Regulatory Roundtable: 2021 Regulatory Priorities at the NAIC Webinar
Thursday, April 22, 2021 @ 3:00pm Eastern
Description: Join us for a FREE 1 hour webinar as we hear from 4 top insurance officials on the challenges facing the insurance industry and what the NAIC regulatory roadmap looks like for 2021. Led by SILA/SILAF Board member Fred Karlinsky, Shareholder and Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Insurance Regulatory & Transactions Practice, Commissioners from Alabama, Connecticut, South Carolina and Washington will discuss current regulatory and NAIC issues:
• Alabama Insurance Commissioner Jim L. Ridling
• Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Andrew N. Mais, Secretary/Treasurer of the NAIC
• Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon
• South Carolina Insurance Director Ray Farmer, Immediate Past President of the NAIC
• Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler
Jim L. Ridling, a native Arkansan who has lived and worked in Montgomery since 1987, was appointed Insurance Commissioner by Governor Bob Riley in 2008. Commissioner Ridling was reappointed by Governor Robert Bentley in 2011, and reappointed by Governor Kay Ivey in 2017.
Ridling is a graduate of the University of the Ozarks. Upon graduation, he entered a management training program with Fireman’s Fund Insurance, leading to several management positions and culminating in his service as Executive Vice President U. S. operations, based in California. In 1987, he left California to come back to his native South. He traded his interest in American Express (which owned Fireman’s Fund at the time) for ownership in Southern Guaranty, a Fireman’s Fund subsidiary headquartered in Montgomery, where he served as the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. The following year, Southern Guaranty sold to Winterthur Swiss, and he remained in his previous role and added the duties of Chairman until his retirement on December 31, 2003.
Following his retirement from Southern Guaranty, Commissioner Ridling remained active. He and other local business leaders formed River Bank and Trust, where he currently serves on the Board of Directors. Commissioner Ridling is a former Chairman of the Board of Directors for Jackson Hospital and has served on the Boards of Directors of the Montgomery Airport Authority, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce and the Central Alabama Community Foundation. He is a former Chairman of the River Region United Way and continues to be involved in local business, charitable and community activities.
He is married to the former Catherine Turner, a native of Northern California. He has two daughters – Erin Ridling and the late Hannah Ridling.
Andrew N. Mais was nominated by Governor Ned Lamont to be Connecticut’s 33rd Insurance Commissioner. Mais was elected as Secretary Treasurer and will serve on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners beginning January 1, 2021. He currently serves on the International Relations, Property & Casualty, and Financial Regulation Standards committees. He also serves on the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) Macroprudential and Executive Committees. The IAIS is the international standard-setting body responsible for developing and assisting in the supervision of the insurance sector.
Mais has led discussions in several forums on race, diversity, and inclusion at the state level and within the insurance industry and in insurance practices. He has also joined the efforts led by Governor Ned Lamont and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz to address social inequities in Connecticut, including the Council on Women and Girls and cultural competency initiatives.
Mais is also a member of the NAIC’s Special Executive Committee on Race and Insurance, charged with conducting research and analyzing issues of diversity and inclusion within the insurance sector.
Mais previously was a member of Deloitte’s Center for Financial Services, providing industry-leading thought leadership and insight on US and international regulatory affairs.
Prior to that, he was a Director at the New York State Insurance Department. There he served four governors as part of the Department’s senior leadership team through numerous events including the financial crisis of 2008 and major state and federal changes in health insurance regulations and laws.
Even outside the government, Mais dedicated much of his life to public service. He most recently served as chair of the Council on Ethics for the town of Wilton, CT, where he lives. Other recent service includes the Maritime Aquarium of Norwalk; the American Red Cross; the Board of Finance of the Town of Wilton; and the Rotary Club of Wilton.
Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance
Jim Donelon has served as Commissioner of Insurance for the state of Louisiana for more than 15 years. He was first appointed as Insurance Commissioner in February 2006 when the seat was vacated by the incumbent. He was later elected to fill the unexpired term in 2006 and has been re-elected to four consecutive full terms in 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019. His current term will expire in 2023.
A native of New Orleans, Jim graduated from Jesuit High School, the University of New Orleans and Loyola School of Law.
Prior to becoming Commissioner of Insurance, Jim served in several leadership positions within the Department of Insurance including as Chief Deputy Commissioner and Executive Counsel.
Jim was elected as the President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) in 2013 and currently serves as Chairman of the Surplus Lines Task Force of the NAIC and on its Executive Committee.
Jim has served the state of Louisiana for decades. He was first elected to public office in 1975 as Chairman of the Jefferson Parish Council. He also served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1981-2001 where he served as Chairman of the Committee on Insurance.
His public service career also includes 33 years in the Louisiana Army National Guard where he retired with the rank of Colonel and received the prestigious Legion of Merit medal. Jim serves on the Board of Directors for the Blood Center for Southeast Louisiana.
Jim and his wife Merilynn reside in Jefferson Parish. They are the parents of four daughters and grandparents of eight grandchildren.
Ray Farmer has served as Director for the South Carolina Department of Insurance since former Governor Nikki Haley appointed him on November 13, 2012. Mr. Farmer brings fifty three years of experience in the insurance industry to his leadership role.
In 2017, Mr. Farmer received The Order of the Palmetto from Governor Haley, the state’s highest civilian honor awarded to citizens of South Carolina for extraordinary lifetime service and achievements of national or statewide significance. In 2018, Mr. Farmer oversaw the passing of the Data Security Law – a law that is the first in the nation to require insurance companies to have a comprehensive and secure plan to protect consumer data. Mr. Farmer also has the honor of serving as the Immediate Past President for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Fred E. Karlinsky is Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Insurance Regulatory and Transactions Practice Group. Fred has nearly 30 years of experience representing the interests of insurers, reinsurers and a wide variety of other insurance-related entities on their regulatory, transactional, corporate and governmental affairs matters. Fred is a recognized authority on national insurance regulatory and compliance issues and has taken a leadership position in many insurance trade organizations, has led many industry-driven legislative and regulatory initiatives, and is a sought after thought leader who has spoken and presented to insurance executives and governmental officials, both nationally and internationally.
Fred is experienced in transactional law, executive and legislative governmental affairs, administrative law, and corporate representation. He advises clients on operational issues — including start-up initiatives, structuring, capitalization, and collaborative business relationships— and a complete array of regulatory and compliance issues, including licensure and corporate amendment applications, business expansion initiatives, solvency and statutory accounting issues, rate and form filings, and financial and market conduct examinations, to name a few.
Fred has a long history as a primary strategist in all types of insurance-related legislative and regulatory initiatives for all kinds of insurance, including homeowners, automobile, workers’ compensation, medical malpractice and other lines of property and casualty and life and health insurance.
In addition to his role with Greenberg Traurig, Fred has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at Florida State University College of Law since 2008, where he teaches a course on Insurance Law and Risk Management. Fred is also a Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator.
Mike Kreidler is the state of Washington’s eighth insurance commissioner, re-elected to his sixth term in 2020. He is the most-tenured insurance commissioner in the United States and has earned a reputation as a consumer advocate and a fair regulator.
Since 2007, Commissioner Kreidler has chaired the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Climate Risk and Resilience Work Group. He led a successful push for insurers to disclose how they are preparing for the potential risks associated with climate change. The focus is on how investment portfolios may affect an insurer’s ability to offer protection to consumers and help their communities become more resilient.
In 2015, Kreidler joined the Paris Pledge for Action to limit global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius; and his office became a supporting institution for the UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) Initiative, the largest collaboration between the United Nations and the insurance industry, backing the aims of the Paris Agreement. In 2016, Commissioner Kreidler joined the UNEP’s Sustainable Insurance Forum (SIF), a network of insurance supervisors and regulators working together to strengthen their response to relevant sustainability challenges.
He has held a series of climate summits, convening the insurance industry, policymakers, academics, scientists and public and private risk and emergency managers to discuss climate risk and mitigation practices.
In June 2020, Insurance ERM named Commissioner Kreidler an insurance industry leader on climate change (insuranceerm.com).
Commissioner Kreidler has a long history of public service. He served 16 years in the Washington state Legislature, was later elected to the U.S. Congress and served two years as Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Pacific Northwest. He practiced optometry for 20 years in Olympia, Washington, and retired from the Army Reserves as a lieutenant colonel after 20 years.
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