Sir Fred Goodwin's new banking venture with Bernie Madoff was beginning to take shape. I had been working on their branding for several weeks and noted certain familiar names in their corporate literature. Specifically, the company directors were listed as: 'F. Goodwin, B. Madoff, N. Leeson, J. Kerviel.' For an underground organisation, their credentials were impeccable.
I had also gotten to know Goodwin himself over these weeks and found him to be quite pleasant. I may have been a little concerned about his 'conquering the world' comments, but reminded myself that they obviously never bothered anyone at his last bank.
One detail that he had kept under wraps until now was the name of the new organisation.
"We're going to call it AIG," he announced during our most recent nocturnal confab.
"AIG?" I replied. "Isn't that name already taken?"
"That's the beauty of it. I figure nobody will really notice this way."
It was a bold strategy and we would have to wait to see if it paid off. But one thing was sure: I had to admire Goodwin's determination. His journey from failed banker to criminal mastermind was well underway.