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.

COVID-19 and Poor Countries: The Right Response


The world’s poorest countries affected by COVID-19 are in need of financial assistance, but Conning affiliate Global Evolution, a manager of emerging and frontier markets debt, argues that any solution must be driven by the principle of “crowding in” market-based finance through market confidence-building measures.

Credit Market Update: Fallen Angels, Fed Liquidity Programs and Conning’s Market Outlook


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant downgrades in U.S. corporate credit and a growing number of “fallen angels” – credits that were investment grade but have since fallen to a below-investment-grade rating. In a Q&A, Matt Daly, head of Corporate and Municipal Teams, discusses current credit market dynamics and opportunities for insurers that steer clear of fallen angels. 

Conning ConnText Podcast: Quarterly Investment Outlook


The economic shutdown may have helped “bend the curve” in limiting greater contagion to COVID-19 but recovering from the shutdown will be another battle. The concerns and potential opportunities are discussed in our quarterly Conning ConnText podcast, hosted by Rich Sega, Global Chief Investment Strategist, and featuring Matt Daly, Head of Corporate and Municipal Teams, and Paul Norris, Head of Structured Products. 

Stress Testing Scenarios for COVID-19


Conning is making available to our colleagues in the insurance and pension industries free of charge a selection from our GEMS® Stress Test Scenarios package, which includes historical scenarios with similarities to the current economic climate and a new scenario file based on 2020 YTD data.

Pension Funded Status Tracker March 2020


The funded status of the average U.S. corporate defined benefit pension plan fell 4% from 86% to 82% funded, over the course of March 2020. he asset portfolio saw declines as both the hedging and growth portfolios underperformed, and Liabilities also witnessed a decrease, mostly driven by a widening of high quality corporate spreads.

Stress Testing in the Pandemic Age


Economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic may seem unprecedented, but there are similarities to the 2008 financial crisis and other past market dislocations

COVID-19 Effect on the Insurance Industry


While the insurance industry is well suited to weather the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, rating agency stress-testing is expected to result in both ratings downgrades and requirements for additional capital for certain insurers.

Portfolio Income Opportunities Amid Market Distress


Insurers may wish to take advantage of the current market dislocation to potentially enhance portfolio income without having to invest new cash or assume a significant amount of additional risk.

Pension Funded Status Tracker February 2020


The funded status of the average U.S. corporate defined benefit pension plan fell 5% from 91% to 86% funded, between the beginning to end of February 2020. The asset portfolio fell in value despite mixed performance in the hedging and growth portfolios and liabilities increased in value, driven by a drop in interest rates.