The New Investment Environment: Challenges & Opportunities
The continuing low interest rate environment has taken its toll on investment results for the life insurance industry. Gross book yield decreased once again for the life-annuity industry. Insurers have been searching for levers to improve their returns, and yet, the interest rate environment has relentlessly pulled yields down.
Conning Chairman & CEO on Risk Forecasting: Best’s Review column
Conning’s focus on delivering customized investment solutions to insurance clients demands that we understand their unique needs. CEO Woody Bradford notes in February’s Best’s Review that risk forecasting has become increasingly difficult for insurers due to economic and political uncertainty, and suggests they consider modernizing their approach and use a broader set of tools and techniques to create more useful financial models.
Trumping the Credit Cycle? The 2017 Outlook for U.S. Investment Grade Corporate Credit
Change in the U.S. investment environment is inevitable in 2017 as a U.S. government administration with a new outlook on market forces and government regulation takes control of the levers of power in Washington D.C. The 18th century philosopher and economist Adam Smith wrote about the power of the “invisible hand” of markets in his famous tome, The Wealth of Nations. The past 8 years have been witness to the highly visible hand of increased regulatory oversight, and its power to restrain both markets and potential economic growth.
Does the U.S. Dollar Have Further to Fall?
Marc Franklin, Asia-Pacific portfolio manager at Conning, discusses the weakness in the U.S. dollar, his outlook for risk assets this year and how markets move on Trump's tweets. He speaks to Bloomberg's Shery Ahn on "Bloomberg Markets." (Source: Bloomberg)
Tax Cuts, AMT and Munis: Taxes and Municipal Bond Allocation for Property-Casualty Investors
The potential for lower tax rates under a new administration could have a significant impact on Property-Casualty (P/C) insurers' capacity for municipal bonds, and will certainly affect the tax-equivalent yield (TEY) (makes the yield on a tax-advantaged security comparable to a taxable) multiplier yield.
Liability Driven Investing for Insurance Companies
In this Q&A, Conning’s Head of Insurance Solutions provides insurers his insights on the use of liability driven investing, including investment strategies that insurers should consider.
Post-Election Pension De-Risking Strategy Considerations
Based on the pre-election rhetoric, there is little doubt that the president-elect, Donald Trump, is expected to employ a progrowth economic policy that may stimulate US growth and reduce unemployment.
Conning Releases Q4 2016 State of the States Report
Conning's State of the States U.S. municipal bond report shows that while state revenues have been on a steady climb since the 2008 recession, they are now showing signs of strain.
Clapping With One Hand: Can Central Banks Overcome the Bad Policies of their Countries’ Political Leadership?
Since 2008, we at Conning have been saying that the weak economy is not a monetary problem, so it does not have a monetary solution. When a nation’s leadership promulgates poor regulatory, fiscal, and trade policies, it leaves the job of offsetting the effects on their citizens to the central banks. This lack of policy coordination is like a one- handed clap. Now, perhaps more than ever, a deep understanding of central bank policies is required to make global forecasts and informed investment decisions. Let’s examine a few of these effects and how we believe they are holding back growth.
NAIC Notes - Summer 2016
The Summer National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) meeting was held in San Diego from August 26th through the 29th.