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This is an extended version of the profile that appeared in the May issue of Investment Advisor, part of AdvisorOne's Special Report profiling this year's members of the IA 25, the most influential people in and around the advisor universe. See the complete list and Special Report schedule for extended profiles of all the 2011 members of the IA 25.
Michael McRaith, director of insurance for the state of Illinois, has been appointed by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to head up the new Federal Insurance Office.
Geithner made the announcement on March 17 at a meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), a panel created by Dodd-Frank to assemble all heads of major financial regulators for discussion of matters that affect the financial sector. McRaith had been seen as a front-runner for the position, so the news was not a surprise.
McRaith will be the first person to hold the new position, and he won’t take his seat till June. In the meantime, he issued a statement that said, “I am honored to be appointed by Secretary Geithner to be Director of the Federal Insurance Office. I look forward to the challenges of that office when that work begins. In the meantime, I’m focused on my duties as director of insurance in Illinois, serving in Governor Quinn’s administration, and doing my best on behalf of the people of Illinois.”
In his new post, McRaith will be advising Congress and other federal entities on state insurance regulation and other insurance-related matters, such as insurers’ financial health. McRaith will also sit on the Financial Stability Oversight Council.
While the new office has no direct domestic regulatory authority, it does have authority to monitor all activities that are related to the business of insurance, excepting only health and long-term care insurance. The FIO also shares negotiating authority on bilateral insurance trade agreements with the U.S. Trade Representative.
Before becoming the director of insurance for the state of Illinois, McRaith spent 15 years in private practice as a Chicago attorney, representing national and regional financial institutions that included insurers in finance-related litigation. He also serves as secretary/treasurer for NAIC, and has been on numerous committees and task forces during his time with that organization.
Read more about the rest of the IA 25.
Don't see someone on this year's IA 25 that you think belongs there? Submit their name and your justification for why they should be considered among the most influential people in and around the advisor universe in the Comments field below. We promise to consider reader nominations, but please, no ad hominem attacks on those who were named in this or past years.--Ed.