Catherine Weatherford, executive vice president and CEO of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, is leaving her post, the NAIC confirmed.
At press time, it is unclear whether Weatherford resigned or whether she was asked to leave. Andrew Beal, the NAIC’s deputy executive vice president, has been named interim executive vice president and CEO while a search for a successor is undertaken.
At press time the NAIC had not released an anticipated statement from its leadership nor had National Underwriter had success in reaching Weatherford.
A compilation of regulatory and industry sources suggest that some NAIC members were unhappy with management as well as the direction the organization was taking. And those issues were raised when contract negotiations began, these sources say. All sources asked not to be quoted on the record.
The NAIC had recently announced that it would move senior staff to Washington as the issue of federal oversight becomes more prominent. Multiple sources said that Weatherford had asked for more money as part of that move and as part of a change in her responsibilities.
In January 2008 the NAIC released pay information for top executives that stated Weatherford’s salary was $370,000. Chris Evangel, managing director of the Securities Valuation Office, was the next highest paid at $307,878 followed by Beal at $262,500.
But under Weatherford’s charge, the NAIC has grown as witnessed by its 2008 $68.3 million budget.
Another source said that a “small group of commissioners had banded together” because of unhappiness over how the organization, based in Kansas City, Mo., was handling the issues of NARAB, and a bill introduced by Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., that includes a proposal to create an Office of Insurance Information. The source said that the displeasure was over “who’s running the shop and are you really representing your members.”
Another source concurred. “Over the years, there has been a shift in the organization from membership driven to staff driven. The perception was that if you go to the Hill, you don’t represent state interests but the interests of the NAIC.”