John F. Finston is a former general counsel and deputy insurance commissioner for the State of California. He advises clients on insurance-related financial transactions, with a focus on highlighting and resolving insurance regulatory issues.
John represents reinsurance companies, insurance companies and insurance associations in mergers and acquisitions, transactional business restructuring, insolvency and regulatory matters. He has extensive experience in transactional matters and frequently advises corporate clients with respect to their rights against insurance company receivers and property/casualty insurance guaranty funds in the event of the insolvency of their insurers.
While serving as general counsel and deputy commissioner of the California Department of Insurance, John was deeply involved in policymaking and led the department’s legal branch, which involved supervision of more than 140 lawyers, legal assistants and staff. He was active in a number of state, national and international insurance regulatory matters, and under his leadership as general counsel, the department had many notable litigation victories on behalf of consumers.
John represented the department in interactions with many of the state’s largest insurer licensees, addressing compliance matters, developing new regulatory approaches and providing advice. He also played a key role in advising the commissioner on major health and other insurance mergers, insurance company insolvencies, guaranty association related matters, and a host of other insurance market, consumer protection and regulatory matters.
At the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), John was a nationally recognized leader on international insurance issues and reinsurance and receivership law and regulation and also actively participated in the negotiation of the Covered Agreement between the United States and the European Union and served as a technical advisor to the state insurance regulators participating in the negotiations.
Led the legal team conducting regulatory investigation and negotiating settlement agreement in relation to Centene’s acquisition of Health Net, leading to California’s approval of the transaction*
Led the team that investigated market conduct regulatory violations of several major insurers and brokers, and negotiated multimillion-dollar settlement agreements and regulatory correction plans to address violations*
Led the team that prepared the commissioner for an investigative hearing that resulted in a report and letter to the US Department of Justice opposing the Cigna/Anthem and Aetna/Humana Mergers*
Led the initiative that resulted in an agreement among six insurance commissioners to consolidate the eight insurance entities of the Tower Insurance Group into a single insurance company to facilitate an orderly liquidation of the group in a single coordinated proceeding*
Led the team of lawyers and financial analysts that evaluated and eventually approved the demutualization plan of Merced Mutual Insurance Company*
Participated in the Supervisory College and Crisis Management Group of regulators analyzing and approving the recovery, liquidity and resolution plans of Allianz Insurance Group, which were required because the Financial Stability Board designated Allianz a Globally Systematically Important Insurer*
Served as California representative on the Supervisory Colleges for Allstate Insurance Group, AmTrust Financial Services, Farmers Insurance Group, Zurich Insurance Group and Allianz Insurance*
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