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Outgoing Florida CFO Atwater Recalls Successes, Frustrations With Industry

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Florida's Chief Financial Officer and head of the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS), Jeff Atwater shocked the state when he announced in February he would step down at the end of the 2017 legislative session to become vice president of strategic initiatives and CFO for Florida Atlantic University (FAU).

As Florida's CFO since 2011, Atwater has worked closely with the insurance industry. DFS oversees the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR), as well as the office of the Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate, who assists Florida residents with insurance-related questions or concerns.

DFS is also home to the Division of Investigative and Forensic Services, which handles all insurance fraud-related investi­gations. One of Atwater's biggest priorities since he took office has been his commitment to rooting out fraud in Florida. Before he departed DFS, Atwater completed a three-year effort to pass legislation that puts a comprehensive system in place to track and prosecute insurance fraud.

Atwater spoke with Insurance Journal as he readied to move on to discuss his experienc­es with the insurance industry as CFO, including what about the industry has sur­prised him and frus­trated him through the years, and how he thinks the industry could improve its cus­tomer relationships and gain support in its fight against insurance abuse.

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