Former Iowa Insurance Deputy Commissioner Mumford Dies

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Former Iowa Insurance Deputy Commissioner Jim Mumford passed away on Sept. 14, 2015. Well-known for his fair and balanced approach to annuity regulation and unwavering commitment to putting consumer needs at the forefront of his decision making, the retired insurance regulator will be greatly missed by the industry at large.

Mumford served as first deputy insurance commissioner for the State of Iowa’s insurance division from 2005 until 2015. He simultaneously served as administrator of the Iowa Securities Industry & Regulated Industries Bureau for six of those years following the bureau’s combination with the insurance department. During his tenure, Mumford was a strong advocate of state-level (and state-initiated) regulations regarding the industry, suitability and better products for seniors. He was an active industry advocate in the process of getting Rule 151A overturned. Furthermore, under his leadership, Iowa released the Permitted Activities Bulletin to help agents and advisors clearly delineate their responsibilities related to the ever-controversial source of funds issue.

“Jim Mumford was an integral part of the growth and evolution of the annuity industry. His uncanny ability to listen, evaluate and act in the best interest of all parties involved was a rare asset indeed. He truly set the precedent for what responsible regulation looks like, and we will greatly miss his expertise and insight,” said Chip Anderson, executive director of NAFA.

After graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in agriculture economics and from Harvard University Law School, Mumford began his career in the insurance industry in private practice in 1965. He spent time as counsel for various insurance carriers and in firms specializing in insurance-related matters. He was actively involved in the National Organization of Life and Health Guaranty Association (NOLHGA) and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) on behalf of his clients, and represented member companies of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI).

As a regulator, Mumford represented the Iowa Insurance Division by serving on various NAIC Working Groups and Task Forces including chairing the NAIC Receivership and Insolvency Task Force, a working group reviewing the NAIC Annuity Disclosure Model Regulation and Annuity Buyer’s Guide and a working group coordinating with federal agencies on ERISA retirement lifetime income issues.

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NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, is a national trade association exclusively dedicated to promoting the awareness and understanding of fixed annuities. NAFA is the only association whose sole purpose is advocating for the fixed annuity product.

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