Vt. Governor Says Departure Will Not Affect Captive Commitment

NU Online News Service, Aug. 12, 3:42 p.m. EDT

BURLINGTON, Vt.--Serving his last term as Governor of Vermont, Jim Douglas gave assurances that the state's focus on captive insurers would not waver in his absence.

In his annual welcome to attendees of the Vermont Captive Insurance Association (VCIA) conference held here, Gov. Douglas, elected in 2002, said captives are a "critical part of Vermont's economic and fiscal success."

Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie, a former pilot for American Airlines, said he has partnered with the governor on the captive industry. He also pointed out the depth of the captive infrastructure, noting that 1,500 people in the state support the captive industry and that their average annual salary is $52,000.

He said the captive industry in Vermont is "government at its best." People come to Vermont because they expect reasonable oversight, he added.

Those who support the industry, he said, "Make a difference in the lives of people" because they are preventing losses. He also said the state of Vermont is coming through the financial downturn in good fiscal shape and has even reduced taxes for its residents.

At a press conference, Richard Smith, VCIA president said this year's conference attendance is up, with more than 1,160 attendees, compared to 1,077 in 2009.

VCIA Board Chairman Timothy East, The Walt Disney Company (Buena Vista Insurance Company), said more than a quarter of conference attendees were captive owners. Attendees represented 42 states and nine countries, he said.

VCIA also announced winners of its annual awards. The Captive Crusader Award was given to Mike Lusk, Archer Daniels Midland (Agrinational Insurance Company).

The Industry Service Award had two recipients this year, Nancy Gray of Aon and Julie Boucher of Marsh.

Honorary Memberships were given to Luther Fred Hackett and Gov. Jim Douglas.

Mitch Cantor, executive director for the Center for Captive Insurance Education (ICCIE), awarded two scholarships--the VCIA Distinguished Scholar Award to Scott Maille of Aon; and the Harry House Scholarship Award, for a minority student studying risk management, to Abel Conteras.

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