James J. Wrynn, who heads New York State's workers' compensation fund, was tapped by the governor to be the next superintendent of the New York Insurance Department.

Wrynn became head of the New York State Insurance Fund, which insures 185,000 employers with workers' compensation policies and 61,000 with disability benefits policies, in May.

He is a founding partner of MacKay, Wrynn & Brady LLP, and worked as a trial attorney with McCormick, Dunne & Foley.

He will become superintendent-designate on Thursday and assume the position from acting superintendent Kermitt Brooks upon confirmation by the state Senate.

The credit crisis thrust the role of New York insurance superintendent to international prominence in 2007.

As the regulator for many of the major bond insurers, former superintendent Eric Dinallo oversaw efforts to shelter the insurers' capital and broker deals to keep the companies afloat.

Dinallo announced his resignation in May, to begin teaching at New York University.

As a lawyer, Wrynn has worked on litigation over insurance claims and other issues facing companies, municipalities, and public authorities.

He also specialized in property and casualty coverage disputes and malpractice.

Gov. David Paterson said in a statement Wrynn has "considerable experience in the areas of insurance, accounting, and tax issues."

Wrynn has an associate's degree in risk management and in captive insurance. He is a member of the New York and New Jersey State bars and has served on the New York City Economic Development Corp.

Wrynn is a graduate of St. John's University College of Business Administration and received his juris doctorate from St. John's University School of Law.

The job pays $127,000 a year.

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