Edwin A. G. Manton began his career with the American International organization in 1933, joining American International Underwriters (AIU). Today, American International Group, Inc. is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious insurers – known as the first U. S. company to seek international business on a large scale.
Sir Edwin had a pioneering zeal for expanding internationally and that formed the basis of his lifetime achievement as one of the 20th century’s leading figures in insurance.
During the 1930’s, he faced the challenge of developing underwriting rules and rates in widely diversified markets worldwide. He was drawn to underwriting difficulties as he became involved in developing insurance coverage for early multinational companies. For example, the Texaco Petroleum Company called on his knowledge and experience to develop commercial insurance coverage plus underwriting rules and rates to serve that company’s diverse operations. Long before globalization came to fruition, he was one of the insurance industry’s first internationalists, seeing the needs of customers for a global approach.
Sir Manton could see a wider marketplace for insurance beyond the shores of the Untied States at a time when few, if any, insurers were venturing outside the country. He had a different idea. He became involved in the organizational challenges involved in setting up operations in every country around the world. He considers his life-long association with AIG to be both the single most important aspect of his professional life and his greatest contribution to the industry.
Realizing early that the insurance industry was undergoing significant growth and transformation, Sir Manton strongly supported the need for industry trade organizations, especially as business became more international and customer needs became more sophisticated.
Throughout his career he has been a leading spokesmen in behalf of insurance education. He has given generously of his time, wisdom and financial support for the growth and advancement of insurance education, and he has served on a number of college advisory committees for education and training programs. He has also been a major benefactor in the United Kingdom of the Tate Museum.
Mr. Manton shared visionary goals of the founder of AIG, Mr. C. V. Starr, and his successor Mr. Maurice Greenberg, to build an organization that operates in every country that permits private insurance. In l994, Queen Elizabeth II knighted the British-born Manton for his charitable service in Britain.