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Julie Mix McPeak to leave post as Tennessee insurance commissioner

Julie Mix McPeak

WASHINGTON — Julie Mix McPeak, Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance commissioner and immediate past president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, has resigned her position effective June 14.

Ms. McPeak, who was first appointed commissioner by then-Gov. Bill Haslam in 2011, will pursue career opportunities in the private sector, according to a department statement on Monday.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has named Deputy Commissioner Carter Lawrence to serve as the department’s interim commissioner until a permanent commissioner is selected, according to the statement.

Under her leadership, the department has modernized Tennessee’s captive insurance laws, with the sector exceeding $1 billion in written premiums for the first time in 2017.

“That’s one of the really impactful things that I think that we can point to over the last eight years — the creation of a captive industry where we really didn’t have one before,” she told Business Insurance on the sidelines of the NAIC’s International Insurance Forum in Washington on Tuesday. “I do think it’s going to continue to grow. I think a lot of staff will stay in place and be equally focused on continuing growth in the captive market. The growth has actually plateaued a little bit in terms of the exponential creation of companies, but that’s OK because we’re now in that place where we need to start doing those five-year examinations of companies that have been in business, so we have plenty to do. We’re trying to do all these examinations in-house to reduce costs and keep Tennessee as an attractive domicile.”

Tennessee is the world’s 12th-largest captive domicile, with 169 captives licensed at the end of 2018, up from 155 at the end of 2017, according to Business Insurance’s latest ranking.

Ms. McPeak, who was also a former executive director of the Kentucky Office of Insurance, said she has no immediate job plans.

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