Volume 4 Number 46
November 16, 2007
This past week CFO Sink hosted, along with
Commissioner Bronson, the last in a three-part series of climate change
discussions. The Cabinet workshop titled “Climate Change: The Bottom Line”
focused on identifying the financial impacts and opportunities presented to
Florida as a result of climate change. In kicking off the meeting CFO Sink
aptly observed that Florida is the Sunshine State and we should be a
national leader in renewable, clean energy.
The Cabinet heard from three nationally known speakers on financial aspects
of climate change. Mindy Lubber, the president of Ceres, a nonprofit
organization which advises a network of institutional investors on climate
risk, explained the risks that companies will confront more frequently.
Climate changes are physical risks, competitive risks
and regulatory risks. Once these risks are disclosed, investors are more
informed and companies generally begin
to take actions to mitigate against the risks.
Lewis Milford, president of the Clean Energy States Alliance, a coalition that works on climate and clean energy, provided an overview of
what other states are doing in creating clean energy funds.
Robert Muir-Wood, chief research officer for Risk Management Solutions,
spoke about insurance and risk. His company assesses how risks associated
with climate change will impact and affect insurance coverage and rates. His
company offers solutions to minimize risk and exposure.
At the end of the workshop, the following announcements were made:
CFO Sink has asked the state treasury investment
managers to assess their ability to disclose risk
from climate change. Florida is the first state treasury in the
United States to require investment fund managers to make such
disclosures. The goal is to safeguard tax dollars from the risks posed
by climate change and to encourage companies to capture financial opportunities
related to the changing climate.
CFO Sink will explore the
creation of a clean energy fund for the state. Eighteen other
states have created similar funds, which invest in renewable clean
energy resources, such as solar, wind and biomass.
Margaret Lowman, director
of environmental initiatives at New College of Florida in Sarasota, has
been appointed as science adviser on matters related to climate change.
Mindy Lubber, Ceres CEO; CFO Alex Sink and Lewis
Milford, Clean Energy States' Alliance president.
CFO SINK ANNOUNCES STATE TREASURY REQUIRING DISCLOSURE OF
CLIMATE RISK; EXPLORATION OF CLEAN ENERGY FUND FOR FLORIDA
Florida first state Treasury in United States to require climate risk
Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced two new initiatives
designed to help Florida financially prepare for the threat of climate
change, including new disclosure requirements for the state’s Treasury
investment managers and the exploration of the creation of a clean
energy fund for Florida. Additionally, CFO Sink announced her
appointment of Dr. Margaret Lowman of New College of Florida as her
science advisor on climate change.
CFO Sink’s announcements followed Wednesday’s third and final
“Conversations on Climate Change,” a Cabinet-level workshop co-sponsored
by the CFO and Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson. Wednesday’s
workshop, “Climate Change: The Bottom Line,” highlighted the financial
risks and opportunities in climate change for Floridians.
“Florida has 1300 miles of coastline that could be impacted by rising
sea level and millions of taxpayers who depend on us to safeguard their
tax dollars and retirement funds,” said CFO Sink, oversees the
Department of Financial Services, the state’s $20 billion in Treasury
funds and serves on the board of the Florida pension fund, which has
$140 billion in assets. “It is my goal to help prepare Florida’s economy
for the effects of climate change, avoid potential risks and take
advantage of the many financial opportunities.”
First American Title Insurance Settlement
CFO SINK ANNOUNCES $5 MILLION TITLE INSURANCE SETTLEMENT
Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced that First American
Title Insurance Company (First American) has agreed to pay $5 million in
penalties and costs after allegedly paying “kickbacks” to builders, bankers,
real estate agents and brokers for the referral of business in violation of
the Florida Insurance Code and federal law.
“I’m proud of the hard work of our title insurance investigators and
lawyers, which resulted in this settlement,” said CFO Sink, who oversees
DFS. “We will not tolerate anyone who violates insurance laws designed to
protect the public in order to gain an unfair advantage over their
NINTH ANNUAL MARINE SUMMIT FEATURES CFO SINK AS KEYNOTE
About 150 marine industry and
government officials from Palm Beach, Martin, Broward and Miami-Dade
counties met at the Broward County Convention Center for the 9th Annual
Marine Summit. Hosted by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida,
the effort is aimed at tackling obstacles and sharing solutions to buoy the
boating industry - under pressure from waterfront redevelopment and slumping
This year's summit focused on three primary issues: economic incentives
and business retention, environmental and business regulations, and
workforce training. Summit leaders encouraged more collaboration between
marine businesses, local politicians, government regulators and educators.
Alex Sink, the summit's keynote speaker, criticized the "highest and best
use" appraisal method that finds many marinas and boat yards being assessed,
and thus taxed, as if they were condominiums. Sink said she would support
the marine industry's efforts to take its case to the state's Tax and Budget
"Your issues are also my issues," she said. "You represent the best of
what Florida has to offer."
Mary Fields, SFM
FLORIDA ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON ARSON
PREVENTION (FACAP) MEETS
30th Annual Training Session held at Florida State Fire College, in Ocala,
November 14-16, 2007
all over the state, 138 fire fighters registered for the annual training
event. The morning was kicked off with a welcome from Captain Jeff Merritt
of the State Fire Marshal's office, who is also the president of FACAP.
Thursday evening was highlighted by the presentation of the
FACAP Investigator of the Year award.
The 2007 award winner is Detective Thomas Barron of
the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Tommy is in the Northwest Region of the
Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, has been with the State Fire Marshal's office since 1998 and previously
was assistant chief of the
Lynn Haven Fire Department. He is a member of the SFM Forensic Investigative
Support Team and was recognized as the Northwest Region Detective of the
Year for 2006.
The surprise of the evening went to the longest
serving employee of the SFM,
Mary Fields. Mary retired from the Bureau in 2006; however, she has
maintained an active role in the FACAP organization. She was presented with
the Meshalko Distinguished Service Award.
FINANCIAL LITERACY COUNCIL CONVENED SIXTH MEETING
In an ongoing effort to increase financial literacy and help Floridians make
better financial decisions, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink held
the Financial Literacy Council's sixth meeting in Miami.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the council discussed the content of the annual
report due to the Governor and Florida Legislature on January 1, 2008, and
heard presentations from Acción USA Florida,
CompuCredit Corporation, Miami Saves, and the Human Services Coalition.
The council, authorized in 2006 by House Bill 825, was created to study the
financial problems that affect consumers, particularly young persons,
seniors, working adults and small business owners, which arise from a lack
of basic knowledge of financial issues. The council will also develop
recommendations to aid the Department of Financial Services in developing
programs and resources aimed at increasing financial literacy among
For more information regarding the Financial Literacy Council please visit