NAVA Expands Executive Team

NAVA, the Association for Insured Retirement Solutions, brought on Lee Covington as senior vice president and general counsel and promoted Deborah Tucker to vice president of Membership, Marketing&Standards.

Under the new management team, NAVA will move forward with its new mission focusing on advocacy, education, and regulation of insured retirement solutions, the association said in a news release.

“Lee and Deb will help NAVA transform into an association recognized for its commitment to improving confidence in the value and viability of insured retirement solutions, which is especially important during today’s economic crisis,’ said Cathy Weatherford, NAVA president and CEO, in the release. “Their leadership will be instrumental helping NAVA address the needs of the entire annuities supply chain, starting with the end-users and the financial advisers upon which they depend.’

Covington will lead NAVA’s legal, legislative, and regulatory strategy at the federal and state level, including all efforts before the new Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and state insurance and securities departments.

He will pilot NAVA’s work on various financial services regulatory restructuring proposals and its work with regulatory bodies to adopt new, more simplified templates for annuity model disclosure and prospectus forms—a top investor concern, NAVA said.

Prior to joining NAVA, Covington served as a co-leader for the National Insurance Practice at the law firm Squire Sanders and Dempsey. During his time at the firm he represented clients on large multi-state market conduct examinations and advised clients on state and federal life and annuity suitability regulations. Covington previously served as the director of the Ohio Department of Insurance, where he was, among other leadership positions, a member of the NAIC Executive Committee as chair of the Midwestern Zone, vice chair of the NAIC Market Conduct and Consumer Affairs Committee, and one of the lead negotiators for the NAIC before the Congress on Gramm Leach Bliley and numerous other federal legislation.

In her new role, Tucker will lead management oversight of NAVA’s new programs and services to offer members the information, education, and tools to assist in a better understanding of retirement solutions, NAVA said. Her team will focus on working to expand membership and deliver relevant material and programs such as education coursework, information and data, collateral material, conferences and seminars, as well as other member related projects, such as industry standards.

Tucker has been with NAVA since 2000 when she joined to launch a branding campaign for annuities. Under her leadership, the association created the NAVA STP Standards for compliant sales automation, formed the National Retirement Planning Coalition to educate consumers on the importance of managing their retirement assets, and launched a public relations program “that has been instrumental in improving the perception of annuities,’ NAVA said.

The association said Covington and Tucker’s appointments are the first in a series.