California Insurance Commissioner Takes Aim at Companies Investing in Iran
February 17, 2010, Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday of last week, the California Department of Insurance issued a press release regarding their continued divestment efforts against companies doing business in the Iranian oil and natural gas, nuclear and defense sectors. As part of these continued efforts, California’s Insurance Commissioner, Steve Poizner, issued a list of 50 companies that have investments in the above mentioned sectors of the Iranian economy and announced that as of March 31, 2010, no investments that an insurer holds in any of those companies will be recognized on its financial statements in California.
Commissioner Poizner communicated his actions in a letter sent to all 1,300 insurance companies that are licensed to do business in California. The letter contains three parts: it includes the list of 50 companies, announces that effective March 31, 2010, the California Department of Insurance will not give statement credit for investments in companies on the list, and lastly requests that all insurers licensed to do business in California agree not to make future investments in any companies on the list or in any affiliates owning 50% or more in those companies.
According to analysis conducted by the California Department of Insurance, of the 1,300 insurance companies licensed in California, about 340 hold investments totaling approximately $6 billion in companies on the list. This amount accounts for only 0.15% of the total estimated $4 trillion in investments by insurance companies licensed to do business in California.