Montemayor to Lead Insurance Investment Firm

May 23, 2005

Black Diamond Group, a merchant bank specializing in insurance industry investments, announced the appointment of Texas Insurance Commissioner Jose Montemayor as managing general partner of the Black Diamond Group. Montemayor will start in June 2005. The firm’s focus is in insurance turn-around and restructuring investment opportunities.

“We are very pleased to welcome Jose to our team. His extensive skills, experience, and leadership in difficult turn-around and restructure situations are a great asset to our organization,” said Jay Novik, chairman of Black Diamond Group.

Montemayor said, “Black Diamond is a great firm. I look forward to working with some of the most respected leaders and innovators in the industry at a time of great change in the regional and national insurance markets.”

Montemayor’s twelve-year tenure at the Texas Department of Insurance, included six years as the gubernatorially appointed State Insurance Commissioner. During this time, Montemayor launched the $130 million per year Texas FAIR plan, ensuring coverage for Texas homeowners when the homeowners’ market restricted access to coverage. He worked with the Texas Legislature to modernize insurance regulation and to address skyrocketing increases in medical malpractice premiums.

He was instrumental in creating protocols for the early identification and intervention of companies at risk of insolvency and is credited with many successful company rehabilitation interventions including the successful multi-billion dollar restructure of The CONSECO Group, the largest insurance holding company bankruptcy in U.S. history. In addition, he improved consumer protections in every line of insurance.

As Associate Commissioner for Finance and later as Commissioner, Montemayor was responsible for the licensing, solvency and market conduct of more than 2,000 insurers and health maintenance organizations in the $80 billion a year Texas market.

Widely respected in the insurance industry, Montemayor served as the chairman of the Property and Casualty Committee of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and is regarded as one of the nation’s leading experts in property and casualty issues. In addition, he headed the NAIC Examination Oversight Task Force where he was a leader in solvency regulation and also chaired the NAIC’s Holding Company group where he coordinated the regulation of company groups including international holding companies with European Union regulators.

He also chaired the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) tri-national group composed of industry members and regulators from the US, Canada, and Mexico to implement the insurance provisions of the Financial Services Annex to NAFTA.

Then-Governor, now President of the United States, George W. Bush appointed Montemayor Texas Insurance Commissioner in January 1999. Governor Rick Perry reappointed Montemayor twice to the post. Montemayor did not seek reappointment to a 4th term.

He is a member of the Texas Society of Public Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Society of Financial Examiners.

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