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Superintendent of Insurance Eric Dinallo today announced that Scott H. Rothstein has been appointed Executive Director of the New York State Commission to Modernize the Regulation of Financial Services. Dinallo chairs the Commission, created by Governor Eliot Spitzer in May to identify ways for New York to reform its regulation of financial services in order to retain and enhance its status as a world financial capital.

“Financial services are central to the State’s economy, and New York’s regulatory structure must be modernized for the state to retain its leadership role in a global economy,” Dinallo said. “With an incredibly impressive background encompassing law, insurance and securities, Scott Rothstein is perfectly positioned to understand the challenges facing New York and to guide the creation of a 21st Century regulatory framework for the industry.

“I could not think of a better choice,” Dinallo said. “Scott is a pleasure to work with, exceedingly smart and a natural consensus builder. His resume speaks for itself, but I have had the pleasure of working with Scott and have a high degree of certainty that he will succeed with consumer groups, industry and fellow regulators.”

Rothstein joins the Commission from Morgan Stanley, where he was an Executive Director in the Legal and Compliance Division, most recently serving as head of the legal advisory coverage group for the Global Wealth Management Group. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, he was the Deputy General Counsel of American Skandia, an insurance and annuity company that was acquired by Prudential Financial. Earlier in his career, Rothstein was Counsel at Aetna and an attorney in private practice.

Rothstein is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (Summa Cum Laude) and the University of Connecticut School of Law (with highest honors).

The Commission will make recommendations on modernizing a regulatory structure in which four separate New York state agencies – the Insurance Department, the Banking Department, the Department of State and the Attorney General’s Office – all regulate the financial services industry. This regime of state regulation was created at a time when federal laws (such as the now repealed Glass-Steagall Act) restricted the commercial activities of financial services firms, financial markets were fragmented and largely national rather than global in scope, and the activities of banks, insurance companies and securities firms were clearly distinguishable.

As financial services companies have become increasingly similar in their products, their management of business risk and their financial structure, the State’s regulatory regime has failed to change with the times. Many believe the result is burdensome and inconsistent state regulation, which drives up the cost of doing business, treats functionally equivalent business activities inconsistently, and fails to effectively protect the consumer.

The Commission is charged with identifying ways in which regulatory powers could be integrated, rationalized, and changed in order to promote economic innovation and protect the consumer.


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