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Poolman Ends Oversight of Nodak Mutual - Says the company is stronger as a result of supervision
July 29, 2003, 2003 701-328-2440

Bismarck, ND - Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman announced today that he is lifting the Insurance Department's administrative supervision over Nodak Mutual Insurance Company. Commissioner Poolman placed the company under supervision in September 2002 at the written request of senior company management because of disputes between the board of directors and company management. "Nodak Mutual is a stronger company than it was at the beginning of this process," Poolman stated, adding, "the conflict and instability that existed has been resolved and more importantly, the company is now positioned for continued growth in the future." 

During his supervision, Poolman oversaw the restructuring of the Nodak Mutual board of directors, adding policyholders and outside directors to the board. The board reorganization was approved by 97% of the policyholders who voted in the recent policyholder election. Poolman said, "This new board structure will assure more independence and policyholder input to the company. As a mutual company that is owned by the policyholders, it is important to have an independent group representing the policyholders and leading the company."

Commissioner Poolman also oversaw the hiring of industry leader Bruce Trost to the position of chief executive officer. Trost previously served as vice president of property-casualty operations for Country Insurance and Financial Services, a $1.1 billion company located in Bloomington, Illinois. 

Today, the results of the financial examination that the Insurance Department performed on Nodak Mutual were released. "I have reassured Nodak Mutual policyholders throughout this process that the company was financially stable, and our examination has once again proven that the company is in a good financial position." The examination made recommendations related to accounting, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements and the company has agreed to make all changes suggested in the report. 

Commissioner Poolman praised Nodak Mutual management and employees, the new board and the old board for their exemplary cooperation throughout the supervision. "There have been some difficult and emotional moments through this process, and I thank everyone involved for their patience and their hard work," said Poolman. "The insurance marketplace in North Dakota needs strong domestic companies like Nodak Mutual, and I am proud to say that as a result of our intervention, Nodak Mutual is stronger today and will become more dynamic and successful in the future. I look forward to watching the company continue to move ahead under its new leadership and direction." 

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North Dakota Insurance Department
600 E. Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58505-0320
Phone 701.328.2440
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Fax 701.328.4880

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