Art Kraus, chief executive officer of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors for the past three-and-a-half years, is retiring from his post.
A representative of the Falls Church, Va.-based association confirms Kraus is retiring due to personal family reasons.
A date for Kraus departure has not been set, and no information is available on the succession process.
News of Kraus retirement saddened his colleagues in the insurance industry.
“Arts departure will be a substantial loss for the life insurance industry,” says Gary Hughes, senior vice president and general counsel with the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington.
“He has been an extremely effective advocate on behalf of life insurance agents and someone we have always been able to turn to discuss issues of common interest. He is a class act and his presence will be sorely missed,” Hughes says.
Robert Rusbuldt, chief executive officer of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, says Kraus had an impact at NAIFA.
Kraus, Rusbuldt says, came in with a vision of where he wanted to take NAIFA and life insurance agents. While association executives dont always get to accomplish all their goals, Rusbuldt says, Kraus had an impact.
“He is a true gentleman,” Rusbuldt adds, “someone I enjoyed working with.”
In other news, life insurers won a major victory in the auditor independence legislation, H.R. 3763, that was recently enacted into law, which could save life insurers millions in unnecessary costs, according to ACLI.
The issue involves a section in H.R. 3763 that identifies certain non-audit services that accounting firms are prohibited from providing to audit clients, says Allen Caskie, senior counsel with ACLI.
Among the banned non-audit services are “bookkeeping or other services related to the accounting records or financial statements of the audit client,” the legislation says.
Caskie says this posed a problem for public life insurance companies, which are required to produce two types of audits: one using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles for the Securities and Exchange Commission and one using statutory accounting for state regulators.
Under the language of H.R. 3763, Caskie says, life insurers could have been required to use two different auditors.
Even though there are differences between GAAP accounting and statutory accounting, he says, there are many similarities.
ACLIs Accounting Committee determined that on the basis of cost-effectiveness, it made sense to have one auditor do both types of audits.