Analysis

Managing illiquid assets needs banking-like skills

In part two of this InsuranceERM/Insurance Asset Risk and Standard Life Investments roundtable on illiquid assets, experts discuss the management capabilities required and how the assets fit into Solvency II

Smoothing the flow in illiquid assets

Illiquid assets have the potential to boost the yield and diversification of insurers' investments, but they are not a shoo-in to the portfolio, as discussed in part one of this InsuranceERM/Insurance Asset Risk and Standard Life Investments roundtable

Hardie cautiously re-risks Direct Line's portfolio

Direct Line's investment boss Jim Hardie has been steering the UK general insurer's investment portfolio into more dynamic areas. But he is at pains to stress his conservative approach. By Sarfraz Thind

Insurers face up to the asset test of Solvency II

As solvency ratios come under pressure and the introduction of Solvency II with its higher capital charges for some asset classes looms, insurers are taking a hard look at the risk in their asset portfolios, as Sarfraz Thind explains

The modelling challenges in absolute return strategies

Absolute return strategies offer promising risk-adjusted returns and capital efficiencies, but do you need an internal model to gain the benefit and what other complexities are created? Experts discuss in part two of this InsuranceERM/Insurance Asset Risk and Standard Life Investments roundtable

Absolute return: a silver bullet for the investment strategy?

Absolute return strategies seem an ideal response to low interest rates, volatile markets and Solvency II, but what are the associated challenges facing investors? Experts discuss in part one of this InsuranceERM/Insurance Asset Risk and Standard Life Investments roundtable

In the world of LEIs, quantity leads quality

Legal entity identifiers are meant to help ease regulatory compliance and risk management but the challenges of take-up, availability and accuracy mean progress on LEIs has been slow, as Brian Clarke describes

Insurers tweak fixed-income approaches to be ready for rate rises

There are still many ways to make money in fixed-income amid the uncertainty over when rates will start to tick up. Insurers are adopting varied approaches as they also get ready for the new constraints Solvency II will introduce in just over four months. David Turner reports

Pimco advances on the European front

Despite its well-documented problems during the past year or so, Pimco remains one of the biggest managers of insurance assets in the world. And Matthieu Louanges, head of the European financial institutions group (FIG), believes that insurance is the most promising sector for future growth. Sarfraz Thind reports

German insurers are big winners from infra charges cut

German firms are likely to benefit most from Eiopa's tentative proposals to reduce the Solvency II capital charges on infrastructure investment, which fell short of the hopes of the industry overall. The changes in the standard formula calibrations may also have implications for users of internal models, as Hugo Coelho reports