Karen L. Suter has been sworn in as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. Suter, of Medford, served as Acting Commissioner of the department since January.
She succeeds Jaynee LaVecchia, who Gov. Whitman appointed to the Supreme Court. Associate Justice LaVecchia officiated at the swearing-in.
“For nearly two decades Karen Suter has proved to be an expert and vigorous defender of the public interest,” Governor Christie Whitman said. “New Jersey consumers will soon learn what I already know – they have a dedicated new ally in the quest for accessible, accountable and affordable financial services.”
Commissioner Suter joined the department in 1998 as a deputy commissioner and Chief of Banking and Insurance Operations. Her responsibilities included assisting the commissioner with the supervision of the divisions of banking, insurance and real estate.
From 1991 to 1998, she was a senior deputy attorney general and was chief in the Insurance Section of the Division of Law. She has provided legal representation to the department since 1987 and has served as a deputy attorney general since 1981.
Commissioner Suter has handled numerous court cases involving insurance issues. She handled litigation involving the Market Transition Facility’s $1.3 million unfunded deficit and was a principal participant in negotiations that created a plan for the payment of that unfunded liability. In the Prudential Insurance Company of America sales practices litigation, she represented the department in the nationwide settlement with Prudential that resulted in a remediation program for 10 million of Prudential’s policyholders that has been implemented in all 50 states. The litigation arose from Prudential’s life insurance sales and marketing practices.
She is an honors graduate of Rutgers University and Rutgers School of Law.
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