Insights

These views and opinions are those of the authors at the time of writing, may be subject to change, are for informational purposes only, and they should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation for the purchase or sale of securities by Conning. The information may not be current and Conning has no obligation to provide any updates or changes. Individual portfolio management teams for Conning may have views and opinions and/or make investment decisions that, in certain instance, may not always be consistent with the views and opinions expressed therein. While any third-party data used is considered reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed.

Pension Funded Status Tracker June 2020

07/28/2020

The funded status of the average U.S. corporate defined benefit pension plan improved to 81% in June, a monthly gain of 1%. The asset portfolio increased in value but liabilities also increased, mainly due to a decline in the effective discount rate.


Life Insurance Post-COVID-19: Recovering from the Deluge

06/26/2020

Like a rogue wave, the COVID-19 pandemic caught the world unaware. The webinar “Life Insurance Post-COVID-19: Recovering from the Deluge,” hosted by the ACLI and presented by Conning and Boston Mutual Life Insurance Company, offers significant insight into navigating the path forward.


Conning's 2020 State of the States Report

06/16/2020

Conning’s State of the States report is an annual ranking of each of the 50 U.S. states by credit quality. While state credit quality in 2019 was the strongest it had been in a decade, the COVID-19 pandemic will likely force states to make difficult budget decisions. Our report offers insights on how individual states are prepared for the economic downturn.


Pension Funded Status Tracker May 2020

06/15/2020

During May, the average corporate defined benefit pension plan’s funded status improved by 1% to 85% funded. The asset portfolio increased in value as both the hedging and growth portfolios outperformed and liabilities also witnessed an increase, mostly driven by a tightening of high quality corporate spreads.


The Conning Commentary: Earnings Roundup, First Quarter 2020

06/11/2020

When the Covid-19 pandemic reached the U.S. in March, it posed a significant headwind to insurers across the industry. 


Back-Testing the GEMS Expert View Calibration — COVID-19 Review

06/10/2020

The economic stresses from COVID-19 remind us of the value of robust market-risk modeling. Such extreme conditions also provide valuable new data for back-testing model calibrations. 


Credit Opportunities Amid Downgrades and Fallen Angels

06/05/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic will likely lead to a series of credit profile deteriorations, ratings downgrades and a widening of spreads, but Conning believes there are opportunities amid the market dislocation. 


Conning’s Commitment to Address Injustice, Prejudice and Racism

06/03/2020

Conning’s leadership stands with those pursuing peaceful means in the U.S. to create positive change for the African American and Black community in both policies and culture.


Amid CLO Downgrades, Monitoring, Stress Testing, Robust Credit Analysis Key for Insurers

06/02/2020

The growth in insurance company holdings of collateralized loan obligations (CLOs) may be of concern to some insurers as CLO downgrades increase. Even though the majority of insurer CLO holdings are of high quality, Conning and affiliate Octagon Credit Investors remind that ongoing oversight is key.


Gallant Steeds or One-Trick Ponies? The World's Central Banks React to a Pandemic

05/27/2020

Conning’s Rich Sega examines the significant steps the world’s central banks have taken to help offset the economic calamities resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The banks have historically flooded markets with money in response to a crisis, but will it work this time? And what are the risks?