roles. In the United Kingdom, the term director is used instead of chief officer". Business publicists since the days of Edward Bernays and his client John D. Rockefeller and more the corporate publicists for Henry Ford, promoted the concept of the "celebrity CEO". Business journalists have adopted this approach, which assumes that the corporate achievements in the arena of manufacturing, wer
Jim Beam is a brand of bourbon whiskey produced in Clermont, Kentucky, by Beam Suntory, a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings of Osaka, Japan. It is one of the best-selling brands of bourbon in the world. Since 1795, seven generations of the Beam family have been involved in whiskey production for the company that produces the brand, given the name "Jim Beam" in 1933 in honor of James B. Beam, who rebuilt the business after Prohibition ended. Produced by the Beam family and owned by the Fortune Brands holding company, the brand was purchased by Suntory Holdings in 2014. During the late 18th century, members of the Böhm family, who changed the spelling of their surname to "Beam", emigrated from Germany and settled in Kentucky. Johannes "Reginald" Beam was a farmer who began producing whiskey in the style that became known as bourbon. Jacob Beam sold his first barrels of corn whiskey around 1795; the whiskey was first called Old Jake Beam Sour Mash, the distillery was known as Old Tub. David Beam took on his father's responsibilities in 1820 at the age of 18, expanding distribution of the family's bourbon during a time of industrial revolution.
David M. Beam in 1854 moved the distillery to Nelson County to capitalize on the growing network of railroad lines connecting states. James Beauregard Beam managed the family business before and after Prohibition, rebuilding the distillery in 1933 in Clermont, near his Bardstown home; the James B. Beam Distilling Company was founded in 1935 by Harry L. Homel, Oliver Jacobson, Harry Blum, Jeremiah Beam. From this point forward, the bourbon would be called "Jim Beam Bourbon" after James Beauregard Beam, some of the bottle labels bear the statement, "None Genuine Without My Signature" with the signature James B. Beam. In 1945, the company was purchased by a Chicago spirits merchant; the Beam company was purchased by American Brands in 1968. T. Jeremiah Beam started working at the Clear Springs distillery in 1913 becoming the master distiller and overseeing operations at the new Clermont facility. Jeremiah Beam gained full ownership and opened a second distillery near Boston, Kentucky, in 1954. Jeremiah teamed up with childhood friend Jimberlain Joseph Quinn, to expand the enterprise.
Booker Noe, birth name Frederick Booker Noe II, grandson of Jim Beam, was the Master Distiller at the Jim Beam Distillery for more than 40 years, working with Master Distiller Jerry Dalton. In 1987 Booker introduced his own namesake bourbon, Booker's, the company's first uncut, straight-from-the-barrel bourbon, the first of the company's "Small Batch Bourbon Collection". Fred Noe, birth name Frederick Booker Noe III, became the seventh generation Beam family distiller in 2007 and travels for promotional purposes; the Beam family has played a major role in the history of the Heaven Hill Distillery. All of the Master Distillers at Heaven Hill since its founding have been members of the Beam family; the original Master Distiller at Heaven Hill was Jim Beam's first cousin. He was followed by his son, followed by Earl Beam, the son of Jim Beam's brother, Park. Earl Beam was succeeded by the current Heaven Hill Master Distillers, Parker Beam and his son, Craig Beam. In 1987, Jim Beam purchased National Brands, acquiring brands including Old Crow, Bourbon de Luxe, Old Taylor, Old Grand-Dad, Sunny Brook.
Old Taylor was subsequently sold to the Sazerac Company. On August 4, 2003, a fire destroyed a Jim Beam aging warehouse in Kentucky, it held about 19,000 barrels of bourbon. Flames rose more than 100 feet from the burning structure. Burning bourbon set a nearby creek on fire. An estimated 19,000 fish died of the bourbon in a river. For some period of time, Jim Beam was part of the holding company known as Fortune Brands, dismantled in 2011. Other parts of the remaining company were spun off as an IPO on the NYSE on the same day, as Fortune Brands Home & Security, the liquor division of the holding company was renamed Beam, Inc. on October 4, 2011. In January 2014, it was announced that Beam Inc. would be purchased by Suntory Holdings Ltd. a Japanese group of brewers & distillers known for producing Japan's first whiskey. The combined company is known as Beam Suntory. In the history of the brand now known as Jim Beam, there have been seven generations of distillers from the Beam family. Retired Master Distiller Jerry Dalton was the first non-Beam to be Master Distiller at the company, his successor was a member of the family.
Several varieties bearing the Jim Beam name are available. Straight bourbon whiskey Jim Beam Original – aged 4 years in new charred oak barrels, 80 proof, the flagship whiskey Jim Beam Black – "extra aged".
Titleist is an American brand name of golf equipment and apparel products produced by the Acushnet subsidiary, headquartered in Fairhaven, United States. It was founded in 1932 by Philip E. Young, is a subsidiary of the South Korean company Fila; the name Titleist is derived from the word "titlist", which means "title holder". Several marketing mottos have been promoted for the Titleist brand, including "The #1 ball in golf", "Serious clubs for serious golfers", "It's not how you mark your golf ball, it's how you mark your Titleist". Acushnet is best known for its Titleist golf balls, it produces clubs such as irons, putters, other equipment, apparel and accessories under the brands FootJoy and Pinnacle. Phillip E. "Skipper" Young, a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, founded Titleist in 1932. When playing a round of golf with his dentist, Young missed a sure putt that seemed to be caused by the weight of the ball, he asked his dentist friend to X-ray the ball and the film showed that the rubber core was off-center.
After this initial discovery, Young took X-rays of more golf balls and found that most were poorly constructed with off-center cores and prone to erratic shots. This inspired Young to produce his own line of golf balls, which would become known as Titleist.1930: Young developed a machine that could uniformly wind rubber string around a rubber core, making a "dead center" golf ball. He named the ball "Titleist," noting it was the "winner" of the quest to create the best for the game. 1935: The golf division of the Acushnet Process Company produced the Titleist golf ball, the company's most successful product. 1948: Introduced "Dynamite Thread" to increase the yardage of their balls. 1949: Titleist became the most used ball at the U. S. Open Tournament. 1976: Titleist was purchased by American Brands. 1985: Fortune Brands sold off the Acushnet Company's Acushnet Rubber division, Acushnet's original business. 2002: Titleist reached the $1 billion mark in annual revenues. On December 8, 2010, Fortune Brands announced that it would soon sell or spin off Titleist and some other brands.
It was announced on May 20, 2011 that a Korean group associated with Fila Korea, Ltd. and Mirae Asset Private Equity would purchase Acushnet for $1.23 billion in cash. As of October 2017, Titleist produced the following golf balls: Titleist Pro V1 Titleist Pro V1x Titleist NXT Tour Titleist NXT Tour S / Tour S Yellow Titleist DT TruSoft / DT TruSoft Yellow Titleist Velocity Titleist AVX As of December 2018, Titleist produced the following golf drivers and woods: TS2 TS3 As of December 2018, Titleist produced the following golf irons: 718 AP1 718 AP2 718 AP3 718 CB 718 MB 718 T-MBThe Pro V1 made its debut on the PGA Tour at Las Vegas on October 11, 2000, the first week it was available to the pros. A longtime Titleist user, Billy Andrade, won that first tournament with the new ball; the Pro V1 was available to the public by December. The Pro V1 was a dramatic change in innovation for the golf ball market as a whole and for the brand, which had traditionally used a wound-ball construction for its top-of-the-line golf balls.
Shortly after its introduction the Titleist Pro V1 became the most played ball on the PGA Tour and has been for the past 20 odd years, picking up the most worldwide wins from both direct brand ambassadors and players who are not directly under contract and considered brand ambassadors from Ttitleist. and three years after Titleist's initial breakthrough with the Pro V1 came the Pro V1x, a ball with 60 fewer dimples. The combination of a larger firmer core, a thinner cover, 60 fewer dimples resulted in a ball that retained the same soft feel of the Pro V1 while reducing spin and increasing distance. In December 2007, Acushnet lost a patent infringement suit brought by Callaway; the following November, Callaway won an injunction in a Delaware court, ruling that sales of the Pro V1 golf balls must be stopped from January 1, 2009, with professionals being able to continue with their use until the end of the year. Acushnet announced that they would be appealing the decision. Acushnet somewhat redesigned the Pro-V1 during the dispute.
On August 14, 2009, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated the judgment against Acushnet and ordered a new trial. On March 29, 2010, a federal jury ruled in favor of Acushnet, found that the Callaway patents were invalid. Titleist is a respected and popular golf brand, with such players as Adam Scott, Steve Stricker, Bill Haas, Geoff Ogilvy, Jordan Spieth under contract. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Matteo Manassero and Nick Watney were contracted to use Titleist before moving to Nike, it is not uncommon that if players switch equipment brands, they insist on being able to play the Titleist PRO V1 ball. Some players like Tiger Woods continue to use their Scotty Cameron putters; when the Nike contract began Woods refused to use the Nike drivers for a long time and continued to use his Titleist one. Up until the 2010 British Open, Woods carried a Titleist putter, but has since switched to a Nike Method putter, replaced by a TaylorMade putter. However, after the third round, Woods switched back to his Titleist putter.
Phil Mickelson was a contracted Titleist player shortly after his 2004 Masters Tournament. Many players under contract with other brands use Titleist balls. In 2017 the professional players recorded 206 victories with the nearest competitor having
Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a course in as few strokes as possible. Golf, unlike most ball games and does not utilize a standardized playing area, coping with the varied terrains encountered on different courses is a key part of the game; the game at the usual level is played on a course with an arranged progression of 18 holes, though recreational courses can be smaller having 9 holes. Each hole on the course must contain a tee box to start from, a putting green containing the actual hole or cup 4 1⁄4 inches in diameter. There are other standard forms of terrain in between, such as the fairway, rough and various hazards but each hole on a course is unique in its specific layout and arrangement. Golf is played for the lowest number of strokes by an individual, known as stroke play, or the lowest score on the most individual holes in a complete round by an individual or team, known as match play. Stroke play is the most seen format at all levels, but most at the elite level.
The modern game of golf originated in 15th century Scotland. The 18-hole round was created at the Old Course at St Andrews in 1764. Golf's first major, the world's oldest tournament in existence, is The Open Championship known as the British Open, first played in 1860 in Ayrshire, Scotland; this is one of the four major championships in men's professional golf, the other three being played in the United States: The Masters, the U. S. Open, the PGA Championship. While the modern game of golf originated in 15th-century Scotland, the game's ancient origins are unclear and much debated; some historians trace the sport back to the Roman game of paganica, in which participants used a bent stick to hit a stuffed leather ball. One theory asserts that paganica spread throughout Europe as the Romans conquered most of the continent, during the first century BC, evolved into the modern game. Others cite chuiwan as the progenitor, a Chinese game played between the eighth and fourteenth centuries. A Ming Dynasty scroll dating back to 1368 entitled "The Autumn Banquet" shows a member of the Chinese Imperial court swinging what appears to be a golf club at a small ball with the aim of sinking it into a hole.
The game is thought to have been introduced into Europe during the Middle Ages. Another early game that resembled modern golf was known as chambot in France; the Persian game chaugán is another possible ancient origin. In addition, kolven was played annually in Loenen, beginning in 1297, to commemorate the capture of the assassin of Floris V, a year earlier; the modern game originated in Scotland, where the first written record of golf is James II's banning of the game in 1457, as an unwelcome distraction to learning archery. James IV lifted the ban in 1502 when he became a golfer himself, with golf clubs first recorded in 1503–1504: "For golf clubbes and balles to the King that he playit with". To many golfers, the Old Course at St Andrews, a links course dating to before 1574, is considered to be a site of pilgrimage. In 1764, the standard 18-hole golf course was created at St Andrews when members modified the course from 22 to 18 holes. Golf is documented as being played on Musselburgh Links, East Lothian, Scotland as early as 2 March 1672, certified as the oldest golf course in the world by Guinness World Records.
The oldest surviving rules of golf were compiled in March 1744 for the Company of Gentlemen Golfers renamed The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, played at Leith, Scotland. The world's oldest golf tournament in existence, golf's first major, is The Open Championship, first played on 17 October 1860 at Prestwick Golf Club, in Ayrshire, with Scottish golfers winning the earliest majors. Two Scotsmen from Dunfermline, John Reid and Robert Lockhart, first demonstrated golf in the U. S. by setting up a hole in an orchard in 1888, with Reid setting up America's first golf club the same year, Saint Andrew's Golf Club in Yonkers, New York. A golf course consists of either 9 or 18 holes, each with a teeing ground, set off by two markers showing the bounds of the legal tee area, fairway and other hazards, the putting green surrounded by the fringe with the pin and cup; the levels of grass are varied to increase difficulty, or to allow for putting in the case of the green. While many holes are designed with a direct line-of-sight from the teeing area to the green, some holes may bend either to the left or to the right.
This is called a "dogleg", in reference to a dog's knee. The hole is called a "dogleg left" if the hole angles leftwards and "dogleg right" if it bends right. Sometimes, a hole's direction may bend twice. A regular golf course consists of 18 holes, but nine-hole courses are common and can be played twice through for a full round of 18 holes. Early Scottish golf courses were laid out on links land, soil-covered sand dunes directly inland from beaches; this gave rise to the term "golf links" applied to seaside courses and those built on sandy soil inland. The first 18-hole golf course in the United States was on a sheep farm in Downers Grove, Illinois, in 1892; the course is still there today. Every round of golf is based on playing a number of holes in a given order. A "round" consists of 18 holes that are played in the order determined by the course layout; each hole is played once in the round on a standard course of 18 holes. The game can be played by any number of people, although a typ
American International Group
American International Group, Inc. known as AIG, is an American multinational finance and insurance corporation with operations in more than 80 countries and jurisdictions. As of December 31, 2016, AIG companies employed 56,400 people; the company operates through three core businesses: General Insurance, Life & Retirement, a standalone technology-enabled subsidiary. General Insurance includes Commercial, Personal Insurance, U. S. and International field operations. Life & Retirement includes Group Retirement, Individual Retirement and Institutional Markets. AIG's corporate headquarters are in New York City and the company has offices around the world. AIG serves 87% of the Fortune Global 500 and 83% of the Forbes 2000. AIG was ranked 60th on the 2018 Fortune 500 list. According to the 2016 Forbes Global 2000 list, AIG is the 87th largest public company in the world. On December 31, 2017, AIG had $65.2 billion in shareholder equity. AIG was a central player in the financial crisis of 2008, it was bailed out by the federal government for $180 billion, the government took control.
The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission of the US government concluded AIG failed because it sold massive amounts of insurance without hedging its investment. Its enormous sales of credit default swaps were "made without putting up initial collateral, setting aside capital reserves, or hedging its exposure — a profound failure in corporate governance its risk-management practices." The US government sold off its shares after the crisis and completed the process in 2012. AIG was founded December 19, 1919 when American Cornelius Vander Starr established a general insurance agency, American Asiatic Underwriters, in Shanghai, China. Business grew and two years Starr formed a life insurance operation. By the late 1920s, AAU had branches throughout China and Southeast Asia, including the Philippines and Malaysia. In 1926, Mr. Starr opened his first office in the United States, American International Underwriters Corporation, he focused on opportunities in Latin America and, in the late 1930s, AIU entered Havana, Cuba.
The steady growth of the Latin American agencies proved significant as it would offset the decline in business from Asia due to the impending World War II. In 1939, Mr. Starr moved his headquarters from China, to New York City. After World War II, American International Underwriters entered Japan and Germany, to provide insurance for American military personnel. Throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s, AIU continued to expand in Europe, with offices opening in France and the United Kingdom. In 1952, Mr. Starr began to focus on the American market by acquiring Globe & Rutgers Fire Insurance Company and its subsidiary, American Home Fire Assurance Company. By the end of the decade, C. V. Starr's general and life insurance organization included an extensive network of agents and offices in over 75 countries. In 1960, C. V. Starr hired Maurice R. Greenberg to develop an international health business. Two years Mr. Greenberg reorganized one of C. V. Starr's U. S. holdings into a successful multiple line carrier.
Greenberg focused on selling insurance through independent brokers rather than agents to eliminate agent salaries. Using brokers, AIU could price insurance according to its potential return if it suffered decreased sales of certain products for great lengths of time with little extra expense. In 1967, American International Group, Inc. was incorporated as a unifying umbrella organization for most of C. V. Starr's life insurance businesses. In 1968, Starr named Greenberg his successor; the company went public in 1969. The 1970s presented many challenges for AIG as operations in the Middle East and Southeast Asia were curtailed or ceased altogether due to the changing political landscape. However, AIG continued to expand its markets by introducing specialized energy and shipping products to serve the needs of niche industries. By 1979, with a growing workforce and a worldwide network of offices, AIG offered clients superior technical and risk management skills in an competitive marketplace. During the 1980s, AIG continued expanding its market distribution and worldwide network by offering a wide range of specialized products, including pollution liability and political risk.
In 1984, AIG listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. Throughout the 1990s, AIG developed new sources of income through diverse investments, including the acquisition of International Lease Finance Corporation, a provider of leased aircraft to the airline industry. In 1992, AIG received the first foreign insurance license granted in over 40 years by the Chinese government. Within the U. S. AIG acquired SunAmerica Inc. a retirement savings company, in 1999. The early 2000s saw a marked period of growth as AIG acquired American General Corporation, a leading domestic life insurance and annuities provider, AIG entered new markets including India. In February 2000, AIG created a strategic advisory venture team with the Blackstone Group and Kissinger Associates "to provide financial advisory services to corporations seeking high level independent strategic advice." AIG was an investor in Blackstone from 1998 to March 2012, when it sold all of its shares in the company. Blackstone acted as an adviser for AIG during the 2007-2008 financial crisis.
In March 2003 American General merged with Old Line Life Insurance Company. In the early 2000s, AIG made significant investments in Russia as the country recovered from its financial crisis. In July 2003, Maurice Greenberg met with Putin to discuss AIG's investments and improving U. S.-Russia economic ties, in anticipation of Putin's meeting with U. S. Presi
American Tobacco Company
The American Tobacco Company was a tobacco company founded in 1890 by J. B. Duke through a merger between a number of U. S. tobacco manufacturers including Allen and Ginter and Goodwin & Company. The company was one of the original 12 members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1896; the American Tobacco Company dominated the industry by acquiring the Lucky Strike Company and over 200 other rival firms. Antitrust action begun in 1907 broke the company into several major companies in 1911; the American Tobacco Company restructured itself in 1969, forming a holding company called American Brands, Inc. which operated American Tobacco as a subsidiary. American Brands acquired a variety of non-tobacco businesses during the 1970s and 1980s and sold its tobacco operations to Brown & Williamson in 1994. American Brands subsequently renamed itself "Fortune Brands". James Buchanan Duke's entrance into the cigarette industry came about in 1879 when he elected to enter a new business rather than face competition in the shredded pouched smoking tobacco business against the Bull Durham brand from Durham, North Carolina.
In 1881, two years after W. Duke, Sons & Company entered into the cigarette business, James Bonsack invented a cigarette-rolling machine, it produced over 200 cigarettes per minute, the equivalent of what a skilled hand roller could produce in one hour, reduced the cost of rolling cigarettes by 50%. It cut each cigarette with precision, creating uniformity in the cigarettes it rolled. Public stigma was attached to this machine-rolled uniformity, Allen & Ginter rejected the machine immediately. Duke set a deal with the Bonsack Machine Company in 1884. Duke agreed to produce all cigarettes with his two rented Bonsack machines and in return, Bonsack reduced Duke’s royalties from $0.30 per thousand to $0.20 per thousand. Duke hired one of Bonsack’s mechanics, resulting in fewer breakdowns of his machines than his competitors’; this secret contract resulted in a competitive advantage over Duke's competitors. In the 1880s, while Duke was beginning to machine-roll all his cigarettes, he saw that growth rates in the cigarette industry were declining.
His solution was to combine companies and found “one of the first great holding companies in American history.” Duke spent $800,000 on advertising in 1889 and lowered his prices, accepting net profits of less than $400,000, forcing his major competitors to lower their prices and, in 1890, join his consortium by the name of the American Tobacco Company. The five constituent companies of American Tobacco: W. Duke & Sons, Allen & Ginter, W. S. Kimball & Company, Kinney Tobacco, Goodwin & Company – produced 90% of the cigarettes made in 1890, the first year the American Tobacco Company was listed on the NYSE. Within two decades of its founding, the American Tobacco company absorbed about 250 companies and produced 80% of the cigarettes, plug tobacco, smoking tobacco, snuff produced in the United States. With Duke's market control, American Tobacco grew its equity from $25,000,000 to $316,000,000. American Tobacco Company became known as the “Tobacco Trust” upon its founding. Duke controlled the cigarette market, his trust caught the attention of legislators in the United States, a country with historical aversion to monopolies.
American Tobacco Company focused on making and selling cigarettes, leaving growing of tobacco and retail distribution to independent entrepreneurs. Nonetheless, Duke aimed to eliminate middlemen through vertical consolidation; the American Tobacco Company began to expand to Great Britain and Japan. The company maintained an interest in producing other tobacco products in case fads shifted; the Tobacco Trust's international expansion in conjunction with its consolidation of all types of tobacco “ultimately made the Trust so vulnerable to regulation and judicial dissolution”. The Sherman Antitrust Act was passed in 1890, in 1907, the American Tobacco Company was indicted in violation of it. In 1908, when the Department of Justice filed suit against the company, 65 companies and 29 individuals were named in the suit; the Supreme Court ordered the company to dissolve in 1911 on the same day that it ordered the Standard Oil Trust to dissolve. The ruling in United States v. American Tobacco Co. stated that the combination of the tobacco companies “in and of itself, as well as each and all of the elements composing it whether corporate or individual, whether considered collectively or separately in restraint of trade and an attempt to monopolize, a monopolization within the first and second sections of the Anti-Trust Act.”
Dissolution proved complicated. The American Tobacco Company processes. One department would manage a certain process for the entire organization, producing brands owned by other companies. “Plants had been assigned specific products without regard for previous ownership.” Over the course of eight months, a plan for the dissolution, meant to assure competition among the new companies, was negotiated. The trust needed to dissolve in such a way that no manufacturer had a monopoly on any type of tobacco product. Investors, holding millions of dollars of securities needed to be considered. A large question was how to distribute brands between the resulting companies; the American Tobacco Company's assets were split off into: American Tobacco Company, the existing R. J. Reynolds, Liggett & Myers, Lorillard; the monopoly became an oligopoly. The main result of the dissolution of American Tobacco Trust and the creation of these companies was an increase in advertising and promotion in the industry as a form of co