R. Kevin Clinton, who heads the Michigan agency that oversees banks and insurance companies, has been appointed state treasurer by Governor Rick Snyder.
Clinton will replace Andy Dillon, who resigned last week. He will continue state oversight of Detroit’s emergency manager and bankruptcy as well as cities and school districts facing financial distress. His appointment, effective Nov. 1, is subject to consent of the Republican-controlled Senate.
Clinton, 58, a former insurance executive, said he wants to develop actuarial models to predict fiscal disasters for local governments five years ahead. Under Michigan law, the treasurer leads inquiries that could lead to the appointment of emergency managers.
“This early-warning system will allow school systems and municipalities to identify potential future financial problems and take the necessary steps to firm up their finances and eliminate the future need for an emergency manager,” Clinton said at a news conference where Snyder announced the appointment.
The native Detroiter said he would “need to get up to speed” on the city’s bankruptcy, adding, “I’m a quick study.”
Clinton joined Republican Snyder’s administration in 2011 and in March was named director of the Office of Financial and Insurance Services.
Before joining the state, Clinton was president and chief executive of American Physicians Capital Inc., a medical-professional insurer in East Lansing, according to his department’s website. Before that he was president and chief executive of Meemic Insurance Co., an Auburn Hills-based property and casualty firm.
Dillon quit after public acrimony stemming from his divorce and after acknowledging bouts with alcoholism. Dillon helped write Michigan’s 2011 emergency-manager law, which gives the state broad powers to take control of local government finances.
Dillon, 51, led state review teams that investigated Detroit’s finances, which presaged the appointment of Kevyn Orr as emergency manager in March.
Clinton’s appointment was first reported by the Detroit Free Press and the Michigan Information and Research Service, a legislative newsletter.