Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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Oklahoma has “tremendous” growth potential as a domicile – Kinion

Steve Kinion, Oklahoma’s new captive director, has outlined the potential and his ambitions for the state as a captive domicile, in an exclusive interview with Captive Intelligence.

Kinion was Delaware’s captive regulator for more than 13 years, but left the post in September after failing to agree a contract renewal.

He originally joined the Oklahoma Insurance Department in 1995 as counsel to the Oklahoma state board for property and casualty rates and assistant general counsel.

As in Delaware, Kinion will serve in his new position as a contractor and remain based in Illinois.

Since returning to Oklahoma’s insurance department, Kinion said most captive applications he’s seen have been from Oklahoma-based businesses, with carbon industries having a big presence.

“They may have a difficult time obtaining insurance coverage in the commercial market,” he said. “They’re welcome in Oklahoma because Oklahoma has a long history with that industry.”

“Entrepreneurial” Commissoner Mulready

Oklahoma’s new captive director said the state’s insurance commissioner, Glen Mulready, was crucial to his decision to return.

“Mulready is a commissioner who is what I call an entrepreneurial thinker,” Kinion said. “He wants to make Oklahoma the best insurance department it can be, if not the best insurance department in the United States.”

He noted that Mulready was excited about future of captives in the state, which also helped entice him to the role.

“This is a very good thing because if you have the support from the very top, you’ll be successful,” he said.

Kinion said he was excited about Oklahoma’s new Insurance Business Transfers (IBT) law, which allows companies to transfer books of business to a new company.

“Commissioner Mulready wanted to make a good captive insurance programme that really serves the needs of Oklahoma-based businesses, so they no longer have to look elsewhere for their captive insurance risk management needs,” Kinion said.

He noted that Oklahoma had been successful with the two IBT tractions it had completed already, suggesting there might be four more coming to the state in the near future.

“Mulready understood that I’m a native of the state and asked me if I would consider coming back and being part of the success, and I said yes.”

Kinion acknowledged that although it seems like he’s coming “full circle” with his return to Oklahoma, he is not coming to the end of his career and is simply “going back to a familiar environment and an environment that I know”.

In his final weeks as Delaware’s captive regulator, Kinion spoke to the Global Captive Podcast about his plans to focus more on his captive legal practice, and in particular his desire to provide consulting around the area of D&O being written in captives.

One of the main reasons Kinion accepted the new position was because it allowed him to continue to be based in Illinois and remain working as a lawyer at Zack Stamp.

“I did the same in Delaware very successfully, and I can do the same in Oklahoma,” he said.

Kinion also praised the success of the most recent Oaklahoma captive conference, which had almost 300 attendees this year. “I was one of the fortunate people who got a space early and I saw the electricity in the air, and the excitement about Oklahoma’s captive programme,” he added.