October 19, 2009

Hiring Hit

“The more qualified the individual was the less interest they expressed in the Hartford top job.”

—Bob MacDonald, former CEO of Allianz Life of North America and self-described financial services contrarian, criticizing the failure of the Hartford Financial Service Group to hire someone other than former Bank of America executive Liam McGee as its new CEO to replace Ramani Ayer. MacDonald said the selection “elevates outsourcing to a new and dangerous level.”

Holding Wall Street Accountable

“This is part of a concerted and committed effort in the Ohio attorney general’s office to hold Wall Street accountable. The amount of shareholder value affected negatively here is about as great as has been alleged in any case ever.”

—Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, who has filed a class-action securities lawsuit against Bank of America and its executives resulting from its takeover of Merrill Lynch. The complaint alleges Bank of America executives improperly concealed billions of dollars in losses and billions in bonuses paid by Merrill Lynch before a shareholder vote on their proposed merger. Plaintiffs in the multi-state suit include Ohio’s two largest public employee pension funds and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. Cordray said the suit seeks unspecified damages that could be in the billions of dollars. AP

No Question

“There is no question that CompSource is a state agency and if it is a state agency, its assets have to go to the state if it is dissolved.”

—Lance LaGere, chief operating officer of National American Insurance Co. Speaking before an Oklahoma legislative task force considering whether to privatize CompSource Oklahoma, the state agency that operates as Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation insurer of last resort, LaGere said a competitive bidding process for the agency should require bidders to buy CompSource’s assets and liabilities. Officials with National American, based in Chandler, Okla., estimated the state could raise $150 million and $200 million if it sold the agency. AP

House Floats

“I wanted to float it down the Mississippi River to New Orleans.”

—Thom Mayne, architect with California-based Morphosis Architects. Mayne directed a team that created the FLOAT House, designed to float atop rising floodwaters, that aims to answer the challenge posed by the Big Easy’s flood risk, illustrated by the rising waters of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The house made its debut Oct. 6 in New Orleans alongside more than a dozen other homes built through actor Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation. The house was built Los Angeles and shipped to New Orleans in pieces. Mayne said it’s the first of its kind to be permitted in the United States. AP

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Insurance Journal West October 19, 2009
October 19, 2009
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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