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President Donald Trump will nominate Thomas Workman to be the independent insurance expert on the Financial Stability Oversight Council.
Mr. Workman served as president and CEO of the New York-based Life Insurance Council of New York Inc. from 1999 to 2016, and prior to that chaired the insurance law practice group of Bricker & Eckler L.L.P. in Columbus, Ohio, from 1973 to 1999, according to a White House statement issued Wednesday.
Mr. Workman, whose term would be for six years, would replace Roy Woodall on the council. It was the pending expiration of Mr. Woodall’s term that prompted the September passage of legislation to allow the independent insurance expert to remain on the council until 18 months after the date on which the term of service ends or the date on which a successor to the member is appointed and confirmed, whichever is earlier.
The Washington-based American Council of Life Insurers welcomed the announcement and urged the Senate to approve Mr. Workman’s nomination.
“Thomas Workman will bring invaluable experience from his 17 years with the Life Insurance Council of New York Inc.,” President and CEO Dirk Kempthorne said in a statement. “His insurance industry knowledge will prove vital to FSOC as it examines recommendations in the recent report on FSOC designations by the Treasury Department. No life insurer should be designated as systemically important. The report rightfully recognizes that designating insurers as systemic is not an effective or efficient approach for addressing potential risk to financial stability.”
Mr. Kempthorne was referring to a report in which the department recommended a different approach to evaluating the potential risks posed by nonbank financial companies rather than the current method that has led to several major insurers being tagged as “too big to fail.”
The council has held the responsibility of evaluating companies and had designated four nonbank institutions as systemically important financial institutions since the financial crisis. Institutions designated as SIFIs are subject to stricter oversight and stricter capital requirements.
The U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee unanimously passed a bill that would allow the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s independent insurance expert to remain on the council after the end of his or her term if a successor has not been named.