The Financial Accounting Standards Board has picked a life industry veteran to head a key unit.

FASB, Norwalk, Conn., a nonprofit group that helps set U.S. accounting rules, has named Dennis Chookaszian, the former chairman of CNA Insurance Companies, Chicago, to succeed Richard Swift as chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council at the end of the year.

Chookaszian, who retired as chairman of CNA in 1999, will serve a 4-year term.

Chookaszian is a former chairman of CNA’s old health maintenance organization subsidiary as well as of the company as a whole.

He has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in finance from the University of Chicago. He holds the Certified Public Accountant professional designation and has served on many high-level accounting industry committees.