Instead of finishing his term, Florida CFO Jeff Atwater will leave his post after this legislative session. 

In a press release today, CFO Jeff Atwater announced that following the 2017 Legislative Session he will be accepting the position of Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Chief Financial Officer of Florida Atlantic University.

The press release stated that the University has time sensitive needs that requires Atwater to make a quick exit. Atwater is term-limited, but is there another reason he is leaving? No indications were given by Governor Scott. Scott mentioned the hard work of Atwater in his press release.

In Florida, the Department of Financial Services oversees insurance and banking for Florida.

Kudos were also given to Atwater when his department led a nationwide effort to identify insurance benefits that had wrongly been withheld by insurance carriers, and successfully obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits that were returned to Florida’s citizens.

Regarding the news that Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater will be joining Florida Atlantic University following the 2017 Legislative Session, Governor Rick Scott stated, “I am proud that the state has paid down over $7.6 billion in debt since 2011.” He also acknowledged that the role of the CFO is incredibly important to our state and said he will begin the process to appoint someone to serve Florida families.

As an advocate for property insurance matters for Floridians, I have been in quite a few meetings with our CFO.

While I did not always agree with Atwater, he appreciated that Floridians deserve better than the treatment some carriers provide and called for data and explanation, especially after Hurricane Matthew. Atwater listened to the entire industry and grasped the complexities and intricacies that apply to Florida’s vulnerable situation and insurance issues.

Whomever Rick Scott selects as the new CFO needs to hold carriers responsible and not allow excuses or misrepresentations. A quality chief financial officer who is vested in Floridians is critical to our state’s future.