INSURANCE: State v. Society

In Manhattan last week, New York State Superintendent of Insurance Alfred J. Bohlinger released an unusual announcement: Thomas Ignatius Parkinson, 71, boss for the last 26 years of the Equitable Life Assurance Society, third largest insurance company in the U.S. (after Metropolitan Life and Prudential), would shortly resign. Bohlinger implied that he had forced the resignation.

State investigators, he said, had spent more than two years probing Parkinson's handling of Equitable's affairs, and had prepared a 289-page report of their findings. The society, he carefully pointed out, was in "sound financial condition," but the report accused Parkinson of "nepotism" in...

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