D. Kent Michie is the new Utah insurance commissioner.[@@]

Michie succeeds Merwin Stewart, who left office Dec. 31, 2004.

Michie has been a vice president at Zions Bancorp, Salt Lake City, and a state financial advisor.

Former Utah Gov. Michael Leavitt appointed Michie’s predecessor insurance commissioner in February 1997.

Stewart is a past president and founder of Deseret Mutual Benefit Administrators, Salt Lake City. Stewart organized Deseret Mutual in 1970 to provide insurance and retirement benefits for employees of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

While Stewart led the Utah Insurance Department, he helped narrow the scope of a controversial product sales suitability model at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., to consumers over age 65.