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Insurance Asset Management: Topics to Consider

Investment Research for Insurers

What steps should investment managers within insurance companies take in order maximize the yield on their portfolios, given the constraints imposed by proper risk management policies?  How should they embrace new technologies or adapt their business practices, given the challenges that they currently face?  

This is a list of some of the best insurance asset management articles of 2017, complete with analysis of opportunities within senior secured loans, infrastructure debt, and U.S. municipals, as well as surveys on risk management practices, and other interesting pieces on EDI and outsourcing.

Savvy Investor

Sub-investment grade opportunities for insurers: SSLs (Invesco, 2017)
(For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies)

Insurers are increasingly looking for new ways to deliver attractive risk-adjusted returns.  This paper takes a closer look at SSLs and considers how the asset class may fit within an insurance company’s investment strategy.

A Paradigm Shift in Insurance Asset Management (Spence Johnson, 2017)
Investment decisions of insurers are driven by the outcomes that they seek, and the problems that they need to solve. Understanding this mindset and helping to create bespoke solutions will be crucial for insurance asset managers.

Growth Readiness for Insurers: Opportunity via Tech (State Street, Oct 2017)
What strategies should insurance institutions employ to grow both their investments and their customer base? In an environment of regulatory complexity, demographic shifts and digital advances, the report sets out three keys to growth.

U.S. Municipals - Markets in Focus (Franklin Templeton, Oct 2017)
(For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in the EMEA region)
Due to their high credit quality, low correlations, and long duration, the U.S. taxable municipal bond market has increasingly become a compelling proposition to global long-term investors such as insurance companies and pension funds.

Insurer Survey 2017: Navigating 'Normalised Uncertainty' (AXA IM, June 2017)
The AXA IM 2017 Insurer Survey investigates the ways in which insurers are adapting to challenges such as low interest rates, changing demographics, geopolitical risk, and regulatory constraints. Four key findings are set out within.

Enterprise Driven Investing for Insurance Companies (Weiss, May 2017)
EDI principles are agnostic to the selection of underlying models and adoption of emerging financial theories, but EDI's success is not. New developments are raising fundamental questions with all investors.

Infrastructure Debt: A building block for insurer portfolios (Schroders, 2017)
Liability matching portfolio managers should consider infrastructure debt, due to its superior credit fundamentals to corporate bonds, stable long-term cash flows, and compatability with Solvency II capital requirements for European insurers.

Risk Management in Insurance Asset Management (Willis Towers Watson, 2017)
This paper by Willis Towers Watson provides the results of a recent survey of UK insurers' operational practices. The survey examined the extent to which insurance companies have been and are still developing their risk functions.

ETFs in Insurance General Accounts (S&P Dow Jones Indices, 2017)
In 2017, companies have continued to increase their investment in ETFs, both in terms of absolute amount and as a proportion of the general account assets. In this paper, we analyze the use of ETFs by insurance companies.

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