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Former Life Group Head Could Be Next FBI Director

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A key figure in the history of U.S. financial services regulation could be the next head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

President Donald Trump interviewed Frank Keating for the FBI director post Wednesday, according to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

(Related: Bank Group Hires Former ACLI Head)

Trump fired the previous FBI director, James Comey, May 9.

Keating, a Republican, was the governor of Oklahoma from 1995 through 2003.

Keating then served as president of the American Council of Life Insurers from 2003 until 2010. While Keating was head of the ACLI, he played a prominent role in shaping the product suitability rules that now govern the annuity sales process. He also was a leader in life insurance industry efforts to shape the legislation that created the Dodd-Frank Act, and to mold the early Dodd-Frank implementation efforts.

Keating went on to shape Dodd-Frank implementation and enforcement from a different perspective, as the president of the American Bankers Association, from 2011 through 2015.

Since leaving the bankers’ group, Keating has been a partner in the Washington office of Holland & Knight LLP.

Keating has a bachelor’s degree in history from Georgetown University and a law degree from the University of Oklahoma.

He may have come to the attention of officials seeking to fill the top FBI post because, at the beginning of his career, he served as a special agent in the FBI. He started out working for the FBI in Seattle. He then moved to the FBI office in Berkeley, California and helped investigate terrorism incidents involving the Black Panther party and the Weather Underground, according to an interview transcript on the Voices of Oklahoma oral history website.

One obstacle to him being chosen is that he wrote an op-ed during the primary season opposing the Trump candidacy.

In addition to Keating, other leading contenders for the FBI director job include Andrew McCabe, who is the acting FBI director; Joseph Lieberman, a former U.S. senator from Connecticut; and Richard McFeely, who has been the executive assistant director at the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response Services Branch. McFeely is now the investigative services director at  Ernst & Young.

— Read Keating Discusses Suitability Decision on ThinkAdvisor.


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