On Feb. 29, 2008, the Captive Insurance Division of the Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities & Health Care Administration announced that it promoted David Provost to become the next deputy commissioner when current lead man Len Crouse leaves on June 1. The news caught many off guard.
For Montpelier, Vermont's capital, however, picking Provost made perfect sense. The current assistant chief examiner "really rose to the top" when it came to candidates, said BISHCA Commissioner Paulette Thabault.
"Dave was selected because he was clearly the most qualified candidate for the position," she said.
Thabault wouldn't comment on how many people Provost beat out for the position (though one source suggested at least half a dozen). She did add that Vermont was lucky to have "some good people to consider," including people already in the government.
"It really speaks to the depth of our department in terms of the expertise that we have," she said.
Did insiders have the inside track to be Crouse's replacement? Thabault said that such considerations weren't made at the outset of the candidate search process. But hiring an inside candidate must have offered some benefit?
"David can provide the consistency that will be important as we move through this transition," Thabault said.
And consistency is important when it comes to assuring captive managers, owners and prospective owners that your domicile is still a safe bet--especially consistency in the interpretation of domicile regulations relative to the past regulator, said Monique Jackson, Cayman-based senior vice president at Global Captive Management, at the recent CICA International Conference during a session about what makes a "good domicile."
Other experts downplayed the impact of whether a new regulator is an insider or an outsider. Historically, a well-run domicile will still be well-run after a new regulator comes into power, according to Jason Flaxbeard, senior managing director at Beecher Carlson Insurance Services LLC.
And such seems to be the case in Vermont. The Vermont team is so big that the only change will only be "a new face at the head of it," Flaxbeard said.
Patrick Theriault, vice president at Wilmington Trust, agreed that existing captives in Vermont had nothing to worry about. And prospective captives could expect "business as usual" as well, though he added that ultimately "the market is going to decide" if Provost was indeed the right choice.
April 15, 2008
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