Peer Analysis: An Opportunity to Enhance Investment Portfolio Value 

March 26, 2024

By Matt Reilly, Head of Insurance Solutions, and Lauren Forando, Senior Analyst


Insurers constantly assess their business to understand and enhance competitiveness but unfortunately evaluating the investment portfolio can sometimes be difficult. Conning’s peer analysis tool offers insight into competitors’ investment strategies, a process that can help insurers add value to their portfolios. 

Each insurer needs to develop an investment strategy that meets its unique needs while staying within its risk tolerance. Insurers that are similar in size, market share and offerings may in fact have - and need - quite different investment profiles. The goal of a peer analysis is not to mimic a competitor’s strategies, but rather to inform clients about industry and competitor trends to help identify best practices, allowing a high degree of care when determining a tailored strategy.

A Comprehensive Investment Review

A peer analysis compares an insurer’s key financial metrics, ratios, and indicators against those of similar companies in the same sector. Comprehensive peer analysis reports encompass crucial information regarding a client’s investment portfolio as well as financial, underwriting, and operational aspects. This tool provides an overview of an insurer’s current state and recent trends while calling attention to the state of peers and competitors. 

Peer analysis provides an initial benchmark for assessing a company’s financial and investment performance. The peer analysis is not simply an academic exercise, but rather a key part of our strategic asset allocation (SAA) work. However, peer analysis can be discussed as a stand-alone item, in which case Conning can dedicate a presentation solely to highlighting the findings. 


Some area of our peer analysis focus include current views and trends of:

  • Asset allocation
  • Bond sector distribution
  • Credit quality and duration
  • Portfolio yield and total return
  • Underwriting
  • Profitability and balance sheet strength
Peer groups can range from a single competitor to groups of companies with similar characteristics. We work with insurers to develop appropriate peer groups that can be comprised of insurers with different lines of business, by net written premium or some other criteria. We often will incorporate a composite or two of a broader slice of the industry such as the complete P&C or life industry and subsets such as workers’ compensation insurers.

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