My Florida C F O

Dear Fellow Floridians:

A government that does not communicate transparently and thoroughly with its constituents cannot operate effectively; that’s something I’ve long believed. Particularly as an agency that operates using taxpayer dollars, it’s important to me that I keep Floridians like you informed on how we’re putting our budget to its highest and best use. And, as I shared with you a couple of weeks ago, new Florida laws that became effective on July 1 are bringing about some changes within our Department. Change happens—it’s how we continue to grow and improve ourselves—and we believe these changes will help us streamline the way we do business.Florida Investigation Badge

As frequent newsletter readers know, one of my main priorities is to rid our great state of fraud, waste, and abuse. We do that in a variety of ways, but primarily via the three law enforcement units that are housed within our Department of Financial Services—the Division of Insurance Fraud, the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, and the Office of Fiscal Integrity. These offices work to catch perpetrators who commit acts of insurance fraud, criminals who intentionally set fires to collect insurance money or to cover up a larger crime, and those who cheat or steal state dollars.

Previously housed in separate areas of the Department, on July 1, these units combined to form a new Division—the Division of Investigative and Forensic Services. As a nationally-recognized leader in the fight against fraud, our ability to share intelligence and resources is vital to our continued success. We must continually adjust our methods and adapt our techniques to match these ever-evolving crimes and by combining forces, we’re able to extend our reach and do more to protect the people of Florida from falling victim to acts of insurance fraud, arson, and the misuse of state funds.

While our team may appear new on paper, our mission, vision and values remain the same. We’ll continue to serve the people of Florida as we’ve done for decades, and we’ll continue to communicate with you openly, as we always have.

If you’ve reported suspected fraud to us before, we encourage you to remain vigilant to these crimes and to call us anytime you see something that just isn’t right.

I try to remember, as I’m sure many of you do as well, that the only constants in life are change and taxes…although we work hard to keep those low here in Florida!


Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

Operation S.A.F.E., Be Scam Smart Workshops

Operation S.A.F.E.Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater invites you to participate in Operation S.A.F.E., Be Scam Smart, a free workshop for seniors, their families, and caregivers.

The Florida Department of Financial Services launched Operation S.A.F.E. (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation) as part of CFO Atwater’s On Guard for Seniors initiative. Be Scam Smart workshops help inform, empower, and protect Florida’s seniors from financial scams and fraud. If you want to make sure your savings are protected, register for this workshop and get a better understanding of how scam artists and scams work.

Be Scam Smart by learning more about:

  • The Psychology of a Scam
  • How to Spot Fraudulent Behavior
  • Common Scams that Target Seniors
  • How to Fight Identity Theft
  • Resources to Keep You Safe

Find out more about us in the About Us section or Register for an upcoming event, including the following workshops:

  • Wednesday, August 3rd - Weston
    6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
    Palms at Weston
    16102 Emerald Estates Drive, Weston, FL 33331
    Register | Directions | Flyer

  • Thursday, August 4th - Pembroke Pines
    10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
    Century Village Pembroke Pines Clubhouse Party Room
    13300 SW 10th Street, Pembroke Pines, FL 33027
    Register | Directions | Flyer

Gene Anderson, Ph.D.University of Miami’s New Florida 50 Index

Gene Anderson, Ph.D., guest authored a column in our latest edition of Florida's Bottom Line that discusses a new way to measure Florida's economy. Here is an excerpt:

The University of Miami School of Business Administration has come up with a new way to measure the state of Florida’s economy. We have established a new custom S&P Dow Jones stock market index that measures the performance of publicly traded companies across the state. The University of Miami’s Florida 50 Index (, which is based on the capitalizations of about 50 Florida-based large-, mid- and small-cap companies included in the S&P 1500, is the first custom S&P Dow Jones index to be owned by a university.

It differs from other U.S. stock market indices because of its diverse constituency and weighting methodology. Since the National Bureau of Economic Research has classified common stocks as a leading indicator of business cycles, we feel the University of Miami’s Florida 50 Index can be an effective representation of the stock market and a bellwether for the Florida economy.

Read more from Dr. Anderson in the spring edition of Florida's Bottom Line.

As a one-stop shop for the latest news and valuable insight on Florida's economic and financial health, Florida's Bottom Line is CFO Atwater's award-winning, in-depth quarterly economic newsletter. The accompanying Florida's Bottom Line website will keep you updated with the latest statistics on Florida's economy. Special reports, infographics and past editions are archived on the website for easy access.

Florida Economic Brief

Florida Venture Capital investment totaled $100 million in Q2-2016
In the second quarter of 2016, Florida businesses attracted $100 million in venture capital investment (20 deals), a decrease of 34 percent from the prior year ($152 million, 18 deals). Nationally, $15.3 billion in venture capital was invested into 961 deals in the second quarter.
Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association