Former General Electric Co. executive and vice chairman Dennis D. Dammerman has agreed to join bond insurer Municipal and Infrastructure Assurance Corp. as chairman of its board of directors, MIAC announced yesterday.

Dammerman - who in his 38-year GE career served in roles including chief financial officer of GE and chief executive officer of GE Capital Services - will "provide strong leadership and experienced counsel to MIAC's board and senior management team across all aspects of the company's operations," the insurer said.

"What he brings to the table here is just another level of strength and leadership and dedication to what this is about," MIAC executive vice chairman Rick Kolman said in an interview. "He's a real believer in the need of this business and totally understands it from top to bottom. From any aspect you can look at it, he's a tremendous add not only to the board of directors but to the business plan and the leadership."

Dammerman retired from GE in 2005, after beginning his career at GE Appliances in 1967. As part his position running GE Capital, Dammerman oversaw bond insurer Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., which GE sold to a consortium of investors in 2003.

Outside of GE, Dammerman has in the past served as a director at Swiss Re and chairman of Discover Financial Services. He currently sits on the boards of Capmark Financial Group Inc., BlackRock Inc., and American International Group Inc., which he joined in November 2008 after the U.S. Treasury Department contributed capital.

"I am excited about leading the board of MIAC at this watershed moment for the financial guaranty insurance industry," Dammerman said in a statement. "The municipal bond market is looking for stable credit enhancement to provide liquidity necessary to help the market stabilize and MIAC is exceptionally well-positioned to fill the market's demands."

Veteran public finance attorney and Hunton & Williams partner Dean Pope earlier this month joined MIAC's board as an independent director.

MIAC, co-sponsored by Macquarie Group and Citadel Investment Group, will enter the market as a municipal only insurer. The company, which bills itself as a private solution to a public problem, plans to focus on writing a wide-range of municipal credits in the primary market, from small school district deals to large state issues.

MIAC last year received a license from the New York Insurance Department and has gotten approval from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that should speed up its application process in other states. It is currently also working with rating agencies and hopes to complete discussions with them before the end of the second quarter.

"They're progressing very well," Kolman said of the talks with rating agencies.

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