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The Path Forward: NAIC Bigger Than One Person, Vaughan Says

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During an Atlanta press conference where Dr. Theresa M. (Terri) Vaughan elaborated on her decision to leave the top position at the NAIC in February of next year, NAIC leadership assured the audience that it had the international regulatory relationships and expertise in place to guide the organization through pivotal times in insurance regulation, international supervisory disputes and the U.S.presidential elections.

NAIC President Kevin McCarty, who, along with Vaughan, referred to the very strong international and Washington relationships and contacts of top NAIC officials also spoke of the importance of having Vaughan’s replacement located in Washington, DC, following the “rebranding Terri has orchestrated.” 

Vaughan said that the organization is “so much bigger than one person,” when asked about the transition time of the organization, now basically in the hands of McCarty.

Having the headquarters in Washington, where the CEO works, makes our presence more effective, Florida’s insurance commissioner McCarty said. 

McCarty himself has been active; traveling to Washington to testify before Congress and internationally on European-U.S. solvency supervision and other supervisory and solvency related travel stemming from the fallout of AIG’s collapse into the arms of the federal government. 

McCarty said Vaughan left a huge imprint on the NAIC culture and it is going to be very difficult to find somebody to replace her. Speculation about former Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Diane Koken was dismissed. 

Vaughan said that challenges she foresees to the NAIC also include one of its strengths–the fact that state insurance commissioners are close to their states, but that there is a system of checks and balances, does mean that they coordinate to “constant, constant challenge …how do we make sure people are always coming together?” 

Vaughan clearly has no exit strategy or path–the veteran insurance academic and actuary, born and bred on insurance, said she had “absolutely no idea what I ‘ll be doing.” She noted that her father was in the insurance field and that “insurance has been my life.” Vaughan also noted that she had a “passion for regulation and that she expects that “somehow I will find a way to be involved in insurance.” She had earlier this year called international issues somewhat of a hobby for her and often represented U.S. regulatory interests abroad and kept a close hand on all international insurance supervisory developments. 

For the meantime, she said she will be revising a text book she authored with her father, Emmett Vaughan, who passed away in 2004, titled: Fundamentals of Risk and Insurance, a book now in its 10th edition which is described as “a thorough and comprehensive introduction to the field of insurance while emphasizing the consumer.”

She made it clear she missed her family, who lives back in Iowa–she has been toggling back and forth between Washington and Iowa since she took the helm of the NAIC in February 2009, at that point for two years. Vaughan has a younger, school-aged son back in Iowa.

During Vaughan’s tenure, the NAIC’s budgeted net revenue decreased from $2.7 million in 2010 to $1.6 million in 2012. This stemmed from a $6.7 million increase in expenses, which largely offset the $5.6 million increase in revenue over that time.

Vaughan earned a Ph.D. in risk and insurance at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.B.A. in insurance and economics at the University of Iowa. Vaughan is also a CPCU and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.    

She is a past editor of the Journal of Insurance Regulation and is a past president of the American Risk and Insurance Association.  

“Ms. Vaughan has been a leader in state insurance regulation throughout her 30-years associated so closely with the NAIC,” said PIA National Senior Vice President Patricia A. Borowski. “Commissioner McCarty’s comments are testimony to Terri Vaughan’s invaluable combination of intellect, experience, forward thinking and expertise to solve the challenges at hand. PIA will continue its support for the NAIC’s efforts to defend our modern state-based system of insurance regulation and we look forward to executive leadership that continues this unwavering commitment.”

ACLI President and CEO Dirk Kempthorne stated, “Terri also will be remembered for recognizing the increasing influence of international regulations on the U.S. insurance industry and ably expanding the NAIC’s role to effectively engage with regulatory counterparts overseas. Because of her work, U.S. insurance regulators now have a strong voice in international matters.”


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