Fordham Law


Fordham Law Mourns Passing of Alumnus Ernest Stempel '46

April 14, 2009

Fordham Law School is saddened by the death of alumnus Ernest E. Stempel '46.

Mr. Stempel was a renowned pioneer in the foreign insurance business and a former AIG vice chairman and director. In 2007, he received Fordham Law's inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for his role in promoting life insurance in Asia and establishing Bermuda's prominent place in the insurance industry.

"Ernest Stempel was a giant in the insurance industry who revolutionized the field in South Asia and beyond," said Dean William Michael Treanor. "He was a tireless advocate and generous supporter of the Law School, and he truly will be missed."

Mr. Stempel began working with the organization that became AIG in 1938 and attended Fordham Law at night. When serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he attained the rank of lieutenant commander. In 1953, Mr. Stempel was sent to Bermuda to manage the non-life division of the American International Reinsurance Company, Inc (AIRCO). In 1963, he was named president.

Mr. Stempel was elected a director of AIG in 1967 and became AIG executive vice president, life insurance in 1976. He served for many years as chairman of American International Assurance Company, Ltd. (AIA) in Hong Kong and of Philamlife, two key components of AIG's Southeast Asian life insurance operations. In 1989, Mr. Stempel was elected AIG vice chairman, life insurance until he retired in 1996.

He continued as a senior advisor and honorary director of AIG for a number of years, providing his international insurance expertise to the company's management.

He is survived by his wife, Brendalyn Stempel, and three children from a previous marriage. His first wife, Phyllis, died in 1993.

A memorial service will be held in New York.