“We are pleased to announce our decision to rebrand to a familiar name — VALIC,” begins a brochure titled, “Back to our roots” that was recently distributed to holders of policies with the Variable Life Insurance Company. Um, and guess what slightly more familiar name VALIC has decided to cast off? Yes, that would be everyone’s favorite federally-funded money vortex the American International Group.
Possibly, and this is entirely idle speculation on our parts but, the fancy public relations firms the zombie insurer retained are known for running focus groups. Perhaps the feedback concluded that somehow the AIG name was a turnoff to people looking for a place to store their remaining life savings?
“We believe this decision is timely,” the brochure goes on, adding that with its return to its more venerable brand it restores a name “that has represented more than a half a century of helping people plan for and enjoy a secure retirement”* and also sounds vaguely like the pickle brand, possibly to convey a sense of “preservation.”*With the occasional class-action lawsuit alleging an elaborate scheme that bilked millions from the pension funds of public school teachers. But really, who hasn’t been isn’t in that business?