PHOENIX — Will Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, the legendary chairman of AIG, ever release his grip on the leadership of the global financial services giant?

Not anytime soon, if he can help it.

“Warren Buffett had it right when he said, ‘We’ll both retire 10 years after we die,’ ” he said this week, after an attendee at the National Association of Variable Annuities’ marketing conference questioned him about his retirement plans.

Be that as it may, is a succession plan in place at AIG? another attendee asked. Mr. Greenberg smiled at the question.

“The board of AIG will decide who succeeds me. We have a deep bench,” he said.

His smile deepened. “If I took the wrong airplane there would be a moment of silence, and then things would go on.”

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