Analysis

Insurers hear train coming

Insurers hear train coming

Europe's liberalisation move in the rail sector provides ample promises of returns for institutional investors such as insurers. Despite tailwinds from the legislators and regulators, investors still have to manage the complexity of such deals as well as the risks they incure to ultimately be on the right track. David Walker reports

US insurers pulling out of hedge funds

US insurers pulling out of hedge funds

Although insurers tend to have relatively low exposures to hedge funds, in recent years investments in the asset class have dropped amongst US insurers. However, changes in the economic environment suggest this trend could be reversed in the coming years. Vincent Huck reports

Equity release mortgages: stopping the roof falling in

Equity release mortgages: stopping the roof falling in

The Prudential Regulation Authority has shaken up life insurers by proposing new assumptions around the valuation of ERMs. The more prudent approach seeks to avoid a potential disaster if house prices stagnate or crash, but the impact on insurers could be serious. Christopher Cundy reports

Safety in Danish mortgage bonds

Safety in Danish mortgage bonds

Danish mortgage bonds have sparked a flurry of interest from foreign insurance investors with their AAA-rating, long tenors and the crucial yield pick-up in a return-starved market. These days, the market is seen as even more attractive by those who fear a meltdown of the euro currency. By Sarfraz Thind

"Private assets and ESG: today's hot topics" - Schroders' Perisse

Ghislain Périssé joined Schroders as head of insurance strategy in the insurance asset management team in May of this year. Previously at Axa Investment Management, Périssé is based out of Paris, but on a visit to London he sat down with Vincent Huck. In the second part of a two-part article, he discusses the impact of Solvency II on the relationship between the different departments in an insurance company, as well as the investment trends in private assets and sustainable finance.

How to connect new technologies with strategy

How to connect new technologies with strategy

MetLife's chief digital officer Greg Baxter talks to Paul Walsh about which technologies are his top priorities, how such technologies can be applied to asset liability management in a Solvency II environment and what investments the firm is making in the digital economy.

"Actuaries and asset managers have cultural differences like Chinese and Europeans"- Schroders' Perisse

Ghislain Périssé joined Schroders as head of insurance strategy in the insurance asset management team in May of this year. Previously at Axa Investment Management, Périssé is based out of Paris, but on a visit to London he sat down with Vincent Huck to discuss the cultural rift between actuaries and asset managers. In this first of a two-part article, he also discusses his move, the differences between in-house and third-party insurance asset managers, and how countries' cultures have influenced Solvency II implementation.

Climate change increases cost of debt for developing countries

Climate change increases cost of debt for developing countries

The intensification of climate risks and the degree to which they are accurately priced by financial markets are of increasing concern to global economic stability. However, as awareness around those risks has risen over the last years, there is still a long way to go to consistently measure and monitor their costs, which can result in substantial gains or losses for institutional investors. Vincent Huck reports

Prince of Wales says insurers need to step up on sustainability

Prince of Wales says insurers need to step up on sustainability

Events organised by the Prince of Wales can't be publicised, so it was a running joke among the attendees of his finance leaders' summit at St James Palace to ask how one had heard about the event. Surrounded by tapestries, art works, swords and powder guns hanging from the walls, 70 finance leaders were asked to commit to concrete actions to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. Vincent Huck got a glimpse through the door.

US commercial real estate: danger in disguise?

US commercial real estate: danger in disguise?

US life insurers are big investors in commercial real estate attracted by the yield and diversification benefits they offer. But with strong indicators of the current credit cycle nearing its end, the risks attached to the sector are growing. Is it still safe to go into those waters? By Sarfraz Thind

Blackstone targets insurance assets

Blackstone targets insurance assets

The insurance industry has no shortage of asset managers jostling to take on assets. So why would someone start from scratch to get into the game? Despite competition, Blackstone believes the opportunities in insurance asset management remain vast. Chris Blunt, head of the group's insurance solutions, explains the company's motivation and strategy. By Sarfraz Thind