The American International Assurance Co offering will be the biggest Hong Kong initial public offering since April 2007 and will generate huge fees for the banks.
More than 30 banks submitted proposals to be global coordinators and bookrunners for the job.
Morgan Stanley, which is advising the U.S. Federal Reserve on the AIG bailout, was expected to be named as a global coordinator.
The bigger surprise is Deutsche Bank, as much of the speculation for the lead role had focused on U.S. banks that had previously been working with AIG and AIA.
Another banking source involved in the AIA process cautioned that the formal structure of all joint coordinators and bookrunners had yet to be made official.
The IPO is part of a larger divestiture program by AIG, as it looks to repay U.S. taxpayers after a series of bailouts in which the federal government committed about $180 billion to AIG's rescue, including about $85 billion in loans.
Ninety-year-old, Hong Kong-based AIA, with more than $60 billion in assets under management, provides coverage to about 20 million customers, or close to a third of AIG's total customer base.
The IPO, anticipated to be at least $4 billion based on targets set by AIG executives, is expected in the first half of 2010 in Hong Kong. AIA and AIG would have separate boards and management teams.
(Reporting by Michael Flaherty; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Chris Lewis)