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Sources Say IL Insurance Dept Director Front Runner to Head Federal Insurance Office

Posted on 04 Mar 2011

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Sources who are familiar with the matter say that the Obama administration are expected to name the director of the Illinois Department of Insurance, Michael McRaith, as the head ofthe new Federal Insurance Office. The source say he is seen as the front runner for this position, although neither the administration nor McRaith have confirmed this information.

Under 2010's Dodd-Frank regulation reforms, the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) is being set up to monitor insurers, but not regulate them.

The FIO was put into Dodd-Frank to appease opponents of central regulation by keeping real power out of Washington's hands. But it also gave some hope to big insurers who want a single regulator by giving them a foothold they may be able to expand later.

"We don't have any announcements to make at this time," said Colleen Murray, spokeswoman for the U.S. Treasury Department, which must name the FIO director under Dodd-Frank.

Prior to his appointment, Director McRaith worked fifteen years in private practice as an attorney in Chicago. Director McRaith represented national and regional financial institutions, including insurers, in finance-related litigation. McRaith is Secretary/Treasurer of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).