Transitions in Tennessee Captive Insurance Leadership
Tennessee Captives Industry,
After much consideration and deep appreciation, I announce my departure as Director of the Tennessee Captive Insurance Section. It has been a tremendous honor to help build a successful captive domicile in Tennessee, and I could not be more pleased that Belinda Fortman will continue to lead Tennessee to the next level of success.
The captive industry is built on relationships, so it is important to me to share my reflections on what we have built in Tennessee, why I am choosing to take the next steps in my career, and why Belinda is the best choice to continue to lead Tennessee's Captive Section.
As most of you know, Tennessee was among the first to get started in the world of captive insurance. The Tennessee legislature originally passed captive legislation in 1978, but it was not until 2011, when we had a total of two licensed captives, that we revised our statute in order to grow captive insurance and help improve Tennessee’s economy. I believed then, as I do now, that captive insurance would have a positive influence on my home state of Tennessee – creating valuable jobs and investment in the Volunteer State.
I came on board at the end of 2012, when we had approximately 20 captive companies, and it has been non-stop ever since. We have built a tremendous team of professionals whom I deeply respect and have grown to value. I am happy to say that through the efforts of all of us together, Tennessee has positioned itself as one of the top domiciles nationally, licensed 203 captive companies and approved another 473 cell companies, which means we have regulated over 676 captive risk bearing entities writing over $1.5 billion in premium annually – that’s a lot of risk management programs! I have been so fortunate to meet executives and risk management professionals from all over the world, sharing their vision and innovative ideas about managing risk. Learning from and partnering with these professionals as they create jobs, protect their employees, solve modern day problems and generate revenue for our economy has been one of the most exciting parts of this job.
During the past eight years there were many milestones – our first accreditation experience, winning Captive Review’s Best Domicile Under 200 Captives award, becoming an ICCIE-trained organization, passing forward-thinking legislation, implementing our in-house exam program, creating a business development role separate from regulation, and most recently, working with our new Commissioner, Hodgen Mainda, who is an active supporter and advocate of captive insurance and a true leader. Tennessee’s story is one that continues to unfold, and I am convinced its best days are ahead.
I am also tremendously grateful and proud of the successful public and private partnership we have built with the Tennessee Captive Insurance Association. There are many people at the association and in the industry who have made a lasting impact on Tennessee. Each professional has brought innovative ideas to the Department, created solutions to help the business community, and encouraged many of our multinationals and businesses headquartered in Tennessee to domesticate their captive to their home state. What a pleasure it has been to work with each of you.
Many of you know me personally, as well as professionally, and therefore know my creative side. Throughout my career, I have engaged both my analytic skills and creative abilities. It is in that vein that I have decided to move to California to explore the many creative projects in my future, and I hope to share them with you someday. This was not an easy decision because I have been very fulfilled in my life as the Director of the Captive Section, working with amazing people and doing great work. However, it was time for me to change gears, so I worked with the Commissioner and Insurance leadership to help find my replacement.
This week was another milestone for captive insurance in Tennessee. Belinda Fortman, a well-respected captive manager with deep experience in the captive industry, who came to Tennessee in our early years to take a chance on Tennessee and set up shop in our state, will be Tennessee’s next Director. The Department is truly fortunate to have Belinda lead the Tennessee Captive Section into our next era. She is a true captive advocate who is passionate about the industry and known for her diligent work and professional style. There is no one better to lead Tennessee and take us to the next level and I could not be more pleased with her selection.
Working within captive insurance and ultimately leading a team within state government has challenged and taught me so much. I am grateful beyond words for my time and experiences at the Department. I will miss each of you – my colleagues and my friends both within the Department and in industry, as well as my fellow regulators. Please keep in touch and I look forward to the bright future for captives in Tennessee.