President Donald Trump wants Thomas E. Workman, an attorney and former life insurer trade group leader, to be the independent insurance industry’s voting member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) for a term of six years.
The FSOC, which is chaired by the Treasury Secretary, monitors the financial system for potential threats to the country’s financial stability and has the authority to designate certain financial institutions as systemically important or “too big to fail” and thus subject to heightened regulation. Members of the FSOC represent federal financial regulators, state regulators and the insurance industry.
Workman would replace S. Roy Woodall Jr., a former Kentucky insurance commissioner. Woodall’s term expired at the end of September but he agreed to stayed on until a successor is in place, an extension Congress approved. Woodall was appointed to the FSOC in 2011 by former President Barack Obama.
Workman served as president and CEO of the Life Insurance Council of New York (LICONY) from 1999 to 2016, representing 73 life insurers and 22 law, actuarial and accounting firms. From 1973 to 1999, Workman practiced law with Bricker & Eckler in Columbus, Ohio. He chaired the Insurance Law Practice Group and was legislative counsel to the Association of Ohio Life Insurance Companies.
Workman has served on various boards, including the Ohio Farmers Insurance Co., the Federation of Regulatory Counsel, the Insurance Federation of New York, and on the Leadership Council of the Griffith Foundation for Insurance Education.
The Workman nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.
Life insurers welcomed the choice of Workman. “There is no doubt that his deep experience in the life insurance industry and wise judgement will serve him well in this new role. We wish him the best,” LICONY President and CEO Mary A. Griffin said.
MetLife has been one of the insurers tagged as a systemically important financial institution but the insurer has been protesting the designation.
The FSOC has a total of 10 voting members. In addition to Woodall, they include the Treasury secretary, who chairs the panel, and the Federal Reserve chairman, the federal comptroller, the directors of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and representatives from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and the National Credit Union Administration Board.
The panel also has five non-voting members, two of which are insurance representatives. The other non-voting members represent the Treasury’s Office of Financial Research, a state banking regulator and a state securities commissioner.
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