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

Zurich looks to boost real estate portfolio

Alessandro Bronda, Zurich's real estate investment strategist, tells Marc Jones why the asset class is performing well and why it is an important part of the insurer's overall portfolio.

Phoenix's Vidur Bahree: putting the house in order

Instilling fresh thinking into the asset strategies of legacy insurers while navigating the global financial crisis has occupied Vidur Bahree for the best part of a decade. He tells Christopher Cundy about the ups, downs and turnarounds.