Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad recently named Nick C. Gerhart as the new Iowa Insurance Commissioner, succeeding Susan Voss, currently immediate past president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
Gerhart currently serves as the vice president of compliance and regulatory affairs at the Sammons Financial Group. Previously, he served as the vice president of compliance communications and associate general counsel at American Equity Investment Life Insurance Co.
Voss is eligible for retirement from the state system this fall after 31 years in state government, and is electing to leave the position at the end of this year, a spokesman for the department said.
She joins other commissioners who are expected to leave, or whose leave-taking is imminent, because of retirement, elections, or change in governor or party. Alaska’s Linda Hall and Arizona’s Christina Urias are two of the most prominent, with institutional knowledge in surplus lines, the broker community, reserving issues and international insurance regulation, among other regulatory issues and challenges.
At least five states have an election for insurance commissioner in 2012 and about a dozen have an election for governor, a position which usually brings with it a newly-selected insurance commissioner chosen by the new governor.
As for Voss, an avid lover of the Beatles and show tunes who could easily morph into a songbird at National Meetings, she has yet to decide her best next career move, but will have time to think about it over the next few months. She has made many inroads into the international regulatory arena as an NAIC executive, though, and presided over the NAIC during critical times in the development of rules for health care reform, questions around life actuarial reserve soundness and even the nature and role of the NAIC.