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June 29, 2010 by Clark Troy

As I discussed in an earlier post–Asian Regulatory Battles for Insurers–and in my published report, Regulatory Currents in Indian Life Insurance:  Protecting Investors and Paying Producers, a protracted tussle over who would regulate Unit-Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) has been going on in India.  ULIPs are variable life and annuity products that have constituted a considerable majority of the booming Indian life insurance market in recent years.  They have been popular for a number of reasons, not least because they have given Indian retail inves

June 16, 2010 by Denise Valentine

Ok, ok — UCITS* aren’t new.  But the latest generation, UCITS IV, came about in January 2009 with the July 1, 2010 implementation date just around the corner. So after all the anticipation, it’s interesting to see who is taking hold of what given some broader trends in the business.

At a time of regulatory uncertainty (or any uncertainty, for that matter), we grab hold of what we know. And in this case, hedge funds are taking hold of UCITS. There is uncertainty about the European Commission’s draft of the Alternative Investment Fund Management Directive, though, generally speaking, more regulation looms. Non-U.S. hedge funds realize that they may face new barriers marketing to the EU. Ouch!

June 11, 2010 by Clark Troy

In preparation for a quick chat about ratings with a journalist the other day, I had a peek at A.M. Best’s methodology for rating insurance firms.  For non-industry people, A.M. Best is a ratings agency that has historically focused on insurance firms and has historically been quoted alongside Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch when insurers trumpet their financial stability.  After having a quick look at the methodology document, I remembered having a version of the same document stored on my laptop from 2008, so I compared them quickly.

June 3, 2010 by Clark Troy

On Friday, May 28, New York Life and the Actuarial Society of Greater New York hosted Michael Fasano of Fasano Associates for a seminar called “Mortality Curves: Lessons from Life Settlement Underwriting.” This would not seem very shocking were it not for the enmity that life insurers generally show the life settlements industry. Life settlements, and particularly stranger-owned life insurance (STOLI), have in recent years been the bête noire of the life insurance industry.