LV= spices up traditional investments with commercial mortgages

The vast bulk of LV='s assets are managed externally and produce solid returns but, as it looks for extra yield, the UK's largest friendly society is building up its commercial mortgage investments. Mike Leonard, investment solutions manager, talks to IAR

Insurers should be nimble and flexible in fixed income

After decades of a bond bull market and six years of central bank liquidity measures, is the fixed-income bubble bursting? Prashant Sharma examines what this would mean for insurers' portfolios, historically heavily weighted towards this asset class?

German insurers face crunch on guaranteed products

German insurers are struggling to meet guaranteed rates on life insurance products when returns on traditional investment assets are so paltry. How big a drain on capital is the mismatch producing and what's being done to ease this? Sarfraz Thind explains

Allianz CIO prepares for post-QE volatility

Andreas Gruber, CIO of Allianz, handles one of the biggest insurance investment portfolios in the world. Here he talks to Sarfraz Thind about the structure used to support multiple regions and assets, the attractions of illiquid assets and being ready for when the bubble bursts at the end of quantitative easing

The challenge of hedging under the volatility adjustment

The multiple factors used to calculate the Solvency II risk-free rate when using the volatility adjustment (VA) render it almost impossible to hedge perfectly while maintaining capital efficiency, but that in turn creates an opportunity for value-added asset-liability management, says Paul Fulcher

Private equity seen as giving insurers best returns

The latest GSAM survey casts light on the asset classes insurers favour over the next 12 months, where they see the best returns, differences between CIOs and CFOs and the impact of regulation on investment decisions

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