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.

Risk Factors – A Better Way to Build a Portfolio?


Most investors, including insurance companies, construct their portfolios using the traditional asset classes of cash, fixed income, equities and tangible assets, broken down into subclasses such as corporate bonds and U.S. large cap stocks.

The American Shale Gas Revolution: Fundamental Winners and Losers


The U.S. Shale gas revolution in the U.S. is well underway, spawned over a decade ago by rising natural gas prices and advancements in drilling technology. Through the extensive use of horizontal drilling and the environmentally debated hydraulic fracturing (called fracking), which uses sand, water and chemicals essentially to create fissures in rock formations underground (down to 10,000 ft.), releasing and enhancing the flow of gas, the estimate of unproved reserves of shale gas in the U.S. have skyrocketed.

Conning Releases Q4 2015 State of the States Update


In its Q4 update on U.S. state credit quality, global investment manager Conning finds that in the aggregate, state credit quality remains strong. 

The Limitation Game - Understanding Model Risk


Mathematical models are essential tools for the effective management of financial and insurance risks, yet every model has some limitations. It is important to understand these limitations if models are to be used effectively. Indeed, what is considered a limitation is likely to differ from one application to the next.

Liquidity ‒ Too Much of a Good Thing?


It is said that the world is awash in liquidity, as quantitative easing has gone global over the past six years. Quantitative easing has greatly influenced the capital markets and dampened the level of government interest rates and risk premiums across all asset classes.

Beyond RBC - Rethinking ORSA for Competitive Advantage


The NAIC RBC system provides an early warning system for regulators to identify weakly capitalized companies so that possible preemptive steps can be taken by the company, the regulators or both to head off or soften the effects of insolvency. 

Conning Releases Latest Semi-Annual State of the States Municipal Credit Report and Rankings (Q2, 2015)


According to its most recent semi-annual State of the States Municipal Credit Research report  (Q2, 2015), insurance asset manager Conning continues to see improvement in aggregate state credit quality due to steady economic recovery combined with responsible state budget actions.

Crunching Credit - Best Practices in Modeling and Managing Credit Risk


Investments in instruments carrying credit risk have become increasingly important across a number of sectors, especially for insurance firms and pension funds. The move toward larger allocations to credit has been driven by a sustained period of low yields, supply shortages for long maturities and deteriorating credit outlook for government debt, making riskier assets appear more attractive on a relative basis.

Voicing a View - The Rise of Custom Calibrations in Economic Scenario Generators


Will interest rates fall or become negative in the next five years? What is the probability that the Eurozone breaks up in the next 12 months? What will be the value of the large cap equity index tomorrow? If we were to independently ask these questions to a number of investment and risk professionals we would likely receive a range of answers. Each would form an “Own View” based on past history, current information regarding the state of the economy and expert judgment.

Oil Prices - A Fluid Situation: Opportunities for Investors in the Energy Sector


The one constant in the history of global oil prices is change. The current price drop, while it lasts, will benefit energy consumers more than it will hurt energy producers, and lower energy spending will stimulate the economies of oil importing countries. So on balance, this will benefit the larger economies around the world, including the U.S., China, Japan, U.K. and Europe.