Growing pains at the NAIC

Just before noon on Sept. 3, Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Thomas Leonardi stood in front of a packed room to deliver the keynote speech for Keefe Bruyette & Woods’ annual insurance conference.

The speech was one of several that Leonardi delivers each year to industry groups around the globe. An insurance veteran with a reputation for brutal honesty, he is a fierce advocate for the U.S. insurance system. Speak with Leonardi at any length and he will invariably end up ticking off the various strengths of state-based regulation, culminating with the reminder that the industry remained stable during the financial crisis, even as big banks — which, by the way, are federally regulated, he notes — came crashing down.

This speech would follow that same well-worn path. But first, Leonardi had some thoughts about his own colleagues.

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