Samuel F. Fortunato, Former N.J. Insurance Commissioner and
CATEX Co-Founder Dies

Princeton, N.J. January 10, 2014

Samuel F. Fortunato, age 84, of Little Silver, passed away on Wednesday, January 8th. Samuel was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He was a graduate of Manual Training High School, Brooklyn. Samuel was the first person in the family to attend college. He was a graduate of Columbia University, class of 1951, and a graduate of Columbia University School of Law, class of 1954. Samuel was a member of the New York and New Jersey bar. He was drafted into the US Army and served for a time in Puerto Rico and received his honorable discharge.

Samuel started working as an attorney in the legal department of Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. in New York and was appointed a company officer in 1967, named Associate General Counsel. He was appointed head of the company property management unit and was responsible for choosing the location of and the building of Met Life regional centers. In 1975, he was named Chief Executive Officer of Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Co. In 1986, Samuel retired and was engaged in the private practice of law in Little Silver, New Jersey.

In 1990, Samuel was named New Jersey Insurance Commissioner by Governor Jim Florio. It was during this time that he implemented the FAIR Automobile Insurance Reform Act of 1990. As Commissioner, he presided over the largest life insurer rehabilitation in history with the collapse of Mutual Benefit Life ensuring payment of benefits to thousands of policyholders.

In 1994, he co-founded CATEX a reinsurance services company with offices in Princeton and London. He was an adviser to the company at the time of his death. Samuel served as a Board member of Plymouth Rock Assurance Company and at the time of his death was chairman of the Audit Committee.

Samuel was Chairman of MAECOM in Eatontown, NJ and was responsible for ensuring licensing standards for hundreds of Monmouth County realtors. He was also a long time member of the Monmouth Beach Bath and Tennis Club. Samuel was a great friend of the Little Silver Public Library.

Samuel was predeceased by his wife of 55 years, Mary Ann, in 2011. He is survived by his children Frank and wife Deanne, Lambertville, NJ, Michael and wife Lee Ann, Lutz, FL, Richard and wife Heba, Scotch Plains, Mary Ann Fortunato and husband Victor Bayers, Middletown; 5 grandchildren, Thomas, Christopher, William and Jason Fortunato and Ella Bayers; and 10 nieces and nephews.