Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Honored for Exceptional Leadership

NAIC President honors Florida and Massachusetts Insurance Commissioners with Farmer Awards for Exceptional Leadership

Massachusetts Division of Insurance Commissioner Gary D. Anderson was honored last month with the Raymond G. Farmer Award for Exceptional Leadership by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The award was presented by NAIC President Dean Cameron during the NAIC 2022 Fall National Meeting.

Created in 2008, the Farmer Award, previously known as the NAIC President’s Award for Distinguished NAIC Leadership, honors an NAIC member who has shown exemplary leadership, a sustained length of industry service, and contributed to advancing the NAIC’s mission.

“Commissioner Anderson has set a high standard of leadership in his state and through his many roles with the NAIC. His professionalism, expertise, and collaborative spirit reflect the best of our state-based system on the international stage,” said President Cameron. “Receiving this award goes beyond being simply an excellent member or an excellent leader –it’s about a creating a lasting legacy that leads to a fundamentally stronger state-based system.”  

Commissioner Anderson serves on the NAIC’s Executive (EX) Committee, the Audit Committee, the Internal Administration (EX1) Subcommittee, the Climate and Resiliency (EX) Task Force, the Government Relations (EX) Leadership Council, the Special (EX) Committee on Race and Insurance, and the Financial Regulation Standards and Accreditation (F) Committee. This past year, he also served as chair of the Northeast Zone, identifying and coordinating the goals and priorities of the 12 eastern states from Maine to Maryland. Information about each of these committees can be found here: https://content.naic.org/index_committees.htm

Commissioner Anderson is also the longest serving chair of the International Insurance Relations (G) Committee, which coordinates the states’ participation in international discussions on, and the development of, insurance regulatory and supervisory standards and promotes international cooperation among the states and the federal government. He also sits on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS ExCo), and on the IAIS Policy Development Committee, which he chaired from 2020 through 2022.    The IAIS represents insurance regulators and supervisors of more than 200 jurisdictions worldwide. 

President Cameron noted that to understand one of the contributing factors behind this award, it is necessary to understand the events of the past. “In the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, the world responded by implementing lessons learned, or at least what they thought were lessons learned. And so a new chess board was set, with new players, rules, and incredibly high stakes,” said President Cameron. “And what were those stakes?  Essentially we were involved in a global proxy fight on whose regulatory framework might serve as the foundation for global standards going forward. And make no mistake, it was also a test for state insurance regulators on whether globally we continued to be viewed as the primary voice of insurance regulation in the U.S., a voice which in turn would help ensure that global standards were inclusive of U.S. markets and consumers.  Because what happens in Basel matters in Boise.  The insurance sector is globally interconnected and we’ve seen time and time again over the last decade how global standard setting trickles down to local markets.”

It was in Commissioner Anderson’s various leadership roles, both nationally and internationally, which provided the platforms to successfully negotiate for the U.S. approach on matters like group capital, which ensures that insurance companies operating internationally maintain appropriate capital by U.S. standards. 

President Cameron added, “Gary has gained some fame for letting his passion on issues shine through, sometimes through fairly colorful language, but that’s because he commits his heart and soul to every issue. He wears his heart on his sleeve but he’s the guy I would want watching my back in a fight.” 

As insurance has become increasingly global, having a voice in national and international standard-setting is vital to ensuring the protection of U.S. policyholders and the domestic insurance market. No Massachusetts insurance commissioner has previously held these leadership positions on international issues. 

Also acknowledged by both President Cameron and Commissioner Anderson during the award presentation was Rachel Davison, First Deputy Commissioner of the Massachusetts Division of Insurance.

“Rachel’s contributions on local, national, and international matters are unmatched,” said Commissioner Anderson. “She is a thoughtful leader who brings years of legal expertise to her role. I am grateful for her partnership and proud of the work that she and our DOI colleagues have accomplished on behalf of Massachusetts residents and U.S. policyholders.”

Commissioner Anderson joined the Massachusetts Division of Insurance as its First Deputy Commissioner in February of 2014 and was appointed Commissioner in 2017.  First Deputy Commissioner Davison joined the Division of Insurance in 2015 and was promoted from General Counsel to First Deputy Commissioner in March 2020.

Source: Massachusetts Division of Insurance

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