July 20th, 2016

Alternative Capital Shaping Risk Transfer

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

Here we review GC Capital Ideas posts on how alternative capital has impacted the dynamics of risk transfer.

Evolution of Risk Capital: The continued flow of new capital into the (re)insurance industry constitutes the largest change to the sector’s capital structure in recent memory. New capital has entered the market through investments in insurance-linked securities (ILS) funds, sidecars, hedge fund-backed reinsurance companies and collateralized reinsurance vehicles. Investors have increasingly been attracted to low correlation returns from catastrophe risk relative to traditional capital markets risks and the attractive yield for the measured (re)insurance risk relative to other investments, particularly in the current low inflation, low yield era.

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Disruptive Forces to M&A Activity: Alternative Capital Directly Supporting Increased Market Competition: The flow of alternative capital into the reinsurance markets has been sustained and substantial. The growth of this capital, coming from a number of sources, including fund managers and sidecars, has been a staggering 22 percent - compounding since 2008 and accelerating to 34 percent during the period 2012 to 2014. There was a consequent rate softening, mostly felt within the reinsurance landscape, particularly in short tail lines. The softening then trickled down into the specialty insurance classes.

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