Attending a general session on regulatory reform at this week’s ERM symposium, a question on everybody’s mind was who would get the nod as the inaugural director of the newly minted Federal Insurance Office. Another question was what could account for the conspicuous absence of a scheduled speaker, Illinois Department of Insurance Director Michael McRaith, who had been rumored to be a frontrunner for the post.

As it turns out, these were not separate questions as McRaith has been officially tapped by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to run the FIO. Reaction from insurers has been uniformly positive. “Michael McRaith is an experienced regulator, having served as the Director of Insurance for Illinois and in various capacities in connection with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners,” Leigh Ann Pusey, president and CEO of the American Insurance Association said in a statement. “As Director of the FIO, it will be vitally important for him to bring this expertise to bear in helping assure that the U.S. and global insurance regulatory systems are both effective and efficient and support vibrant and competitive private insurance markets.”

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