A northeastern insurer has a new man at the top of its board.

Presidential Life Corp., Nyack, N.Y. (Nasdaq: PLFE) appointed its lead independent director, William Trust, Jr., as a non-executive chairman of the company’s board of directors.

A director of Presidential Life since May 2008, Trust has been spearheading corporate governance initiatives following the resignation of Herbert Kurz as CEO in May 2009. He also has been acting as the primary liaison between the management team and the board of directors.

Trust additionally presides over board meetings and the annual stockholders’ meetings. And he provides counsel and support to the current president and CEO, Donald Barnes.

Separately, Presidential Life announced results for the fourth quarter and full year period ended December 31, 2009.

Fourth quarter 2009 net income was $12.2 million ($0.41 per share), compared with a net loss of $2.7 million ($0.09 per share) for the comparable three-month period in 2008. For the full year of 2009, the company had net income of $2.2 million ($0.08 per share), compared with net income of $18.6 million ($0.63 per share) for the full year 2008.