1. Florida Politics
  2. /
  3. The Buzz

Ronald Rubin named Florida’s top financial regulator

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state Cabinet --- Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Attorney General Ashley Moody and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis --- picked Rubin to serve as commissioner of the Office of Financial Regulation.
Published Feb. 26

Ronald Rubin, a former special counsel in the Division of Enforcement at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, was named Tuesday as Florida’s top financial regulator.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state Cabinet --- Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Attorney General Ashley Moody and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis --- picked Rubin to serve as commissioner of the Office of Financial Regulation. The other finalist for the post was Linda Charity, a former director of the state Division of Financial Institutions who twice served as interim commissioner of the Office of Financial Regulation.

Fried said she expects Rubin to take seriously his role as the “watchdog” of financial-services providers in the state.

“I’ve been encouraged by what I’ve heard by Mr. Rubin, not just today, but also in our office yesterday,” Fried said.

Rubin will be paid $166,000 a year, matching the salary of Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier.

Rubin agreed with concerns raised by Fried and Patronis that banks need to accept money from the medical marijuana industry. Banks in Florida and other states have shunned cannabis companies because marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

“Not having good banking services creates very bad problems … which invites crime, basically. But, also, it hurts revenue of the state,” Rubin said.

He also indicated he is reluctant to support advocating the use of cryptocurrency, an issue that has drawn concerns from Patronis.

“In my mind, I’m still not certain that, basically, that you can’t have a run on Bitcoin (a prominent type of cryptocurrency), that there is nothing to support it in a way that people will not lose confidence in it,” Rubin said.

Last summer, Patronis created a statewide cryptocurrency chief to oversee the growth of cryptocurrency companies in Florida.

Rubin’s resume said he is a freelance writer after serving in 2015 as senior counsel and chief adviser for regulatory policy on the majority staff of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services.

Rubin, who was with the Securities and Exchange Commission from 1996 to 2003, has also been a senior special counsel for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and a managing director of the legal and compliance department at Bear Stearns.

Rubin and Charity were the only candidates invited to interview Tuesday for the job from nearly 30 applicants.

The office, which oversees state-chartered financial institutions, securities firms, finance companies, money-service businesses and debt collectors, has an operating budget of about $41 million a year and nearly 360 employees.

The commissioner’s job opened last year when former Commissioner Drew Breakspear resigned under pressure from Patronis. Patronis pointed to a “lack of cooperation, responsiveness, and communication” from Breakspear’s office. Breakspear disputed the claims.

Deputy Commissioner Pam Epting served as interim commissioner after Breakspear’s departure. An organization chart on the Office of Financial Regulation website Tuesday quickly showed Rubin as commissioner.


  1. Protesters gathered outside the federal courthouse in Tallahassee on Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, while a federal judge heard arguments for an against the the Legislature's bill implementing Amendment 4. LAWRENCE MOWER  |  Lawrence Mower
    It’s unclear how state and county officials plan on complying with the judge’s order, however. The “poll tax” issued wasn’t addressed, either.
  2. The Florida Capitol. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times] SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The job entails being a part-time lobbyist, part-time expert on the Florida Sunshine Law.
  3. Florida K-12 Chancellor Jacob Oliva presents the state's second draft of academic standards revisions during an Oct. 17, 2017, session at Jefferson High School in Tampa. Gov. Ron DeSantis called for the effort in an executive order to remove the Common Core from Florida schools. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times staff
    ‘Our third draft will look different from our second,’ the chancellor explains.
  4. Igor Fruman, hugs Florida Governor elect Ron DeSantis, right, as Lev Parnas looks on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 in Orlando at the watch party for DeSantis. Fruman and Parnas were arrested last week on campaign finance violations. CHRIS URSO  |  Times
    Florida’s governor has shrugged off past donor controversies. This time, there were photos. Now it’s not going away.
  5. The sun sets over a slab which once served as a foundation for a home on Mexico Beach in May. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Area leaders fear lower population numbers will lead to reduced federal funding and political representation.
  6. Senador de Florida, Rick Scott.  Foto: AP
    “The FBI has failed to give me or these families an acceptable answer, but I’m not going to allow that,” Scott said, adding that the FBI didn’t share pertinent information on shootings at Pulse, the...
  7. Courtney Wild, 30, was a victim of serial sexual offender Jeffrey Epstein beginning at the age of 14. Epstein paid Wild, and many other underage girls, to give him massages, often having them undress and perform sexual acts. Epstein also used the girls as recruiters, paying them to bring him other underage girls. Courtesy of Royal Caribbean
    Courtney Wild’s relentless quest for justice has led to a bipartisan push for sweeping reforms.
  8. Scott Israel, former Broward County Sheriff speaks during a news conference on Sept. 25, in Davie. A Florida Senate official is recommending that the sheriff, suspended over his handling of shootings at a Parkland high school and the Fort Lauderdale airport, should be reinstated. BRYNN ANDERSON  |  AP
    Naples lawyer Dudley Goodlette was threatened shortly after he made his recommendation last month.
  9. Rep. Jamie Grant, R- Tampa and Senator Jeff Brandes, R- St. Petersburg listen to Amendment 4 debate in the Florida Senate on Thursday. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times] SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    “I think some of the points of the judge were well-made," Sen. Jeff Brandes said.
  10. Tiffany Carr — shown during a 2004 visit to a Hollywood nail salon, where she spoke on domestic violence — did not respond this past week to requests from the Miami Herald to address her $761,560 annual salary. She is head of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence. [Bob Eighmie Miami Herald file photo]
    The Florida Department of Children and Families started a review of a domestic violence nonprofit’s finances last summer after it was reported that its CEO Tiffany Carr was paid $761,000. The state...