Neil Levin, a former New York banking superintendent and later the states insurance commissioner, was missing Friday and presumed dead following the collapse of the World Trade Center last week.
Mr. Levin, 46, was the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which was headquartered in the building.
He had been missing since the attack, and friends and associates said they believed he was dead. He had only recently taken the top post at the Port Authority after being nominated by the New York and New Jersey governors in March.
Mr. Levins career in financial services took him from Capitol Hill, where he worked as a legislative counsel to former Senate Banking Committee Chairman Alfonse M. DAmato, R-N.Y., to positions at Goldman Sachs & Co., the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, and then to the state banking and insurance regulatory agencies.
Friends and former colleagues praised Mr. Levin last week as an extremely intelligent state regulator who worked tirelessly to support the dual charter system.
He wanted to keep New York at the forefront and be a leader of the financial services industry and have sensible regulation, but not overregulation, said Timothy R. McTaggart, a partner at the law firm of Nixon Peabody LLP and a former Delaware Banking Commissioner. He was also a good, fun-loving person.
Michael P. Smith, the president of the New York Bankers Association, described his longtime friend as a dedicated public servant and outstanding bank and insurance supervisor who played a role in negotiating such important policies as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999.
Neil Milner, the president of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, said Mr. Levin was a very aggressive individual with the strongest possible belief in the state regulatory system.
He was a key leader in working to make sure that state regulation of banking and later insurance were operated in a manner that kept them competitive, and also effective and efficient. He was someone I thought a lot of.
Mr. Levin was one of the 150 to 200 casualties in the offices of the Port Authority. As of Friday the agency had not released an official tally of its missing employees. From 1995 to April of 1997, Mr. Levin was the superintendent of the New York State Banking Department. He then served as the states Commissioner of Insurance until taking the Port Authority post this year.