Florida’s new chief financial officer is officially on the job.
Flanked by family and friends, Jimmy Patronis was sworn in June 30 during a brief ceremony held in the office of Gov. Rick Scott.
The Republican governor picked the former legislator and utility regulator to take the job that had been held by Jeff Atwater. Atwater announced earlier this year he would end his term early to take a top position at Florida Atlantic University.
Patronis does not have a background in the banking or insurance industries. But he was an early political ally of Scott during his initial run for governor in 2010.
After his swearing-in, Patronis deflected questions regarding insurance and potential staffing changes. He said he still needs to “get up to speed” on the office operations.
In his first newsletter from the Florida Department of Financial Services, Patronis acknowledged the importance of the insurance industry to the state and said he will work on “common sense solutions” for Florida’s economic industries.
“My years of business and legislative experience have taught me many things. As an employer, I know that financial accountability is key to ensuring that my employees have steady jobs and can pay their bills and put food on their family’s tables. I believe that a fair and affordable workers’ compensation system is vital to protecting workers from the harmful effects of on-the-job injuries, and I recognize first-hand that effective contract management is crucial to making the most of our money and warding off rising costs.
“As a lifelong Floridian, I’ve seen the devastating impacts of hurricanes, as well as the need for cost-effective insurance coverage and an insurance industry that is ready, willing and able to help policyholders get back on their feet,” Patronis said.