New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week nominated his chief of staff, Benjamin Lawsky, to serve as superintendent of the newly formed Department of Financial Services.

The agency is a combination of the New York State Banking Department and the New York State Department of Insurance. The merger will take effect Oct. 3.

Cuomo proposed folding the two departments into one unit in his fiscal 2012 budget to better regulate the financial services industry.

“By combining the Banking and Insurance Departments into a unified financial regulator, the new Department of Financial Services will be a more efficient, modern, and comprehensive regulator of the financial sector,” according to a press release on Lawsky’s nomination.

Before becoming the Democratic governor’s chief of staff, Lawsky was deputy counselor and special assistant in the attorney general’s office under Cuomo. He also served as assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York, prosecuting securities fraud, organized crime and terrorism. He is a former chief counsel to Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and worked as a trial attorney in the Justice Department’s civil division.

In other news, Cuomo nominated former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer to serve on the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Ferrer was Bronx Borough president from 1987 to 2001 after serving on the New York City Council from 1982 to 1987.

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