News: 2013 Press Release
For Release: February 13, 2013
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Iran Divestment Program Reduces Insurers Invested in Companies Doing Business with Iranian Energy, Military and Nuclear Sectors
Eight remaining insurance companies called on to divest
LOS ANGELES - Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today provided an update on the success of the Department of Insurance's Iran Divestment Program. Jones announced that only eight insurance companies, of the 1300 insurers licensed to do business in California, continue to decline to divest from holdings in the energy, military, and nuclear sectors of the Iranian economy.
"Insurance companies investing in companies doing business with the military, nuclear or energy sectors of the Iranian economy are making a risky investment," Commissioner Jones said. "The Department of Insurance asks insurers to divest their holdings in companies doing business in the military, nuclear and energy sectors of Iran, because of the financial risk associated with investing in those sectors of the Iranian economy. We have made extraordinary progress -- of the 1300 insurers licensed to do business in California, only eight insurers remain that decline to divest."
Several years ago, the Department of Insurance launched its Iran Divestment program due to the financial risk associated with insurer investments in companies doing business with the energy, military and nuclear sectors of Iran. With the assistance of Roger W. Robinson, Jr., a leading expert in the area of geopolitical risk, the department develops and maintains a list of companies with financial ties to those sectors.
Robinson, who served in the Reagan administration as Senior Director of International Economic Affairs at the National Security Council, is a nationally recognized authority on global finance, risk assessment of corporations with ties to security-sensitive countries, and early warning geopolitical and competitive intelligence. He has served as an expert witness on many occasions before U.S. Senate and House committees. He has also served as vice president in the international department of Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City.
The list of companies doing business in the energy, nuclear and military sectors of Iran is informed, in part, by the Global Security Risk Monitor, the longest-running comprehensive database of corporate activity in State-Department designated terrorist-sponsoring states, including Iran. While it is not illegal for insurers to invest in companies doing business in the energy, military or nuclear sectors of Iran, the department contacted the 1,300 insurers doing business in California and asked them about their investments in companies on the list. When the program began, the total amount of investments by these insurers in companies doing business in the Iranian military, energy and nuclear sectors was approximately $6 billion.
The department encouraged insurers to divest from Iran-related holdings. Today, insurer investments in companies doing business with the Iranian energy, military, and nuclear sectors total just under $200 million--a 97 percent reduction. As of today, the list of insurers declining to divest has been reduced to eight. The list of the eight insurers declining to divest can be found on the CDI Website.
Upon taking office in January 2011, Commissioner Jones directed the Department to continue its efforts to call on insurers to divest in companies doing business with the energy, military and nuclear sectors of the Iranian economy. The department, at the direction of Commissioner Jones, has intensified its efforts over the last few months, reducing the number of remaining insurers declining to divest to eight.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2012 the California Department of Insurance received more than 160,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $64 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP. Out-of-state callers, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.
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