New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced the nomination of two cabinet members, including a new commissioner of the Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI). Ken Kobylowski, currently chief of staff and acting director of banking at DOBI, was nominated to replace Commissioner Tom Considine.
Kobylowski, will replace Considine, who will leave the administration effective Feb. 10 for a position in the private sector. Considine will join MagnaCare, a health plan services company, as chief operating officer.
“New Jersey’s insurance regulatory climate and reputation in the banking sector have improved considerably because of the work of Tom Considine,” Christie said. “Under Tom’s leadership, the department was a model for bringing private sector metrics and performance management to state government. In just two years, 59 new insurers have come into New Jersey while 64 others have expanded their authority. I thank Tom for his service and demonstrated record of achievement to the State and people of New Jersey.
“At the same time, I am pleased to announce my nomination of Ken Kobylowski to succeed Tom and continue the important work at the department. Ken is a person of considerable talent, expertise and accomplishment, who has been instrumental every single day in the department’s successes over the last two years in his capacity as chief of staff. I thank him for taking on this new challenge and have no doubt he will build on DOBI’s strong record of the last two years,” Christie continued.
Kobylowski joined DOBI as chief of staff in February 2010 and took on the additional role as acting director of banking in October 2011. He serves as the chief operating officer for the department with full responsibility for all legislative, regulatory, operational and administrative matters. Ken also serves as the department’s liaison with other state departments and federal agencies, notably the Federal Reserve and the FDIC. Ken is a gubernatorial appointee to the State Employees’ Health Benefits Plan Design Committee and the School Employees’ Health Benefits Plan Design Committee.
Prior to joining the department, Kobylowski was in private law practice for 20 years, beginning at Connell, Foley & Geiser in Roseland, New Jersey, and then moving to Herrick, Feinstein LLP, first in its New York City office and then in its Newark, New Jersey office. He represented a wide array of clients, including banks, insurance companies, lenders, developers and public and private entities. Before practicing law, Ken began his professional career as a bank analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Seton Hall University and a cum laude graduate of New York Law School, where he served as executive editor of the Journal of International and Comparative Law.
Shortly after becoming commissioner in 2010, Considine raised confidence in the banking community when he revised the government unit deposit banking regulation. In addition, he was instrumental in reforming New Jersey’s reinsurance and surplus lines laws and in establishing New Jersey’s captive insurance market. He also launched the Bureau of Fraud Deterrence at DOBI, making the fight against civil insurance fraud a key component of DOBI’s portfolio. Considine has played a significant role in reforming New Jersey’s PIP regulation to stem the upward pressure on auto insurance rates.
“When the governor named me commissioner in January 2010, I said that we would hang out a sign saying New Jersey is open for business for financial services companies,” Considine said. “I am proud of the achievements and inroads the department has made in bringing a seismic cultural change that promotes growth in the banking and insurance industries as demonstrated by our repeal or scale-back of 21 burdensome regulations, as well as the reduction of our new product review and approval time by up to 58 percent. I thank Gov. Christie for the opportunity to serve New Jersey and the positive changes we’ve been able to accomplish.”