October 5, 2012

Simsbury man to guide CT's captive insurers

Connecticut's insurance regulator hired a former Aetna, Cigna and General Electric risk management specialist to shepherd the state's nascent captive insurance industry, authorities say.

West Simsbury resident John C. Thomson will manage the new captive insurance regulatory unit, Insurance Commissioner Thomas B. Leonardi announced Friday.

"John brings a strong, diverse background in risk management and I am confident he will be a valuable asset in the department's regulation of the growing captive industry in Connecticut," Leonardi said in a statement.

Thomson, 60, vowed in the same statement to apply his experience "to develop a focused, consistent and fair regulatory process." His annual salary is $97,000.

So far, two Connecticut companies in recent months have moved their captive insurers to the state, since lawmakers passed new regulations and a tax credit last year to make the state a more attractive place to do business.

New Britain's Stanley Black & Decker is moving its captive insurance subsidiary, SBD Insurance Inc. from Vermont, while Stamford's Thomson Reuters has relocated its U.S. insurance subsidiary from Delaware.

A captive insurance company is wholly owned by a parent company to insure the parent's own risks and gives companies greater control over costs. For many corporations, captives are becoming a more popular alternative to traditional insurance.

Thomson, who began work Sept. 28, previously was an editor for International Risk Management Institute, the publisher of Captive Insurance Company Reports.

He also was the chief operating officer for energy industry captive, Oil Casualty Insurance Ltd., and has held leadership positions with GE, Aetna, Cigna and Towers Perrin/Tillinghast, a Hartford risk management firm.

A graduate of State University of New York-Cortland, Thomson earned his MBA in finance and management from Rider University.

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