In the fifth installment of the Holistic Balance Sheet Management series, Russell Lee, Insurance Consultant, Mercer, shares his thoughts on how a holistic approach to capital management can benefit insurance companies in the face of challenging investment and underwriting conditions.
Posts Tagged ‘profitability’
In the second video in the Holistic Balance Sheet Management series, Andrew Cox, Capital Optimization, Guy Carpenter and Niall Clifford, Financial Strategy Group, Mercer, explore how companies should approach investment risk and the link between investment strategy, risk appetite and reinsurance strategy. A key focus for insurance companies should be to link their investment strategy with their risk appetite metrics. While any increase in return on capital may seem very attractive, it is important that companies ensure that the risks they are taking are in line with their risk appetite and that they are aware of their constraints, allowing them to take risks in a measured way. Investment strategy should be considered alongside regulatory requirements, as a key aspect of Solvency II relates to how well each company understands the risks in its portfolio.
A holistic approach that optimizes the use of the two traditionally separate areas of balance sheet management within the current market environment has proven to be extremely challenging for non-life insurers. The key issue for non-life insurers is how to boost return on capital in a continuing low-yield environment. In the first of the Holistic Balance Sheet Management series, Andrew Cox, Capital Optimization, Guy Carpenter, and Niall Clifford, Financial Strategy Group, Mercer, discuss how insurance companies may optimize their capital while addressing their concerns over economic capital, earnings risk, ratings agency requirements and increasing constraints due to Solvency II.
A holistic approach that optimizes the use of the two traditionally separate areas of balance sheet management (reinsurance and investment strategy) can make a significant difference to (re)insurers’ financial results. (Re)insurers should seek to address both the asset and liability sides of the balance sheet in an integrated manner.
From one of GC Capital Ideas’ more popular categories, we highlight the top ten Chart Room stories viewed during the year of 2014:
1. Chart: Global Property Catastrophe ROL Index: The Guy Carpenter Global Property Catastrophe Rate on Line index is presented for 1990 through 2014. The index fell by 11 percent at January 1, 2014.
2. Chart: Rate Movements by Business Segment: Reports rate movements at January 1, 2014.
3. Chart: Regional Property Catastrophe ROL Index: The chart shows the indexes for United States, United Kingdom, Asia Pacific and Europe.
4. Chart: Evolution of Dedicated Reinsurance Capital, 2012 - YE 2013: The evolution of dedicated sector capital is presented in the chart. Guy Carpenter estimates this rose marginally in 2013 to USD322 billion at year-end as underwriting profits from low catastrophe claims and convergence capital inflows offset unrealized losses, sustained share buybacks and dividend payments.
5. Chart: Catastrophe Bond Issuance and Capital Outstanding: Issuance reached a record high of USD7.1 billion, surpassing 2007’s total. Risk capital outstanding also reached an all-time high of USD18.6 billion last year.
6. Chart: 2013 Catastrophe Bond Transactions: This table lists the 144A property/casualty catastrophe bond transactions that were completed in 2013.
7. Chart: Top Ten Catastrophe Bond Transactions: The chart ranks deals in 2013, as compiled by GC Securities*, a division of MMC Securities Corporation.
8. Chart: Pension Fund Capital Under Management and Allocations into Reinsurance: As the chart illustrates , pension funds alone are worth around USD30 trillion. Based on Guy Carpenter’s analysis of possible capital allocation percentages to the (re)insurance space in consultation with sector experts, a maximum of USD900 billion of this amount could potentially be available for insurance-linked investments. This figure is, of course, much greater than currently needed, demonstrating the existing convergence-driven supply excess. Given Guy Carpenter estimates global property catastrophe limit is currently in excess of USD300 billion, and the ILS market only accounts for around 15 percent of this amount, pension funds have so far made very small investments in reinsurance relative to their overall size.
9. Chart: U.S. Property Catastrophe Reinsurance Quoting Behavior: In this chart, the January 1, 2014 average quote across all programs is represented by the line at 0 percent, while the red dots indicate reinsurers’ distances from the mean across all the programs that they quoted. The size of the line represents the variability from the average for all quotes provided by the reinsurer. Each reinsurer is represented across the bottom of the chart by its A.M. Best rating. Quotes representing non-concurrent terms were excluded.
10. Chart: European Property Catastrophe - Typical ROL Changes: The chart compares changes at January 2014 with January 2013.
*Securities or investments, as applicable, are offered in the United States through GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities Corp., a US registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/NFA/SIPC. Main Office: 1166 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036. Phone: (212) 345-5000. Securities or investments, as applicable, are offered in the European Union by GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities (Europe) Ltd. (MMCSEL), which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, main office 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HS. Reinsurance products are placed through qualified affiliates of Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC. MMC Securities Corp., MMC Securities (Europe) Ltd. and Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC are affiliates owned by Marsh & McLennan Companies. This communication is not intended as an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy any security, financial instrument, reinsurance or insurance product. **GC Analytics is a registered mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.