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McRaith named head of Technical Committee of IAIS

FIO Director Michael McRaith (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
FIO Director Michael McRaith (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Michael McRaith, director of the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) in the Treasury Department, has been named to head the Technical Committee of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), its influential policy-developing body.  

His selection took place during a telephone meeting last week.

Among other candidates for the post was Kevin McCarty, Florida insurance commissioner and president of the NAIC.

He succeeds Swiss citizen Monica Mächler, who has retired.

In response, McCarty said, “I congratulate Director McRaith on his appointment as the IAIS Technical Committee chair and I look forward to continuing the work the FIO and the NAIC have been doing on this committee as well as the other areas where our regulatory boundaries may cross.”

Industry officials said one reason McRaith was selected is that the international players are striving for transparency.

US insurance industry officials noted that one bright spot in the global talks is that there is some agreement between EU-US dialogue which fosters appreciation of the two regulator systems on either side of the Atlantic.

The officials said McRaith helped set this agreement in motion, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).

Industry officials say this is the pivotal transatlantic project with the most impact beginning in the near –term.

PCI and others are “cautiously optimistic” with the progress of the dialogue—there will be a hearing sponsored by Treasury/NAIC late next week on the draft paper.

“There is agreement that the concept of equivalency is very important, and is very critical to the U.S. trading relationship with Europe and the treatment of US insurers abroad and the foreign insurers in the US,” Robert Gordon, Robert Gordon, PCI senior vice president, policy development & research.

This story originally said the meeting was in Singapore, in error. The IAIS Solvency and Actuarial Issues Subcommittee met in Singapore Sept. 27-29 where representatives of the NAIC and FIO, for the U.S., discussed global capital standards for certain designated insurers, both speaking for the U.S. view on the matter. There is concern that the NAIC does not have legal authority to impose standards on insurers via the state system but it is unclear which body will absorb or process  any future  IAIS standards, when developed.

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Nichole Morford

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