Thought Leadership


Single Security Initiative for Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities
New England Asset Management: (Submitted: Monday, September 17, 2018)
The Uniform Mortgage-Backed Security will be introduced next year. What do investors need to know and will the market be ready in time to ensure a successful transition?

Building Connections
Insurance Women's Investment Network: (Submitted: Wednesday, August 22, 2018)
The Exchange is pleased to promote this forum for experienced female professionals focused on investment of insurance general account assets. Industry leaders gather in a marketplace of ideas to share their knowledge and insights.

Introduction to Investment Grade Private Credit
Voya Investment Management: (Submitted: Tuesday, August 21, 2018)
This paper examines the "private credit" asset class, explains its characteristics, and explores some of the advantages and risks of investing in private credit.

Private real estate debt: A range of yield opportunity for insurance companies
DWS: (Submitted: Monday, July 30, 2018)
The search for higher yielding investments secured by quality collateral and a desire for diversification has spurred insurance companies to explore alternative investing options such as private commercial real estate debt, including subordinate debt like mezzanine loans. We currently believe CRE debt can benefit from strong underlying commercial real estate fundamentals, continued favorable economic growth, strong borrower demand, and a diversified choice of strategies across the capital stack which may offer attractive risk-adjusted returns.

RBC Update
AAM: (Submitted: Sunday, July 29, 2018)
The NAIC Investment Risk-Based Capital Working Group continues to progress on its project to update the factors applied to bonds in the risk-based capital formula. This will most likely increase the number of bond rating buckets from 6 to 20. The impacts...

EM Debt for Insurers
AllianceBernstein: (Submitted: Wednesday, June 27, 2018)
Emerging-market (EM) debt's strong returns over the past two years have attracted significant flows. While recent volatility has tempered that broad enthusiasm, investors interested in a strategic EM allocation are still actively exploring the space. However, to properly evaluate EM opportunities, it is important for insurers to consider the cost of capital as well as the risks.

Seeking Long-Term After-Tax Growth for Insurers’ Surplus Capital
Wellington Management: (Submitted: Friday, June 15, 2018)
Over many years of investing surplus assets on behalf of insurance clients, we think the need for a solution to address both the governance and investment challenges of overseeing such assets has become increasingly apparent. This paper describes Surplus Equity Solutions (SES), a holistic approach for the equity component of an insurance company’s surplus investment portfolio.

Optimizing Currency Exposures under Solvency II
Neuberger Berman: (Submitted: Friday, June 15, 2018)
The Solvency II Directive (2009/138/EC) imposes a specific solvency capital charge on currency mismatches between insurance companies’ assets and liabilities. Most insurers choose to hedge the bulk of their foreign-currency exposures unless they hold a particularly strong view on currency valuations, but a 100% hedge will almost certainly fail to yield the best volatility-adjusted portfolio returns over time.

NAIC International Insurance Forum
J. P. Morgan Asset Management: (Submitted: Friday, June 8, 2018)
On May 14-15, we attended the NAIC International Insurance Forum in Washington, D.C. to stay informed on important regulatory issues that are affecting the insurance industry today. Summarized in this document are the most relevant discussions from the meeting.

Tax Reform: Impact on Capital Adequacy Downside Risk and Asset Allocation
New England Asset Management: (Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018)
Recently, we explored how tax changes have influenced the attractiveness of tax-preferenced investments and the impact of accounting regimes and taxes on rating agency and regulatory solvency assessments.1 This Perspectives addresses the impact of these tax changes on risk tolerances and asset allocation when taxes are explicitly considered in the decision process.

Private Credit Covenants 101
Voya Investment Management: (Submitted: Tuesday, May 8, 2018)
Many insurance companies and other investors now look to private credits, also known as private placements, to provide the duration they need along with potentially higher returns and lower losses. Voya presents this overview of typical covenants used to protect the interests of private credit investors.

2018 GSAM Insurance Survey
Goldman Sachs Asset Management: (Submitted: Monday, April 30, 2018)
With rates expected to rise and equity valuations high, insurers are concerned with achieving adequate returns without leaving their portfolios overexposed in the event of a downturn. In April 2018, GSAM Insurance Asset Management conducted its seventh annual survey, which synthesizes perspectives from 300 Chief Investment Officers (CIOs) and Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), representing over $10 trillion in global balance sheet assets.

US Private Placements Find Broadening Appeal
Macquarie Investment Management: (Submitted: Wednesday, April 18, 2018)
Large life insurers have a long history of accessing the US private placement market, as these securities have characteristics well suited to insurers’ investment programs — characteristics including incremental yield, diversification benefits, capital efficiency, and structural protections that enhance recoveries

Asset Allocations of Life Insurers in Asia
Society of Actuaries / Coherent Capital Advisors: (Submitted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018)
The Society of Actuaries Committee on Finance Research is pleased to make available a research report that describes trends in asset allocation of major life insurers across eight Asian markets (China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand). The report was authored by a team from Coherent Capital Advisors Limited led by Fred Ngan.

Emerging Markets Debt as a Core Insurance Portfolio Allocation
Neuberger Berman: (Submitted: Saturday, March 17, 2018)
While there appears to be widespread recognition of the benefits of EMD investing among insurers, there is little evidence in their behavior to suggest that they treat the asset class as anything more than a tactical source of yield. As we discuss in this paper, it's clear to us that EMD should represent a strategic allocation for most insurers.

Conducting Due Diligence on Alternative Risk Premia
Morgan Stanley Investment Management: (Submitted: Wednesday, March 14, 2018)
While alternative risk premia have existed for some time—and have long been used by hedge funds—they have only recently begun to be evaluated by a broad swath of investors. Given the growth of investor interest in this space, we thought it timely to share our insights on what constitutes effective due diligence.

How Insurers Might Implement ESG
DWS: (Submitted: Monday, March 12, 2018)
Insurers have taken into account many of the risks resulting from the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events in underwriting, but have failed to address physical climate risk to the same degree when making their investment decisions. In this article we explore the solutions that can be considered from a listed equity perspective with the potential of these investment solutions spreading into other asset classes.

New World Order: Bridging the Gap
New England Asset Management: (Submitted: Friday, February 23, 2018)
In this Perspectives, we seek to reconcile VaR metrics to conventional solvency methods, emphasizing its usage for evaluation and guidance rather than dicta to be proscriptively followed.

Impact of Tax Reform on Municipal Bonds and Preferred Stocks
New England Asset Management: (Submitted: Tuesday, February 20, 2018)
The “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” effective January 1, 2018, will have meaningful implications for tax-advantaged securities, particularly municipal bonds. This Thought Leadership paper examines the implications for insurance companies.

NAIC RBC C-1 Changes and Portfolio Construction Implications
Voya Investment Management: (Submitted: Monday, February 19, 2018)
This Thought Leadership paper examines changes in RBC factors from the latest NAIC proposal and identifies implications for insurers' asset allocations.

P&C Alternatives to Tax-Exempt Municipal Bonds Post Tax Reform
Conning: (Submitted: Friday, January 19, 2018)
Conning’s view is that the recently passed U.S. tax plan should drive significant capital expenditure and increase take-home pay, providing a meaningful boost to U.S. growth via the consumer. However, its immediate impact on the municipal bond market may also cause investors such as property and casualty (P&C) insurers to revisit their portfolio strategies and allocation.

Top 10 Investment Ideas for Insurers in 2018
Mercer Investment Consulting: (Submitted: Wednesday, January 10, 2018)
Can Insurers Relax While Central Banks Unwind? The global Mercer Insurance Investment Team has identified 10 investment ideas we believe will aid in successful management of an insurers assets in 2018 and beyond.

Insurance Liquidity Strategies in the Wake of Money Market Reforms
Deutsche Asset Management: (Submitted: Thursday, December 21, 2017)
New rules for prime money market funds caused investors to pull most of their cash out of these vehicles and turn to other liquid investments. However, prime funds have performed reasonably well since the rules went into effect, allowing investors to consider boosting the role of the funds in their cash investment strategies.

Private Debt: The Facts for Asset Allocators
Wellington Management: (Submitted: Wednesday, December 20, 2017)
Investors have been flocking to private debt to escape the paltry yields from fixed income and exploit the retrenchment in bank lending since the global financial crisis. We have analysed the Cliffwater Direct Lending Index data to assess the extent to which private debt’s perceived attractions bear out in reality. Our findings provide food for thought for investors thinking of making an allocation to the asset class.

2018 Investment Outlook - Disruption Yields Opportunity
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Monday, December 4, 2017)
Market disruptions. We’ve seen many of these since the great financial crisis, and they’re usually bad things. The liquidity freeze. The taper tantrum. The oil price drop. In recent years, disruption has taken on new meaning in the tech world. A disruptor has been defined as one of two things: a product that addresses a market that previously couldn’t be served, or one that offers a simpler, cheaper, or more convenient alternative to an existing product.

Emerging Markets Local Debt: A Paradigm Lost?
Western Asset: (Submitted: Wednesday, November 29, 2017)
This paper provides perspective on EMD investing in China and other countries. It concludes that the paradigm of long-term EM debt investing remains intact, as fundamental improvements reassert themselves, albeit with greater differentiation across countries.

Enterprise Driven Investing for Insurance Companies
Bill Poutsiaka: (Submitted: Thursday, November 9, 2017)
Bill Poutsiaka, consultant to New York-based hedge fund Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers LLC, among others, introduces Enterprise-Driven Investing – a valuable tool to help insurers consider all possible variables when it comes to investing. EDI provides a four-step business management process for insurers who seek to address investment pitfalls, improve decision-making and enhance results through their investments.

Investment Grade CLOs: Potential for Strong Excess Returns / Lower Volatility
Barings: (Submitted: Saturday, November 4, 2017)
Investment grade collateralized loan obligations (IG CLOs) can offer a compelling opportunity for investors to earn excess returns above and beyond what they are currently earning by holding investment grade credit.

Conning Q4 2017 State of the States Report
Conning: (Submitted: Friday, October 27, 2017)
Conning released the Q4 edition of the semi-annual State of the States municipal credit research report. This update for the second half of the year retains Conning’s declining outlook on aggregate state credit quality. State revenue growth has improved, but not enough to meet state expenditure growth, placing aggregate state reserves under immense pressure.

P&C Industry Book Yield Projections
New England Asset Management: (Submitted: Monday, October 16, 2017)
In revisiting our analysis of declining P&C industry book yields, we have been interested to observe how closely actual figures have followed forecast. In addition the future trajectory shows less degradation than last year’s forecast, as the entire yield curve has risen over 50 bps since August of 2016, providing a better reinvestment rate. Although the future looks better, it does not appear that we have reached bottom.

PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Thursday, September 28, 2017)
Asset class risk and return characteristics are morphing as markets move to a new reflationary environment. Investors should reassess their portfolio construction to take these new characteristics into consideration and evolve allocations accordingly.

Navigating the Amazon - Cross Sector Views on Retail Trends
New England Asset Management: (Submitted: Wednesday, September 27, 2017)
The disruptive force of online retail is by no means a new phenomenon, but the pressure on traditional brick-and-mortar stores has escalated, judging by the national retail bankruptcies and store closing thus far in 2017. For the investment implications, we consider the appropriate portfolio actions in the face of this dramatic structural shift.

Municipal Debt for U.S. Insurers: More Than Meets the Eye
Neuberger Berman: (Submitted: Wednesday, September 27, 2017)
Post-crisis dynamics in the muni market have created new challenges for insurers and make the case for specialized and dedicated attention.

Real Assets and the Road Ahead
Macquarie Investment Management: (Submitted: Thursday, September 14, 2017)
Several trends globally may be a tipping point for investments such as global listed infrastructure and real estate assets. Trends such as urbanization in China and other countries, as well as increases in working populations in developing markets, are contributing, for example, to the stresses on infrastructure and leading to the need for more investment.

Is Core Fixed Income a Commodity?
AAM: (Submitted: Wednesday, September 6, 2017)
In the investment industry, there is a widely-held belief that a Core Fixed Income strategy is a commodity. The question necessarily becomes, is there evidence to support this belief? Or are there in fact significant differences in returns over longer periods of time? If there are, the costs of assuming homogeneity could be more significant than investors realize.

MBS: An Opportunity Set for Absolute Return
Macquarie Investment Management: (Submitted: Monday, August 28, 2017)
In this overview of the US agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) market, our fixed income team examines the agency MBS opportunity set, highlighting its risk-return profile and providing a case study of historical performance in a rising rate environment. The discussion emphasizes how the asset class can play a role within absolute return strategies.

2016 Investment Highlights: Historic and Future
New England Asset Management: (Submitted: Monday, August 7, 2017)
In this Perspectives, we focus on 2016 key operating metrics and investment results for the U.S. property - casualty insurance industry. This article highlights reported results and recent trends. A second upcoming issue will address similarities and differences among individual companies and groups.

Commercial Mortgage Loans: Overview and Analysis
Voya: (Submitted: Friday, July 14, 2017)
This paper explores the features, advantages and benefits of investing in commercial mortgage “whole” loans — debt instruments secured by income-producing commercial buildings such as offices, apartments, industrial properties and shopping centers. A pillar of insurance company portfolios for many years...

2017 Long Term Capital Market Assumptions
J. P. Morgan: (Submitted: Friday, July 14, 2017)
Time tested projections to build stronger portfolios. In this challenging environment, we present the 2017 edition of J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s Long-Term Capital Market Assumptions (LTCMAs). In our 21st year of publishing capital market estimates, we incorporate more than 50 asset and strategy classes...

Infrastructure Investing and the Shifting Macro Environment
Morgan Stanley Investment Management: (Submitted: Sunday, July 2, 2017)
The ultimate impact of a Trump presidency is uncertain, however. Trump’s focus on infrastructure with his $1 trillion proposal is likely to be positive.

U.S. Muni Debt - Infrastructure Investment Opportunity
New England Asset Management: (Submitted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017)
U.S. Municipal Debt - An Infrastructure Opportunity for European Insurers... Infrastructure has emerged as an interesting asset class for European insurers. In this issue of Perspectives, we address questions associated with embarking upon investment in a new sector and moving away from a domestic market currency, and explore other issues impacting bond holdings, Solvency II and infrastructure investments.

The Case for Middle Market High-Yield Investing
Morgan Stanley Investment Management: (Submitted: Friday, June 2, 2017)
With the risk of potential rate hikes, however, investors are searching for the best place to be in the bond market. We believe the answer is highyield now more than ever, and within that, middle market issuers.

EMD: Has the Rally Run Its Course?
Barings: (Submitted: Monday, May 22, 2017)
Performance has been stellar. Is EM debt now overvalued? Is the risk-reward tradeoff poorer? Should investors wait for better entry levels to allocate to this asset class? We answer "no."

Credit Risk Transfer Securities
New England Asset Management: (Submitted: Sunday, May 7, 2017)
As the Federal Reserve raises short term interest rates, Credit Risk Transfer securities potentially offer an attractive floating rate opportunity.

A Reversal in Expectations
Goldman Sachs Asset Management: (Submitted: Sunday, May 7, 2017)
This year’s GSAM Insurance Asset Management survey reveals a dramatic turn in expectations regarding the credit cycle, inflation, rates and equity returns. However, with rates low and equity valuations high, insurers’ dominant concern remains achieving adequate returns.

Proposed NAIC RBC C1 Factors for Life Insurers
New England Asset Management: (Submitted: Tuesday, May 2, 2017)
The NAIC presented a proposal of new risk-based capital (RBC) charges for C1 investment risk in 2015. This issue of Perspectives highlights the differences between the current and proposed C1 factors, then utilizes the U.S. life industry data to illustrate key differences between optimized portfolios under current and proposed C1 factors.

Changing Investment Climate: Higher Correlation Risks
Morgan Stanley Investment Management: (Submitted: Tuesday, May 2, 2017)
Historically, the future expected value of an asset was primarily driven by economic fundamentals, with a smaller component coming from risk premia. Today, the opposite is true. The reason for this change can be traced to ....

Floating Rates Loans and Insurance Portfolios
Neuberger Berman: (Submitted: Thursday, April 27, 2017)
In a rising interest rate environment, the case for senior floating rate loans should be revisited. This paper provides a primer for investing in this asset class.

Maquarie investment Management
Populist Anti-Globalization: A Rising Global Symptom: (Submitted: Saturday, April 22, 2017)
Populist movements like Brexit and the US presidential election are rooted in part in a backlash against globalization in areas such as trade and jobs. Our global fixed income team examines the economic fallout, potential solutions, and implications for investors.

The Art of Originating & Sourcing Private Assets
Barings: (Submitted: Thursday, April 20, 2017)
The ability to originate and/or source deals and transactions is critical to successful investment in these assets. This paper addresses the following questions: Where and how are deals to be found? What does it take to generate a continuous pipeline of high-quality transactions? And most importantly, how can this origination and sourcing expertise benefit investors?

China in 2017: A Year of Uncertainty
Macquarie Investment Management: (Submitted: Thursday, March 23, 2017)
The Chinese economy continues to be a source of volatility in the near term. However, our global fixed income team sees the ongoing secular economic planning as a stabilizing factor. In this commentary paper, the team examines a range of issues facing China in the near term, from geopolitical forces to currency to infrastructure development.

Fixed Income Investment Strategy for 2017
Morgan Stanley Investment Management: (Submitted: Thursday, March 2, 2017)
While there seems to be room for risky assets to rally further and bond yields to rise, the market is still pricing in risks (geopolitical, trade and protectionism stand out). We believe these risks make a balanced portfolio critical for 2017.

U.S. Bank Loans
Western Asset: (Submitted: Monday, February 27, 2017)
In this Q&A, Portfolio Manager Timothy J. Settel outlines why we believe bank loans present an attractive investment opportunity.

The Case for Floating Rate Loans
Neuberger Berman: (Submitted: Monday, February 27, 2017)
This white paper reviews the role that floating rate loans can play in a diversified portfolio.

Outlook for Global Real Estate in 2017
Barings: (Submitted: Monday, February 27, 2017)
A review of key developments, drivers, opportunities and challenges for the real estate market looking forward.

Adjusting to a Sustained Low-yield Environment
Delaware Investments: (Submitted: Sunday, February 26, 2017)
Unorthodox monetary policies, low and negative interest rates, and other factors such as aging demographics have led to an ongoing hunt for yield. The result has brought even risk-averse investors further and further out on the risk spectrum. This paper examines the issues and where institutional investors may be able to go from here.

Federal Home Loan Bank Program
New England Asset Management: (Submitted: Tuesday, February 7, 2017)
Back in the early 2000’s we began speaking with our insurance company clients about the potential benefits of membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank System. We immediately identified this program as a relatively inexpensive source of liquidity which could be particularly useful at times of capital market volatility when execution costs would be abnormally high.

U.S. Insurers: Four Ideas for Managing an Uncertain 2017
PIMCO: (Submitted: Tuesday, January 31, 2017)
PIMCO thinks the potential for both left- and right-tail market outcomes has increased. Given these uncertainties, and the tendency of markets to overshoot and undershoot, we suggest four principles to guide investment decisions by U.S. insurers in 2017.

Emerging Market Corporates: Managing Liquidity
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Friday, January 27, 2017)
As in all fixed income markets, secondary market liquidity is not abundant in EM. The decline in market liquidity means that investors who take too short term a view can end up being “topped and tailed” (i.e., selling out too soon or buying too late) when volatility increases. A longer term investment horizon, plus strong liquidity management, is key.

Asian Credit Outlook 2017
Nikko Asset Management: (Submitted: Friday, January 27, 2017)
This white paper reviews the external uncertainties as well as country-specific challenges in Asian economies and concludes they are, on balance, better equipped to deal with external pressures compared to a few years back.

Tax Reform - Game Changer for Munis?
New England Asset Management: (Submitted: Thursday, January 26, 2017)
This Quick Takes explores potential tax changes of the new administration and their effects for holders of municipal bonds, specifically property and casualty insurers.

There’s A New Sheriff In Town: Now What?
New England Asset Management: (Submitted: Tuesday, January 24, 2017)
In this Perspectives, we assess the potential impact of a decline in corporate tax rates and rising interest rates on asset allocation and earned investment income, relying on industry aggregates as a representative company proxy.

Tax Cuts, AMTs and Munis
Conning: (Submitted: Saturday, January 21, 2017)
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.

Senior Bank Loan 2017 Outlook
Voya Invesmtent Management: (Submitted: Monday, January 16, 2017)
Senior bank loans returned more than 10% in 2016. Looking ahead to 2017, the asset class seems poised for another strong year. Our “base” case for the total return of the S&P/LSTA Leveraged Loan Index in 2017 falls between 4.5–5.0%, i.e., within the range of coupon expectation.

Demystifying Life RBC Equity Charges
Deutsche Asset Management: (Submitted: Monday, December 19, 2016)
A key question among insurance company investment professionals--especially at US life insurers--is whether allocating away from core fixed income is worth the risk.

2017 Investment Outlook
Barings: (Submitted: Monday, December 19, 2016)
Series of short videos covering key themes: slow growth economy, political risk, emerging markets, reemergence of active management and private assets.

Private Funds: Off the Beaten Path
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Monday, November 28, 2016)
In 2017 we expect investors to look for new opportunities and ways to optimize their exposure through "best ideas." We believe a focus on smaller companies may provide more opportunities for alpha.

Surviving in a Low Return World
Voya Invesmtent Management: (Submitted: Sunday, November 20, 2016)
Risky assets need not produce risky portfolios. In this white paper, we explore how artful diversification using less orthodox assets could yield impressive gains in potential returns — without materially increasing risk.

Projected Book Yields for the P&C Industry
New England Asset Management: (Submitted: Thursday, October 6, 2016)
In this issue we examine the potential timing and magnitude of additional book yield degradation for the P&C industry.

Private Credit: Changing Investor Needs Demand Flexibility
Barings: (Submitted: Thursday, October 6, 2016)
As the range of approaches to private debt investment widens, fund managers increasingly need to show that they can operate across geographies and the capital structure. Ian Fowler of Barings explains why this is so important.

Considering Opportunities in Low Return, Uncertain Environment
New England Asset Management: (Submitted: Monday, October 3, 2016)
It is to an insurer’s advantage to adopt an enterprise capital management approach to optimizing asset allocation which encompasses a more complete integration with enterprise risk appetite and tolerances, a comprehensive vetting of investment guidelines and consideration of capital structure and management.

How Life Insurance Companies Can Navigate the Era of Negative Interest Rates
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Wednesday, August 31, 2016)
While insurers face considerable challenges in a negative rate environment, there are potential solutions. Learning from industry experience in Asia markets such as Taiwan, Japan and Korea, with prolonged low interest rates, may help insurers formulate appropriate investment strategies in their markets.

Emerging Markets Debt in Perspective
Neuberger Berman: (Submitted: Thursday, August 18, 2016)
Is the EMD recovery sustainable? This paper considers the longer-term evolution of a range of indicators of financial stability to assess how risky emerging countries are, relative to the developed world and to one another. We conclude...

2015 Investment Highlights: The Gathering Storm
New England Asset Management: (Submitted: Thursday, August 18, 2016)
This report focuses on 2015 investment results and key operating metrics for the U.S. property - casualty insurance industry including: Financial statement summary results and asset allocation trends Portfolio details: highlights of fixed income risk metrics and yields, A brief synopsis and preview of future topics

Life Insurer Asset Optimization - A Top Down Enterprise Approach
New England Asset Management: (Submitted: Thursday, August 18, 2016)
This white paper introduces a top-down asset allocation approach (Enterprise Based Asset Allocation™ or EBAA™process) and illustrates how life insurers can adopt this holistic approach to potentially improve their investment portfolios’ risk-adjusted returns relative to the bottom-up approach.

Viewpoint: Risk Factor Investing
Conning: (Submitted: Saturday, July 23, 2016)
An alternate asset allocation approach is to build portfolios using risk factors, rather than asset classes. A risk factor based portfolio has potential advantages over an asset class based portfolio, including better diversification, greater awareness of the overlapping risk factors in asset classes, and greater efficiency in portfolio construction, due to a more granular approach to risks.

A Constructive View on EM Corporate Debt
Babson Capital: (Submitted: Monday, July 11, 2016)
While the volatility in EM corporate debt markets may not be behind us, there are several reasons to believe that current valuations are attractive and that the magnitude of price swings (especially negative swings) may be less severe in the coming years.

J.P. Morgan Asset Management: (Submitted: Wednesday, June 29, 2016)
This paper looks at the impacts for U.S. high yield credit likely to result from the consequences of the proposed RBC factor and GAAP changes for U.S. life insurers expected year end 2017.

Fundamentals In Focus: Find the Bright Side In Fixed Income
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Monday, June 6, 2016)
As spreads have widened over the past three to six months, we have focused on areas of the market with the best value that offer the most attractive opportunities. These are assets whose valuations have deviated most from the fundamentals amid volatility: bank loans, contingent convertible (coco) bonds, and subordinated financial institution bonds.

All About the Base: A Tailwind for U.S. Inflation
Morgan Stanley Investment Management: (Submitted: Friday, June 3, 2016)
Inflation expectations are a common thread in valuations and many already incorporate an oil decline, making it easier for prices to surprise if oil were to stabilize or rise.

Structural versus Cyclical: What the Market May be Getting Wrong
Morgan Stanley Investment Management: (Submitted: Friday, June 3, 2016)
Using a familiar tool, we assess the risk-reward tradeoffs involving the price of oil and think there are opportunities due to short-term cyclical forces.

Falling Asset Prices vs. Recession Risk: Where We See Opportunities
Morgan Stanley Investment Management: (Submitted: Friday, June 3, 2016)
Our Global Fixed Income team’s analysis reveals that recession risks are low; also, IG and high yield corporates, CMBS, and to an extent, EMD, appear to be solid opportunities for fixed income investors to consider.

Defeat Volatility, Increase Holding Period
Morgan Stanley Investment Management: (Submitted: Friday, June 3, 2016)
Fundamentals will likely dominate fixed income returns and any accompanying volatility may be reduced by holding investments longer in a well-constructed, diversified portfolio that reduces correlation risk.

Emerging markets: Tempered Expectations Despite Surge
Delaware Investments: (Submitted: Friday, June 3, 2016)
Emerging market equities' surge in performance has prompted investors to ask, “Does the upswing have legs? If not, what message should we take from this development?”

Current Thought Leadership from Deutsche
Deutsche Insurance Asset Management: (Submitted: Thursday, June 2, 2016)
Most recent white papers for insurers from Deutsche.

EMD Strategy: Time to Revisit Emerging Markets
J. P. Morgan Asset Management: (Submitted: Tuesday, May 3, 2016)
Chief Investment Officer, Pierre-Yves Bareau assesses the first quarter emerging market debt rally and examines the supporting sectors.

Fixed Income Focus in 2Q 2016
J. P. Morgan Asset Management: (Submitted: Tuesday, April 19, 2016)
Every quarter, J.P. Morgan's Global Fixed Income, Currency & Commodities team, led by Robert Michele, CIO, meets to review the macroeconomic environment and sector-by-sector analysis. Read more about the team’s views, mindful of near-term opportunities and longer-term risks

Emerging Market Debt Focus: China at the Crossroads
J.P. Morgan Asset Management: (Submitted: Tuesday, April 19, 2016)
In this paper we look at some of these structural issues, focusing on how excessive levels of leverage and industrial overcapacity have the potential to derail China’s economic transition.

Achieving Private Equity Allocation Targets: Eliminate the Guesswork
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Tuesday, March 15, 2016)
In this paper we explore typical private equity allocation scenarios and techniques that may help investors achieve their own private equity investment objectives.

Beyond RBC - Rethinking ORSA for Competitive Advantage
Conning: (Submitted: Tuesday, March 15, 2016)
This whitepaper examines the limitations of the Risk Based Capital (RBC) model and demonstrates the advantages of Economic Capital Models (ECM) as a better, alternative tool for risk management.

Current Thought Leadership from GSAM
Goldman Sachs Asset Management: (Submitted: Tuesday, March 1, 2016)
Most current white paper: "With Rising Rates, CLO's May Rise to the Top"

Is It Time to Get Back Into Credit?
Nikko Asset Management: (Submitted: Sunday, February 14, 2016)
Nikko Asset Management Australia’s credit team has analysed the potential outcomes for credit spreads under different scenarios, including a theoretical recession, and believe that the time for getting back into credit may be nigh.

Global Senior Secured Bonds: Attractive High Yield Option
Babson Capital: (Submitted: Monday, January 25, 2016)
Global senior secured bonds are gaining traction among institutional investors looking to generate attractive long-term returns with more capital structure security than is typically offered by other high yield investments.

State of the States Credit Report Rankings
Conning: (Submitted: Thursday, January 21, 2016)
Latest Semi-Annual State of the States Municipal Credit Report and Rankings (Q4, 2015).

What Will Fed Tapering Mean for Investors?
Madison Scottsdale: (Submitted: Tuesday, December 15, 2015)
“[The Fed] has unlimited buying power. Unlimited selling power can be a little different.” Warren Buffett, October 24, 2012 on CNBC

EM Local Debt May Be Reaching Turning Point
Babson Capital: (Submitted: Sunday, November 15, 2015)
With EM currency valuations at or near their most attractive levels in more than 10 years, now may be an opportune time for long-term investors to look seriously at EM local debt.

Emerging Market Debt - 2020 Vision Revisited
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Sunday, November 15, 2015)
We revisit several of our original themes (the impact of growth, liquidity and rising interest rates) and incorporate some new ones to reflect how certain forces can quickly alter EM sentiment. Are our original predictions on course to become a reality?

Interest Rates and Relative Value in High Yield Markets
Wells Capital: (Submitted: Monday, November 9, 2015)
Reviews factors influencing valuations in the context of the current interest rate and credit environment. A tilt toward higher quality within high yield markets may provide the most attractive expected reward per unit of risk in credit markets today.

Protecting Your Fixed Income Portfolio in a Low Interest Rate World
Western Asset: (Submitted: Monday, November 2, 2015)
Investors in global fixed-income markets are currently grappling with a challenging dilemma: how to secure a reasonable level of income from bonds while maintaining the role of bonds as a ballast to equities and a tool for capital preservation.

The Global Opportunity in Direct Lending
Babson Capital: (Submitted: Monday, November 2, 2015)
Direct lending offers investors the potential to earn attractive risk-adjusted returns. In this paper, we focus primarily on middle-market direct lending opportunities that exist across geographies and the capital structure.

ETF's Offer Smart Solutions
Sage Advisory: (Submitted: Sunday, November 1, 2015)
Sage Advisory shares their perspective on using ETFs for insurance GA investments.

2015 Insurance Investment Benchmarks Survey
Clearwater: (Submitted: Tuesday, October 13, 2015)
Survey of 400+ insurers addressing operational processes and systems. Includes high level information on use and interest in alternative investments.

From Volatility to Opportunity in Global High Yield
Babson Capital: (Submitted: Monday, October 5, 2015)
Babson discusses how the current macro environment is impacting credit conditions in the global high yield bond and senior secured loan markets.

Fixed Income Investing Amid Shifting Rates
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Friday, October 2, 2015)
Addressing current challenges requires a more flexible approach to portfolio positioning across traditional and extended fixed income segments. In this white paper, we examine practical strategies in both of these key areas.

Rethinking ORSA for Competitive Advantage
Conning: (Submitted: Thursday, October 1, 2015)
This whitepaper examines the limitations of the Risk Based Capital (RBC) model and demonstrates the advantages of Economic Capital Models (ECM) as a better, alternative tool for risk management.

Fixed Income Management In Reduced Liquidity Environment
AAM: (Submitted: Wednesday, September 23, 2015)
In this reduced liquidity environment, nimble fixed income managers have these advantages...

Active Management of Credit More Effective Than Target-Seeking Strategy
Nikko Asset Management: (Submitted: Tuesday, August 11, 2015)
Active management of the exposure to credit can substantially improve performance but a sole focus on a targeted level of outperformance may not be the best strategy.

Event Risk and the Credit Cycle: Identifying a Sell-Off Before it Occurs
Nikko Asset Management: (Submitted: Tuesday, August 11, 2015)
Identifying event risk is particularly important when investing in credit securities due to the performance of credit spreads. Once credit fundamentals begin deteriorating, spreads will remain tight until an event occurs that causes investors to re-evaluate their view of credit risk and liquidate their positions. Nikko AM Australia’s fixed income team has developed an Event Risk Indicator to help us identify when shifts in market sentiment are occurring.

Equity Investing for P&C Insurers
JP Morgan Asset Management: (Submitted: Friday, August 7, 2015)
The fundamental appeal of a buy-and-hold approach to equity investing is its capacity to defer taxes indefinitely by not realizing gains. We believe that conventional wisdom can overestimate these benefits.

Analysis of NAIC Proposed Changes to RBC Bond Risk
AAM: (Submitted: Wednesday, July 22, 2015)
AMM's analysis of a draft proposal to enhance the NAIC's bond RBC factors suggests these changes would meaningfully impact Life insurers' Asset Risk calculations and ultimately their RBC ratios.

If Something Cannot Go On Forever It Will Stop
Western Asset: (Submitted: Thursday, May 28, 2015)
Despite subpar growth and the possibility of postponed Fed rate hikes, 30-year USTs have sold off sharply, largely reflecting spillover from Europe, fundamental factors and position unwinds. Adding duration in the current mild growth, low inflation, and policy-heavy rate environment appears particularly attractive.

Best Practices in Modeling and Managing Credit Risk
Conning: (Submitted: Friday, May 15, 2015)
This document gives an overview of the important issues that must be considered when incorporating credit into an investment strategy and risk management framework.

Too Much Capital, Too Little Return
Goldman Sachs Asset Management: (Submitted: Sunday, May 3, 2015)
Finding attractive investment opportunities has become a familiar challenge in a world of low to negative yields, tight spreads, and high equity prices. Against this backdrop, we conducted our fourth annual GSAM Insurance Survey.

“Alternative” Investments: Sirens of Promised Rapture
GR-NEAM: (Submitted: Wednesday, April 29, 2015)
How does the seduction of superior returns from alternatives play in the context of relative performance among the universe of assets and the fiduciary requirements of insurers? And how might their potential translate into metrics, such as Value-at-Risk, or within the context of insurers’ portfolios?

Analyzing Credit Market Liquidity
Western Asset: (Submitted: Thursday, April 23, 2015)
This white paper explores what is driving reduced liquidity, useful ways it can be measured and strategies to boost liquidity.

Fed Update: Don't Write Off 2015 Just Yet...
Western Asset: (Submitted: Thursday, April 23, 2015)
The market’s outlook for Federal Reserve (Fed) hikes in 2015 has shifted dramatically since the beginning of the year. The reasons for the change in sentiment are well known.

The Top Five Issues That Will Affect Corporate Credit Spreads Today
AAM: (Submitted: Wednesday, April 22, 2015)
In this Corporate Credit View, we highlight the top five issues that we believe will drive performance for investment grade corporate credit over the near term.

Navigating Investment Grade Credit - Being Nimble
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Friday, March 27, 2015)
Many investors are learning that bigger is not necessarily better in the US Investment Grade Credit market. Smaller investment managers are demonstrating their ability to consistently and meaningfully express investment views as they seek to generate alpha. In this paper, we analyze the impact of manager size on relative performance in this asset class.

Perspective on Emerging Markets
Conning: (Submitted: Friday, March 27, 2015)
Review of opportunities in emerging markets from a global perspective and specific to Russia and Poland, Asia and Latin America.

Opportunities in Global Private Credit
Babson Capital: (Submitted: Friday, March 27, 2015)
Overview of private credit markets with a focus on direct lending opportunities that exist in the asset class across geographies and the capital structure.

Declare Independence from Investment Myopia
Strategic Asset Alliance: (Submitted: Thursday, March 12, 2015)
"Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth." This whitepaper details four key ways your company can achieve independence from investment myopia.

Managing Risks in Changing Volatility Environments
Western Asset: (Submitted: Tuesday, March 10, 2015)
Managing investment risk may seem to be the most difficult when markets move rapidly and volatility is high. In practice, however, it is often low volatility environments that are more challenging to navigate.

Fed Outlook for 2015
Western Asset: (Submitted: Tuesday, March 10, 2015)
As the Federal Reserve (Fed) starts the new year, there is one thing conspicuously absent from its communications: quantitative guidance. This is a notable change. In contrast to the date-based guidance of 2011 and 2012...

Curiouser and curiouser! ~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Western Asset: (Submitted: Tuesday, March 10, 2015)
Market Commentary - February 2015. A value investor is charged with being very explicit in analyzing risk.

The Role of Unconstrained Bond Strategies
Wilshire: (Submitted: Wednesday, January 28, 2015)
This white paper offers important considerations when exploring the use of an unconstrained bond strategy within an investment portfolio.

Babson Staff Letter
Babson Capital: (Submitted: Sunday, January 25, 2015)
Babson's economic outlook and investment outlook for investment grade corporate credit, global high yield bonds and loans, structured credit, emerging market debt, private debt, ABS, MBS, asset backed securities, commercial real estate and equities.

Capital Market Return Assumptions 2015
J.P. Morgan Asset Management: (Submitted: Friday, January 16, 2015)
Annual assessment of long-term outlook for all major asset classes and markets.

The Outlook for Emerging Market Debt
Babson Capital: (Submitted: Friday, January 16, 2015)
Long-term and short-term trends impacting the investment outlook for emerging market debt.

Investment Accounting Changes Every Investment Officer Needs to Know
AAM: (Submitted: Friday, January 16, 2015)
AAM reviews changes every investment officer needs to know as the annual statement process kicks into high gear.

Current Thought Leadership from Sage Advisory
Sage Advisory: (Submitted: Thursday, January 8, 2015)
Publications include NAIC SVO risk-scored ETF universe.

Plausible Alternatives
JP Morgan: (Submitted: Thursday, January 8, 2015)
Alternative investments pursue idiosyncratic alpha in an environment where the outlook for beta in traditional insurance investments seems increasingly problematic.

Rethinking Emerging Markets
Western Asset: (Submitted: Monday, November 17, 2014)
The heterogeneity of EM debt is a feature and not a flaw of this asset class, as it creates a dynamic set of opportunities over different market cycles. Investing in the asset class requires differentiation of long-term credit stories and management of transitory shifts in risk sentiment.

Emerging Markets Equities: A Sustainable Source of Income and Growth
Wells Capital Management: (Submitted: Monday, November 17, 2014)
The once overlooked dividend has received renewed interest in recent years. Investors have rediscovered the compelling risk-return attributes of the stocks that pay them. The focus of research on this topic has been primarily on developed market equities. In this paper, we present a case for investing in higher-yielding equities in emerging markets.

U.S. Municipals: An Opportunity
Standish: (Submitted: Monday, November 17, 2014)
For both U.S. and foreign investors concerned about the prospect of rising interest rates, U.S. municipal bonds may be a high quality, low volatility complement to an overall fixed income asset allocation.

Babson Capital Viewpoints
Babson Capital: (Submitted: Friday, October 17, 2014)
Market technicals support the case for active management in the high yield bond and senior secured loan markets

Emerging Markets Corporates - Too Big To Ignore
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Wednesday, October 15, 2014)
This article dispels some of the myths often associated with investing in EM corporates and reiterates the benefits to investors who are yet to make an allocation to this dynamic asset class.

Treading Water
A.M. Best: (Submitted: Wednesday, October 15, 2014)
Conning, GR-NEAM, J.P. Morgan and AAM senior investment officers discuss life/health insurer tactics in the low interest rate environment.

Senior CLOs Attract Diverse Investor Base Searching for Yield
Babson Capital: (Submitted: Wednesday, October 15, 2014)
How the CLO market has changed and created yield opportunities for different types of investors.

U.K. Non-Life Insurers Brace for Solvency II
A.M. Best: (Submitted: Monday, October 13, 2014)
Profit margins are under pressure as companies compete fiercely. Investments provide marginal support to earnings due to the low interest rate environment.

Benchmarking Capital Charges
GR-NEAM: (Submitted: Wednesday, September 17, 2014)
This article highlights differences between capital charges developed within Solvency II Standard Model formula and GR-NEAM's observable price methodology.

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad
Western Asset: (Submitted: Thursday, September 11, 2014)
The global recovery is headed in the right direction but the pace of growth is sluggish and the outlook is clouded by uncertainties.

Emerging Markets: What Forces at Work?
Western Asset: (Submitted: Tuesday, September 9, 2014)
Increased risk in Emerging Markets leads to questions about the forces at work and where the opportunities may be going forward.

Uncovering Good Companies in India
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Tuesday, September 9, 2014)
Good companies are typically characterized by various factors,including brand name, size and vintage. While we believe these characteristics are very important, these factors alone do not necessarily make them good companies to invest in.

Finding Value in US Fixed Income
Babson Capital: (Submitted: Saturday, August 9, 2014)
Babson Capital discusses where they currently see value in U.S. fixed income They weigh in volatility in fixed income markets,why flexibility and selectivity are critical in fixed income investing and what they see as the key risks facing fixed income markets today.

Insurers Attack the Operating Model Opportunity
BCG: (Submitted: Monday, July 28, 2014)
Insurance companies oversee the world’s second-largest asset pool. Despite this financial heft, few of them can boast leading operating models. They have left on the table substantial benefits related to business upside, risk, and efficiency.

Emerging Markets Perspectives
Conning: (Submitted: Thursday, July 10, 2014)
Conning analysts provide perspectives on Asia, Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe.

Bank Loans: Focus on Quality
Wells Capital Management: (Submitted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014)
Bank loans have justifiably attracted investor attention as income-generating, floating-rate assets. In the case of lower-quality loans, we are concernedth at investors are no longer being compensated for the volatility of these spreads, much less for traditional credit risks.

The Importance of Risk Attribution
Conning : (Submitted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014)
A rigorous approach to risk attribution increases the ability of an organization to understand and articulate risk-adjusted measures of performance, and has become an important tool for senior leadership to effectively manage their company.

CLO Investments – Solving the Problem of Low Yields and Rising Rates
Babson Capital: (Submitted: Monday, June 30, 2014)
This detailed report explains how CLO investments complement insurance companies’ investments in senior secured loans.

Searching for Yield
Conning, GR-NEAM and AAM: (Submitted: Sunday, June 15, 2014)
A.M. Best Review interviews executives from three insurance asset management firms regarding insurers' search for yield.

What Your Investment Reports Are Missing
Strategic Asset Alliance: (Submitted: Wednesday, April 30, 2014)
Dr. Peter Drucker says “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Take a close look at how you are measuring your portfolio's performance and risk.

Hedge Fund Investing for Insurance Companies
Deutsche Insurance Asset Management: (Submitted: Friday, March 28, 2014)
Hedge funds offer a number of uncorrelated return opportunities and often have suitable risk and return characteristics for insurers. This report explores the issues and solutions that may enable insurers to increase investments in hedge funds.

Does the U.S. Federal Reserve have us on a collision course?
Delaware Investments: (Submitted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014)
Paul Grillo takes us back on “The Great Central Bank Roller Coaster" takes issue with the “chorus of voices in the media and academia seeking to give intellectual and academic cover to the quantitative easing measures.”

Global Investment Trends Report
Schroders: (Submitted: Sunday, February 23, 2014)
A World in Recovery; A study into global investment trends in 2014.

Captive Insurance 101
AAM: (Submitted: Monday, February 17, 2014)
This paper discusses why captives are formed, alternative types of captives, associated risks, and considerations for developing an appropriate investment plan.

I Will Protect My Portfolio From Rising Rates
Sage Advisory: (Submitted: Wednesday, January 22, 2014)
Perhaps more so than at any other time in modern market history, there is an opportunity for insurers to position their portfolios appropriately ahead of upward interest rate changes.

Hedge Funds A Potential Tool to Reduce Interest Rate Risk
J.P. Morgan Asset Management: (Submitted: Wednesday, January 22, 2014)
We continue to believe that core bonds are a critical element of a prudent investor’s portfolio; however, we also feel that investors looking to decrease duration risk should consider allocating to hedge funds, which have different drivers of risk.

Utilizing a Global Multi-Asset Credit Strategy: Achieving Better Results
Babson Capital: (Submitted: Thursday, January 16, 2014)
Explores key considerations in employing a global high yield multi-asset strategy and provides perspective on why we believe this approach makes sense.

The Role of Equities and Alternatives in P&C Company Portfolios
PIMCO: (Submitted: Thursday, January 16, 2014)
This paper explores the regulatory cost and investment risk of alternative investments and finds them an attractive option for P&C companies

Strategic Asset Allocation-A Comprehensive Approach
Conning: (Submitted: Monday, January 6, 2014)
Reviews approaches to investment risk/reward analysis in a constrained environment with specific emphasis on how Strategic Asset Allocation (SAA) can benefit from and leverage a company's Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and Economic Capital Modeling (ECM) platforms.

Which Strategic Asset Allocation Model is Best?
Strategic Asset Alliance: (Submitted: Monday, November 11, 2013)
Strategic asset allocation models using Modern Portfolio Theory may not be a very close analogue to what we may see going forward. With that in mind we must think creatively...

Asset Allocation Strategies for a (Still) Low Interest Rate World
Deutsche Insurance Asset Management: (Submitted: Thursday, October 17, 2013)
The narrowing spread between insurers' assets and liabilities has crimped earnings and spurred companies to consider alternative investment strategies.

The Case for REITs in an Insurance Portfolio
AAM: (Submitted: Tuesday, October 1, 2013)
AAM has established an overweight to REIT debt over the past three years. This position reflects the firm’s view that the sector offers attractive excess return potential due to good fundamentals and technical support. This paper reviews the key credit factors that underpin our investments in the REIT sector.

Hedge Fund Evolution: Insurers and the Hedge Fund Industry
Conning: (Submitted: Wednesday, August 14, 2013)
Conning's white paper provides an overview of hedge funds as an asset class - their growth, performance, investor base, and investment characteristics - and serves as a backdrop to the emergent strategies in the marketplace that may address insurers' concerns.

Hedge Fund Investing for Insurers
Deutsche Insurance Asset Management: (Submitted: Sunday, July 14, 2013)
Hedge funds offer a number of uncorrelated return opportunities and often have suitable risk and return characteristics for insurers.

Dividend Investing - Finding the Sweet Spot
Advantus Capital Management: (Submitted: Sunday, July 7, 2013)
Higher-yielding equities can serve as substitutes for corporate bonds. Finding the right equities requires a unique combination of credit underwriting and equity growth analysis.

Bank Loans: Tranquility in a Volitile World
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Sunday, July 7, 2013)
One area of relative calm has been the bank loan market, which is a very rational and attractive alternative for investors fleeing interest rate risk.

Emerging Market Equity: A Sustainable Source for Income and Growth
Wells Capital Management: (Submitted: Sunday, May 19, 2013)
Associate Portfolio Manager and Product Specialist Alison Shimada makes a case for investing in higher-yielding equities in emerging markets.

The Use of High-Yielding Fixed-Income Sectors for Insurers
Western Asset: (Submitted: Monday, May 6, 2013)
The insurance industry continues to feel the impact of low interest rates on investment portfolio yields, product design, and reported profitability.

Spread Risk and Capital Requirements for Insurers
Western Asset: (Submitted: Monday, May 6, 2013)
Insurance portfolios with similar levels of spread risk can have significantly different levels of regulatory and rating agency spread-related capital requirements.

New Solvency Regimes Promote Value Creation for Insurers
Western Asset: (Submitted: Monday, May 6, 2013)
New and developing solvency regimes require insurers to embed risk analysis and solvency considerations into business decisions at all levels.

Thinking Outside the Low Yield Box
J. P. Morgan Asset Management: (Submitted: Monday, May 6, 2013)
Examine the trends that are shaping asset allocation strategies for insurance companies, while taking into account their unique objectives and constraints. Also explores how these strategies may perform in different economic environments and highlights various attractive asset classes.

2020 Vision: Emerging Market Corporate Debt
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Wednesday, April 3, 2013)
The world is experiencing a gradual shift in its economic center of gravity as emerging and developed markets converge. We use our extensive experience in EM corporate debt to create hypothetical butplausible scenarios in order to cast ourselves into the future.

The Potential Perils of Reaching for Yield
AAM: (Submitted: Monday, April 1, 2013)
This paper examines the performance of BBB industrial bonds through the downturn. The historical performance suggests that insurance company investors should exercise caution when reaching for yield, particularly at this point in the credit cycle.

Investment Accounting Update - Global Legal Entity Identifier
AAM: (Submitted: Monday, April 1, 2013)
A recent reporting requirement will impact insurers’ statutory filings and increase transparency for regulators and risk managers. This accounting update discusses the new Global Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) program, its benefits to the finance industry, and the related NAIC reporting requirements.

Real Assets, Real Income, Real Growth
Advantus: (Submitted: Thursday, March 7, 2013)
The current and future wave of infrastructure investment presents an opportunity to generate real income with potential for growth by investing in real assets.

Approaching Distressed Opportunities Through Hedge Fund of Funds
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Thursday, January 10, 2013)
The confluence of the European sovereign debt crisis and the EBA’s stress test results may usher in a new era of distressed investing targeting Europe. This distressed investing will be different from the classic version, which is typically triggered by corporations filing for bankruptcy, as witnessed during 2008/2009. The European situation is an event being triggered by sovereign debt crisis, banking liquidity and solvency crisis and not by corporate defaults.

Finding Income Today
Delaware Investments: (Submitted: Thursday, January 10, 2013)
Delaware's Bob Zenouzi addresses the dangers of an income-only strategy, as well as his team’s current views of traditional income-producing assets, such as dividend-paying stocks, real estate investment trusts (REITs), and high yield bonds.

AAM: (Submitted: Thursday, January 10, 2013)
This article reviews current and proposed updates being considered for FASB rules specific to 1) Investments classification and measurement, 2) Credit imparement and #) Hedge accounting.

Insurance: A Consultant’s Value Proposition
Rocaton Investment Advisors: (Submitted: Monday, December 17, 2012)
Insurance companies require increasingly more specialized expertise to evaluate investment opportunities, particularly given the low-interest rate environment and heightened market volatility. The cost and challenge of maintaining a best-in-class investment team is daunting, and the leverage provided by partnering with a consultant and outside managers can benefit the entire organization.

High Yield Credit: An Evaluation for Insurance Companies
AAM: (Submitted: Tuesday, December 11, 2012)
Thoughtful evaluation of duration, liquidity, and credit risk by insurance companies and their investment managers is of increasing importance in today’s climate. In this article we will focus our attention on credit risk, specifically evaluating the complementary role that an allocation to high yield corporate bonds adds to an insurance company’s core investment grade fixed income portfolio

Key Questions to Ask About Your Investment Portfolio
Strategic Asset Alliance: (Submitted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012)
Let’s assume you have decided on a course of action in order to improve your company’s portfolio. You know what you want to do, but should you make this change strategically or tactically? And, do you have the right manager to execute the strategy?

Managing Assets Under Solvency II - Navigating Reporting Requirements
Deutsche Insurance Asset Management: (Submitted: Saturday, October 13, 2012)
Addresses the organizational challenges associated with Solvency ll, including scale and complexity, how it might look to an individual insurance company, and the actual experience of our insurance clients.

Interest Rate Challenges to Insurance Industry Profitability
Conning: (Submitted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012)
Conning's industry experts address key interest rate challenges to insurance industry profitability.

Dividend Income Strategy Delivers for Income-Seeking Investor
Advantus Capital Management: (Submitted: Thursday, September 13, 2012)
Equity-income strategies are becoming increasingly popular with retail, high net worth and institutional investors due to concerns over market volatility, low bond yields and the prospect of rising interest rates.

Uncertain Times Not So Much - With a Solid Investment Process
Strategic Asset Alliance: (Submitted: Monday, August 20, 2012)
A few ways to look at the importance of the investment process...Perhaps with this in mind, your company will not have as many Uncertain Times in the future.

Preparing Portfolios for Inflation
PIMCO: (Submitted: Sunday, August 19, 2012)
Inflation is a fearsome and stealthy force. It can pick our pockets and pilfer our wealth. Yet investors aren’t helpless. By understanding the sources and risks of inflation, we can design portfolios that seek to better guard against it.

Movin' On Up - Emerging Markets
Conning: (Submitted: Sunday, August 19, 2012)
Conning believes that investing in Emerging Markets in a world of increasing contribution to global GDP is a viable and diversifying alternative for investment portfolios.

Protecting Portfolios from Inflation Decay
Conning: (Submitted: Friday, June 22, 2012)
Inflation can be the greatest risk faced by P&C insurance companies. Given today’s monetary environment, this inflation risk may be preeminent. Asset classes that perform well during periods of accelerating inflation are limited, and those that exist have very different characteristics and need to be managed within an insurance company context.

Global Credit Exposure Through Actively Managed USD-Denominated Investment Grade
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Sunday, June 17, 2012)
While some investors actively seek exposure to a wide variety of currencies and international yield curves in their fixed income allocations, we believe that the volatility and risks associated with such an approach will likely dampen the value of a higher quality and stable target return for an investment grade allocation.

Captive - Know Thyself
Sage Advisory Services: (Submitted: Monday, May 7, 2012)
Sage Advisory Services discuss the aspects that need to be considered when shaping and managing a captive’s investment portfolio.

US Insurance Company Strategies in an Economic Downturn
Society of Actuaries, Committe on Financial Research, Max Rudolph: (Submitted: Tuesday, April 24, 2012)
US insurers investment practices are examined prior, during and after the initial months of 2008 financial crisis. The report looks for what insurance companies can learn from past mistakes to make better decisions in the future.

Navigating Bank Loan Implementation
Wells Capital Management: (Submitted: Sunday, April 15, 2012)
This article discusses important factors to evaluate when implementing a bank loan strategy, including par or distressed documentation, assignment versus participation, infrastructure considerations, a high quality emphasis, and the benefits of using a specialized credit team

Distressed Opportunities in Europe Through Hedge Fund of Funds
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Saturday, April 14, 2012)
The confluence of the European sovereign debt crisis and the EBA’s stress test results may usher in a new era of distressed investing targeting Europe. This distressed investing will be different from the classic version, which is typically triggered by corporations filing for bankruptcy, as witnessed during 2008/2009.

High Income Opportunities in a Slow Growth Economy
Advantus Capital Management: (Submitted: Monday, April 9, 2012)
The combination of a slow growth economy and low interest rates presents a challenge for investors seeking risk-adjusted returns. Higher yielding REIT investments have historically delivered total returns above the S&P 500, while simultaneously generating more current income than the broader equity market.

Sustainable Investing Across Emerging Markets
Wells Capital Management: (Submitted: Monday, April 9, 2012)
Once considered an investment strategy that catered to a few socially concerned investors, sustainable investing is now an important discipline for mainstream investors. Sustainable investing is the concept that environ­mental, social, and governance (ESG) factors impact long-term financial performance.

IASB's Proposal for Fair Value Accounting for Insurance Contracts
Deutsche Insurance Asset Management: (Submitted: Saturday, March 17, 2012)
At its simplest, the proposal would move accounting for insurance liabilities from book value to fair value...Implications for investment strategy would be substantial and varied...

Convertible Securities: Attractive Asset Class for an Uncertain Environment
Conning: (Submitted: Thursday, March 1, 2012)
Convertible securities offer investors the ability to participate in upward stock market movements while having a cushion if the stock market declines. This ability comes at a price...

Generating Income in a Low Yield Environment
J.P. Morgan Asset Management: (Submitted: Tuesday, February 28, 2012)
In this "low for long" rate environment, generating high and stable income remains a challenge for insurers who need to maintain portfolio yields. However, certain market dynamics are creating opportunities to pick up compelling yields across a range of asset classes, each with varying levels of risk-based capital intensity.

Financial Repression Marches On...And Over Insurer Financials - Part 1
Strategic Asset Alliance: (Submitted: Friday, February 24, 2012)
Alton Cogurt adds insights on the largest challenge facing insurers over the last 30 years.

US Large Cap Equity: Alpha Beyond the Correlation Divide (January 2011)
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Friday, January 13, 2012)
As market visibility improves and equity correlations decline, the best approach for US large cap equity investors will be to pursue a strategy with significant stock-specific active risk to reap benefits from significant valuation anomalies that arise after periods of strong correlations.

The Value in US Government Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS)
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Thursday, January 5, 2012)
Our Securitized Products team explores the benefits of Agency MBS investments.

Optimizing Global Emerging Markets Equity Exposure Through Targeted Regional All
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Thursday, December 15, 2011)
Exposure to the emerging markets growth story has commonly been achieved by making a single allocation to global emerging market (GEM) equity strategies given perceived geographic and sectoral complexity...

Rating Agency Ratings and Value-at-Risk: Casual or Causal?
GR-NEAM : (Submitted: Wednesday, December 7, 2011)
Value-at-Risk has emerged as a key metric in solvency assessment and capital adequacy measurement. Individual companies can impact VaR estimates in many ways, all of which change the prospective enterprise total return and risk, and often at a cost.

Solvency II - The Dilemma
GR-NEAM: (Submitted: Tuesday, November 22, 2011)
Companies can derive their estimates of VaR using a standard model, or they can develop their own model. These two options characterize a subtle difference between a rules based and principles based approach.

Not So Super “Super Committee” – Implications
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Tuesday, November 15, 2011)
Chief Economist Markus Schomer discusses the implications of the failure of the US Congressional “Super Committee” to come up with a plan to cut the US budget deficit.

Municipal Credit Research: State of the States
Conning: (Submitted: Tuesday, November 15, 2011)
We use these rankings to help us make relative value investment decisions. Having a quantitative forwardlooking model to rank state credit quality eliminates any bias we might have. This report provides us with a disciplined approach to managing state exposures for both State GO debt and other credit types within the state.

Incredible India: Growing Pains Of A Superpower
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Thursday, October 20, 2011)
India has come a long way in its economic and social development, but stands at an important crossroad. Though blessed with the necessary DNA of a superpower-in-the-making, there are many hurdles it must overcome along the way in order to fully realize its incredible potential.

Dynamic Asset Allocation
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Thursday, October 20, 2011)
As the Global Financial Crisis has sprung asset allocation back into focus, our team explores various allocation ideologies and details the merits of the Capital Market Line approach.

US Large Cap Equity: Should I Stay or Should I Go? (September 2011)
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Tuesday, September 27, 2011)
Our investment team looks at the case for US Large Cap equities and explores how "Focus" investing could help in extracting alpha from this highly efficient market.

MARKET FLASH: Post S&P US Sovereign Downgrade
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Wednesday, August 10, 2011)
Our investment teams explore how the recent downgrade of the US credit rating, along with other macro events, will likely impact the investment environment.

Bank Loans: Market Dynamics Poised to Deliver Attractive Risk-Adjustment Return
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Thursday, August 4, 2011)
Our Leveraged Finance investment experts explore how low default rates, eventual rising interest rates, supply/demand imbalances and the shrinking "Maturity Cliff" are combining to make the current Bank Loan market attractive.

Emerging Markets Commodity Inflation: Potential Winners and Losers
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Monday, June 20, 2011)
At the beginning of the quarter, we pulled together our team of Emerging Market equity analysts to review the potential ramifications of inflation across the globe to identify regional "winners" and "losers" in terms of inflation.

U.S. Investment Grade Corporate Credit Outlook
Conning: (Submitted: Thursday, June 16, 2011)
Since the start of 2009, the U.S. Investment Grade Corporate Credit sector has returned over 2,500 basis points of excess return...So where does the market go from here?

Emerging Markets Strategy: Evaluating Inflation and Commodities
J.P. Morgan Asset Management: (Submitted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011)
With the recent momentum in earnings estimates for developed markets now appearing to have come to an end, George Iwanicki, emerging market macro strategist, examines the value story for the emerging markets asset class against the current global cyclical backdrop and takes a closer look at the inflation issues that have occupied investors over recent months.

Managing Asymmetric Returns - Inside Downside Risk
GR-NEAM : (Submitted: Friday, June 3, 2011)
Mean-Variance (MV) asset allocation methodologies are criticized most often on two counts. The validity of the first criticism depends upon practitioners' return assumptions. The second criticism is valid, but can be overcome.

The Attraction of Emerging Market Currencies
J.P. Morgan Asset Management : (Submitted: Wednesday, May 18, 2011)
Emerging market currencies are coming under increasing scrutiny. In this paper Amit Tanna, a senior portfolio manager in J.P. Morgan Asset Management's currency group based in London, argues that many emerging market currencies (particularly in Asia) could outperform in the coming months, driven by rising inflation, higher interest rates and growing pressure from western policymakers.

Regime Change: Implications of macro shifts on asset class and portfolio perform
J.P. Morgan Asset Management: (Submitted: Wednesday, May 18, 2011)
This paper focuses on economic regime based asset allocation. A regime-based approach is designed to give investors the flexibility to adapt to changing economic conditions within a benchmark-based investment policy. The paper does not advocate abandoning benchmark-based investing. Rather, it advises to adjust allocations around the strategic benchmark in response to shifts in economic regimes.

Investing in China: Why Now and How
J.P. Morgan Asset Management: (Submitted: Sunday, May 8, 2011)
Rebecca Patterson, Chief Markets Strategist for J.P. Morgan Asset Management's Institutional business, notes how new factors—including the country's shifting political regime and the growing RMB-denominated markets—underscore the need to add exposure to China now.

U.S. GAAP Impairment Accounting: Understanding FASB Staff Position 115-2
Deutsche Insurance Asset Management: (Submitted: Monday, March 21, 2011)
Exploring "other-than-temporary-impairment", an accounting issue of particular and continuing significance for insurance investors.

Squeezing Out Yield without Having to Hold Your Nose
Conning: (Submitted: Monday, March 21, 2011)
Investors of all sorts have been looking for ways to add yield to their portfolios - even if it means taking on additional risk. Are there ways to add incremental yield while adhering to a prudent, long-term strategy? In this Viewpoint, we examine different asset class strategies and give examples of investment opportunities we believe may exist even in this continuing difficult environment.

Ride the High Dividend Wave
Conning: (Submitted: Monday, March 21, 2011)
In the current low-interest rate environment, investors are looking to take advantage of opportunities to boost income and diversify their holdings. In the equity universe, there are a number of income-oriented options that can provide higher levels of income, including high dividend paying equities. What are the benefits and risks of this asset class? What metrics are critical to consider in the selection process?

Foreclosure Delays: Impacts and opportunities in the non-agency MBS market
J.P. Morgan Asset Management: (Submitted: Saturday, February 26, 2011)
This report takes a look at three issues: (1) incomplete review and “robo-signing” of foreclosure affidavits, (2) potential breaches in title transfers/mortgage assignments and (3) violations of representation and warranties—and discusses the potential implications and opportunities they may represent for non-agency MBS investors.

Long Duration Mortgages: Matching liabilities and enhancing returns
J.P. Morgan Asset Management: (Submitted: Saturday, February 19, 2011)
This report emphasizes how a fundamental relative value strategy incorporating long duration mortgages (CMOs) can help to improve asset/liability matching while enhancing excess return over market cycles.

Japan Viewed in 3D (Debt, Demographics and Deficits): Decision-Making Implicati
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Thursday, February 17, 2011)
Our investment experts share their thoughts on what's next for this important global currency.

REITs: Poised for Dividend Growth
Advantus Capital: (Submitted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011)
REIT yields are back to historical levels relative to high yield corporate bonds and 10-year Treasuries, and are poised for further increases.

The Rise and Rise of Emerging Market Debt
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Thursday, February 10, 2011)
This paper explores the history of this fast evolving asset class and looks at the three core strategies that have now become asset classes in their own right; external debt, local currency debt and corporate bonds.

Guggenheim Partners Market Perspectives
Guggenheim Partners Asset Management, LLC: (Submitted: Monday, November 29, 2010)
Chief Investment Officer Scott Minerd describes his unique view on the future of fixed income. Debunking what he describes as “the Urban Legend of the Bond Bubble,” Minerd makes a compelling argument that interest rates will remain at historic lows for the next three to five years and draws conclusions for what an extended low-yield environment means for investments.

China and India: Shifting Trends, Outsized Potential
PineBridge Investments: (Submitted: Sunday, November 28, 2010)
Provides new insights into these two emerging markets superpowers, including attractive investment opportunities, sectors and industries. Our local experts on the ground in both regions share their thoughts on the past, present and future investment landscapes of both countries.

Reporting for Financial Instruments – FASB and IASB Perspectives
Conning: (Submitted: Saturday, November 27, 2010)
In this edition, we provide a comprehensive follow-up to our August 6 Asset Management Viewpoint, laying out the elements of the FASB exposure draft on Reporting for Financial Instruments. We explore key issues in the draft that (if implemented) could affect an insurance company's portfolio, outlining the critical questions that need to be addressed before the draft is adopted.

Accessing commodities in a long-term portfolio
J.P. Morgan Asset Management: (Submitted: Friday, November 19, 2010)
This paper focuses on: The imbalances between the demand for and the supply of commodities and, how the rise of China as an economic power will impact prices in the mid- to long-term How the "non-normality" of commodity returns affects the return and risk profile of an investment portfolio How commodities offer protection against inflation, deflation and cyclical macroeconomic downturns How active management can exploit the linkages between commodities and outperform an index-based strategy tied to a fixed basket of commodities.

Emerging Markets: Understanding the risks
J.P. Morgan Asset Management: (Submitted: Friday, November 19, 2010)
Emerging markets offer compelling long-term return potential, but continue to present risks that every investor should understand.

Understanding BCAR for Property and Casualty Insurers
A.M. Best Company: (Submitted: Friday, October 29, 2010)
This article explains A.M. Best's Capital Adequacy Ratio for property and casualty insurers and its implications for financial strength ratings.

Revisiting the Role of Insurance Company ALM Within a Risk Management Framework
Goldman Sachs Asset Management: (Submitted: Saturday, October 2, 2010)
GSAM's Insurance Strategy team illustrates a comprehensive approach to ALM and investment strategy designed to preserve capital and diversify sources of market risk and return.