The American Council of Life Insurers is voicing strong support for the nomination of Roy Woodall as the independent member with insurance expertise to the Financial Stability Oversight Council.
At the same time, it is unclear whether the process to put Woodall on the FSOC will be completed before September, given the few legislative days remaining this summer.
In a statement, Dirk Kempthorne, ACLI president and CEO, said, “I am looking forward to working with Mr. Woodall. He is a very capable insurance professional who will serve well on the FSOC board.”
IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford agreed.
“IRI is very supportive of Roy Woodall’s nomination to the Financial Stability Oversight Council,” she said. “I have personally known Roy for more than 25 years and hold him in the highest regard. Roy is a consummate professional and has unmatched expertise regarding the insurance industry.”
Insurance industry officials have been pushing for appointment of an independent member with insurance expertise to the FSOC because the new agency will have authority to designate an insurer as “systemically significant” under the Dodd-Frank financial services reform law.
That would allow federal regulators (in addition to state regulators) to examine an insurance firm. It would also give federal regulators the authority to impose higher capital standards on a systematically important financial institution or “SiFi.”
Analysts and industry officials have projected that MetLife, the largest life insurer, as well as American International Group and Prudential Insurance, are likely to be among the first insurers cited as SiFi by the new body.
President Obama announced late Friday his plans to nominate Woodall as the independent member with insurance expertise. The appointment is subject to Senate confirmation. It is unclear whether the confirmation can be completed before Congress leaves for a one-month summer recess in August.
Under the process, Woodall must forward substantive documents to the Senate Banking Committee (which must evaluate them and then ask for more data) or schedule a public hearing. In most cases, the committee requires at least a one-day delay following a hearing before it reports a nomination to the Senate floor.
One or both houses of Congress plans to take off three weeks of the summer recess, which gets underway in about six weeks.
Woodall served as Kentucky insurance commissioner from 1966 to 1967. He retired in January after serving since 2002 as the senior insurance policy analyst in the Treasury Department. The prior year he worked as a consultant for the Congressional Research Service.
He has also served as president of the National Association of Life Companies. Upon NALC’s merger into the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), he served as ACLI’s managing director for issues and vice president/chief counsel for state relations.
He graduated from the University of Kentucky, where he earned a B.A. and a L.L.B.