Matching adjustment details challenge UK insurers

The matching adjustment is currently the biggest issue for UK insurer asset portfolios before Solvency II comes into force next year. Among the key issues are equity release, FX hedges and collateral. Sarfraz Thind reports

Friends Life CIO values his investment banking skills

At Friends Life Robert Groves has brought an innovative approach to the role of CIO from his previous career in banking. Right now his biggest challenges are ensuring Friends Life's assets are eligible for the matching adjustment and sourcing higher-yielding investments, as Sarfraz Thind explains

Insurers see the gold in green

Green bonds are looking increasingly attractive to insurance companies which want to meet their risk and return objectives while producing a positive environmental or social impact. But there are concerns about the definition and capacity of the market, as Mark Nicholls explains

Navigating the hard realities of policy divergence

The European Central Bank (ECB) unleashing quantitative easing just as the US Federal Reserve sits at the cusp of tightening is causing global currency spasms and market angst. Iain Stealy describes how insurance companies investing in bonds might react to these developments

How insurers can make fixed income work harder

Diversifying portfolios into new sectors and markets within fixed income is just one approach that can help insurance companies squeeze out better returns in an environment dominated by low yields and tighter capital demands from regulators, argues Euan MacLaren

Solvency II data requirements have global implications

The last-minute rush to comply with the impending new EU regulatory framework has drawn in insurers and asset managers outside Europe as these firms hasten to revamp their data management, governance and monitoring systems. John Legrand explains

Insurers juggle the attractions and drawbacks of illiquid assets

With quantitative easing reducing the chance of any rise in interest rates soon, insurers are even more interested in higher-yielding illiquid assets to bolster their paltry returns from fixed-income, but Solvency II capital charges remain a problem. Sarfraz Thind reports