Fred Hackett 1933 – 2018

fred hackett

An early photo of Fred Hackett, in the 1980’s, second from left. Fred was instrumental in the foundation of the captive industry in Vermont.  (From left to right: VCIA Members and captive industry participants Julie Boucher, Fred, Mark Boll, Kathy Davis and Dan Labrie.) 

Former Vermont captive insurance founder and director of VCIA, Luther “Fred” Hackett, died of Alzheimer’s disease on October 8, 2018 at the Wake Robin Continuing Care Retirement Community in South Burlington, Vermont.

After graduating from the University of Vermont in 1955, he served in the Air Force before returning to Vermont to join his father in a new insurance business. He was Chairman of Hackett, Valine and MacDonald Inc., Champlain Captive Management, Inc. and Benefit Investment Advisors, Inc. He was an advisor to the Vermont Captive Insurance Association Board in the early era of the captive industry in Vermont.

In 1965 Fred was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives from South Burlington. He served on the Appropriations Committee, and as Chairman from 1969-1970 and served as republican majority leader from 1967-1968. He was Chairman of the Joint Fiscal Committee of the Vermont House and Senate in 1969. In 1972 he won the Republican Primary for Governor. He lost the Governor’s race to Thomas Salmon in the general election.

Fred was an environmentalist. He proudly assisted with the legislation in 1969 for preservation of certain land abutting the Camel’s Hump State Park, creating a state-owned Forest Reserve that formed Camel’s Hump State Park. He was instrumental in the creation of ACT 250 and heavily involved with the Clean & Clear Task Force for Lake Champlain.

Fred was a sixth generation Vermonter and spent most of his life building a business and aiding ventures he felt would make a positive difference to the future of his beloved State of Vermont. Over the many years Fred received numerous awards and recognition for all he did for our state, but I remember him as a man willing to give excellent advice to an upstart in Vermont (that would be me) with no trace of condescension, and being treated as an equal. I believe that graciousness and community spirit has been successfully imprinted on Vermont’s captive insurance community.

If VCIA had a flag, it would be lowered to half mast today. Thank you for all you did, Fred.

Rich Smith,
VCIA President

Governor signs captive bill

Shumlin with captive groupVermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed the captive bill into law yesterday morning surrounded by a large contingent of Vermont’s captive insurance industry professionals. On a beautiful spring morning here in Vermont, the Governor talked about the importance of the captive industry for the State and thanked those in attendance for their hard work and dedication in keeping Vermont the leader on captive insurance for over three decades.

“These improvements in Vermont’s law may seem technical,” said Governor Shumlin, “but taken as a whole they continue to advance Vermont’s standing as the ‘Gold Standard’ for domiciles and will provide greater flexibility and clarity going forward for our companies.”

The new legislation passed in the 2015 session strengthens Vermont’s captive legislation in a variety of areas including groundbreaking changes to the investment guideline in the minimum capital requirement and reducing the minimum capital requirement for sponsored cell captives.  A complete copy of the bill as passed with amendments can be found at:

Thank you all very much, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Richard Smith
VCIA President

The Vermont Way


When he’s not writing books, former Vermont Governor Jim Douglas is always happy to come to your office to help move your furniture. Excellent references available!

I just returned from an event featuring Jim Douglas, former governor of Vermont.  He is out with a new book, The Vermont Way, chronicling his decades in Vermont politics, starting as a twenty-something elected to the State legislature, through his eight years as governor. Now, first and foremost Governor Douglas is a true friend of Vermont’s captive insurance industry, but he is a remarkable person just due to the fact that he was elected four times as governor as a Republican in one of the bluest (if not the bluest) states in the country. With his exceptional political talent as well as his ability to remember not only everyone’s names, but their children’s names as well (seriously!), the Governor is truly a man of the people. But what he really embodies is the nature of Vermonters to coalesce around a good person, or good idea, like they did the Governor.

A small state where the Governor knows many of its citizens personally and where access to the leaders and policy makers happens on a personal level has great benefits. It allows good ideas to be debated and tested without the partisanship and rancor we see elsewhere – where pragmatism is a true aspiration. And this is true with Vermont and the captive insurance industry as well. I think Dave Provost exemplifies the qualities of Governor Douglas for our captive world: a pragmatic, approachable regulator whose self-deprecating humor and acerbic wit only enhance his knowledge and experience of captive insurance and  how he approaches his job and responsibilities. I don’t know, maybe it’s the water up here, but most likely because of our size, people just learn to work with one another for the common good.

Thank you all very much and I look forward to hearing from you!