Walter A. Bell, the first Alabamian to serve as President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, will be leaving his position as State Insurance Commissioner at the end of the month, Governor Bob Riley announced today.
“It has been my genuine honor to serve as Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Insurance,” Bell said. “I appreciate the opportunity afforded to me by Governor Riley. I also appreciate the hard work and dedication from our wonderful team at the Alabama Department of Insurance.
“I am excited as to what the future holds for the Department of Insurance, and I am excited about the challenges ahead for me.”
Bell was named by Governor Riley as Alabama’s chief insurance regulator in January 2003. He served a one-year term as President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2007. This year, he has served on the NAIC Executive Committee as past president and also as chair of the International Insurance Relations Committee.
“Walter’s deep knowledge and understanding of the insurance industry has been a tremendous asset to the people of Alabama,” said Governor Riley. “He is a man of great integrity and decency, and he has my sincere appreciation for the service he has provided our state.”
Under Commissioner Bell’s leadership, the Alabama Department of Insurance has streamlined operations, making it easier for consumers and industry to access the Department’s services. Also, the Department regained accreditation by the NAIC.
At the NAIC, Commissioner Bell’s tenure as President was highlighted by several efficiency initiatives to streamline insurance regulation. His work on international issues led to his election as Vice Chairman of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors. He also serves on the executive committee of that organization. He is also a director of the Bermuda Monetary Authority.
Prior to becoming an insurance regulator, Commissioner Bell had a 20-years-plus career in financial services. After serving as a banker in his native Mobile, Commissioner Bell joined The MONY Group as a financial professional in 1983. He served as National Director for Emerging Markets before being named the company Vice President for Diversity Marketing.
Commissioner Bell is a director of EnergySouth, Inc., and is also a limited partner in the Mobile BayBears Baseball Team, an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks franchise. He is a former trustee of Spring Hill College, of which he is a graduate. He is also a trustee of the Mobile Arts & Sports Association and the National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico. He is a former trustee of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. He has served as president of numerous charitable and civic endeavors in both Mobile and New York, and has been honored in both cities for his civic leadership.