From: Risk Retention Reporter

Reprinted with Permission

Joe McDonald began his position as director of captives at the South Carolina Department of Insurance (the Department) on February 2, 2022. Prior to coming on to lead the captive division in South Carolina, McDonald was the captive and risk product manager at the International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI). McDonald had previously served as licensing coordinator for the Department of Insurance from 2008 to 2020.

McDonald rejoins the Department during an exciting time for the captive and RRG industries, with strong activity across a range of domiciles and business sectors. South Carolina has seen strong growth in new RRGs over the past two years and is now the second largest RRG domicile after Vermont.
The Risk Retention Reporter spoke with McDonald on what he brings to the position, what South Carolina is looking for in RRGs, and his goals for the first two years as head of South Carolina’s Captive Division.

CICA’s Next Gen Initiative, has been a major driving force in attracting, engaging, and developing younger captive professionals. The initiative not just highlighted the need for supporting young professionals, but actually created an industry wide means for doing so.


Risk Retention Reporter: You have a bit of unique perspective as a regulator in that you have spent all your career either as a regulator or at IRMI where you focused on media and education. Do you feel you have a different perspective than many other regulators that have come from the private sector, such as your predecessor Jay Branum, or regulators in other domiciles?

Joe McDonald: As regulators, we all have a similar perspective. We’re charged with applying statute to ensure solvency and consumer protection. Jay Branum brought a lot to the role due to his private sector experience and was instrumental in helping the domicile reach its present maturity. The late Jeff Kehler also did a lot to advance South Carolina and was a great mentor to not only me, but many of my colleagues in the captive division in South Carolina. As regulators, both Jay and Jeff, they advocated for the principle of proportionality with respect to the application of regulations. That as regulators, we need to remain conscious of both the scale and the complexity of the entities being regulated, as well as the level of insurance sophistication of the people and companies involved in any program. That left an indelible mark on me.