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Gov. Hochul Picks Obama Administration Veteran to Lead New York’s Top Financial Regulator


New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has tapped an Obama administration veteran to be the state’s top financial regulator, officials said Tuesday.

Adrienne Harris was nominated to lead the New York State Department of Financial Services, which oversees insurance companies and state-chartered banks. Ms. Hochul, a Democrat, said the agency’s focus would be consumer protection and ensuring an equitable recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms. Harris is now a senior adviser at public-relations firm Brunswick Group in Washington, D.C., where she advises financial institutions, fintech companies and venture-capital firms. She worked as a senior adviser in the U.S. Treasury Department from 2013 to 2015 and then as a special assistant in the White House until 2017. She said in a statement she would use the position “to ensure we have a robust and fair financial system, and an equitable economy.”

Ms. Harris’s nomination is subject to confirmation by the New York State Senate.

The DFS was formed by the 2011 merger of the New York State Insurance Department and New York State Banking Department. It regulates around 1,500 banks and other financial groups managing more than $2.6 trillion in assets, as well as nearly 1,800 insurers with assets totaling more than $4.7 trillion.

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