Sandy Smith focuses her practice on insurance regulatory, corporate and transactional matters, with an emphasis on New York insurance law and regulations. She assists insurance companies, agents and brokers, and other clients with a broad range of regulatory issues before the New York Department of Financial Services, and often teams with the firm’s government relations attorneys when their insurance clients seek a regulatory solution.
Prior to joining the firm, Sandy spent nearly 20 years as an in-house counsel to the American General Life Insurance Division, advising the company on New York insurance regulatory, corporate, transactional, product and compliance matters. Through this experience, Sandy has first-hand knowledge of the inner-workings of insurance companies. She understands how legal and regulatory issues impact everything from underwriting to information technology and can navigate the hierarchy through which decisions are made. In addition, her years of regulatory experience enable her to advise clients on structuring a particular product or program to address the anticipated reaction of regulators. This allows her clients to realize their most ambitious objectives.
Prior to her in-house position with American General, Sandy worked as an associate counsel with the New York State Assembly Minority Counsel’s Office.
Areas of Focus
Sandy represents insurance companies, agents and brokers in all types of regulatory matters before the New York Department of Financial Services, including approvals of new insurance products, licensing issues, holding company matters and advertising regulation. She also assists clients that wish to establish that the types of products they are selling (e.g., warranties or service contracts) are not insurance. In addition, she advises clients on designing their insurance products to meet the needs of the insurance marketplace while maintaining compliance with insurance laws and regulations.
In her previous position as chief counsel to the New York domestic companies of American General Life Insurance, Sandy provided advice and counsel concerning New York insurance regulatory, corporate, transactional, product and compliance matters, including statutory mergers, corporate organization and procedure, agent compensation, advertising, holding company transactions, contract negotiation, licensing and contracting, and complex financial programs. In addition, she developed and assisted with the implementation of remedial action plans associated with claims and litigation matters, regulatory examinations and internal audits.
Previously, Sandy also served as chief counsel to the Affluent and Corporate Markets Group and the Specialty Markets Group, two of American General’s product distribution channels. In this role, she provided legal and regulatory counsel to senior management on issues arising out of the development, marketing and distribution of customized life insurance and annuity products, including fixed and variable annuities and life insurance, structured settlement annuities, private placement annuities and life insurance, and corporate owned life insurance. Earlier in her career, Sandy served as corporate secretary to the New York domestic life companies.