Oxford Life Exec Named Interim Arizona Insurance Commissioner
February 12, 2016 by Thomas Harman, Washington Bureau manager, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com
PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has appointed Leslie Hess as the new interim director of the Arizona Department of Insurance.
She succeeds former House Speaker Andy Tobin, who had held the director’s job since early October, when Ducey appointed Tobin to fill the vacancy left when Germaine Marks resigned from the job to be the new vice president of government affairs in Prudential Financial’s Mountain Region (Best’s News Service, Oct. 13, 2015).
But in late December, Ducey asked Tobin to take a spot on the Arizona Corporation Commission when one member suddenly resigned. The ACC position will be Tobin’s fourth prominent state government post in one year’s time, as he was named director of the Department of Weights and Measures in January 2015 before accepting concurrent jobs as insurance commissioner and as interim director of the Department of Financial Institutions.
Hess has worked in the public and private sectors of both the insurance and financial services industries for more than 25 years, according to a statement from Ducey’s office. Hess comes to the job after working as director of compliance and corporate secretary for Oxford Life Insurance Co., and early in her career held posts with Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns in New York.
For 12 years, she worked in the Department of Insurance as a deputy receiver and a legal adviser. Also, she spent two years in the Arizona Legislative Council and had worked for more than six years in the securities division of the Arizona Corporation Commission.
Tobin’s interlude as insurance director featured his suspension of the nonprofit Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan Meritus — operating as Meritus Health Partners and Meritus Mutual Health Partners — just hours before the Nov. 1 open enrollment period launch for 2016 health enrollees began (Best’s News Service, Nov. 2, 2015).