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Pennsylvania's Consedine and NAIC's Thompson expected for new roles

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UPDATE: Pa.’s Consedine formally elected NAIC Secretary-Treasurer for 2013 Sunday, December 2.

National Harbor, Md. — Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Michael F. Consedine is expected to be voted NAIC Secretary-Treasury at the NAIC National Meeting here. The position is currently held through the end of the year by Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica Lindeen, who is expected to move into the Vice President position under the anticipated leadership of Louisiana Commissioner Jim Donelon, now president-elect.

Consedine says he feels it is important to be a part of the work being done on the state regulatory front now, in committing himself to the NAIC leadership route for the next few years. Consedine, a lawyer, was appointed by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett to serve as insurance commissioner and confirmed by the state senate April 26, 2011. Pennsylvania is the 5th largest insurance market in the United States, in terms of premium volume. Consedine’s committee work includes heavy involvement with federal health insurance reform statutes, reinsurance, international issues and financial condition and solvency.

Consedine announced November 29 that the Pennsylvania Insurance Department had recently assumed the role of group-wide supervisor for the ACE Group under a new state law enabled by the NAIC Model holding company act, but with more state-specific tweaks, which enhance the state’s oversight of some of the largest global insurance companies with a major presence in Pennsylvania. 

Consedine stated, “although insurance companies and policyholders fared reasonably well during the recent global financial crisis, it is still vital that we understand any trends that could impact our domestic insurers in an increasingly global insurance marketplace.” ACE is incorporated in Switzerland, but has substantial operations in Pennsylvania. 

Consedine also serves as one of the seven state regulators to serve on the 15-member Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance (FACI) advising the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) on national and international insurance matters. He has testified a couple of times this year before Congress on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act implementation and hurdles, specifically asking for clearer and more timely guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Lindeen is also a member of FACI.

Meanwhile, the NAIC’s Eric Thompson is expected to assume some of the outward duties  for the time being, at least, of recently departed NAIC CEO Dr. Terri Vaughan, in her role on the steering committee for the EU – U.S. Dialogue on Insurance Regulation

Thompson is a former Capitol Hill advisor who joined the NAIC as manager of international relations in Washington in early July 2011. His NAIC role so far has been coordinating the strategy and input of U.S. insurance regulators in the development of international regulatory principles and he is not unfamiliar by any means with the dialogue points.

The NAIC spokespeople and Thompson did not confirm anything after initial reports were heard at the NAIC national meeting. There has been no official announcement and Vaughan’s replacement, for any role must go through a formal process.

Thompson, a University of Notre Dame graduate, came to the NAIC from a position as staff advisor to the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, where he was involved with the negotiations and passage of Dodd-Frank financial service reform.

The stated purpose of the EU-U.S. Dialogue Project is to deepen insight into the overall design, function and objectives of the key aspects of the two regimes, and to identify important characteristics of both supervisory regimes.  

In early 2012, the European Commission, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), the NAIC and FIO agreed to participate in dialogue and a related project to contribute to an increased mutual understanding and enhanced cooperation between the EU and the U.S. to promote business opportunity, consumer protection and effective supervision, according to the draft report of the group.

The final report comparing aspects of the insurance regulatory regimes in the U.S. and the EU is due out this month.

Other members of the Steering Committee are Kevin McCarty, of the NAIC and Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Commissioner; Michael McRaith, director of the Federal Insurance Office (FIO), and Gabriel Bernardino, Chairman of EIOPA; Edward Forshaw of the UK Financial Services Authority; Karel Van Hulle of the Directorate-General Internal Market and Services.

“The similarities between the two regimes are greater than anticipated prior to the beginning of this dialogue. While there may be differences in the form and application of professional secrecy and confidentiality laws between the two regimes, they are substantially similar in the subject matter addressed and the outcome to be achieved,” the draft report said. 

Vaughan’s position on the international regulatory Joint Forum must also be named–she accepted the two-year appointment on January 1, 2012. Vaughan’s last day as NAIC CEO was November 30.

The Joint Forum‘s parent organizations, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the International Organization of Securities Commissions and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors.