Eric Paire, Head of Strategic Advisory EMEA, Guy Carpenter, presented the sixth part of the Holistic Balance Sheet Management series describing the “multi-layer” approach that Guy Carpenter and Mercer will adopt when working exclusively with insurance clients to holistically manage capital and strengthen balance sheets. The approach includes an extensive evaluation of the investment and reinsurance portfolios to understand client needs, an assessment of the rationale for freeing-up and/or moving capital and a consideration of modeling aspects such as the Solvency II standard formula, internal models or rating agency models.
Posts Tagged ‘Solvency II’
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.
For a number of reasons the United Kingdom represents an extreme example of the impact of annuity compensation structures. For severe bodily injury cases it is now highly likely that the claimant will opt for an annuity structure (known as a periodic payment order, or PPO) rather than a lump-sum. These are often indexed accordingly to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) (1). As a consequence, the uncertainties that had previously been transferred to the claimant are now retained by the insurer (and to a certain extent, its reinsurers). Unlike an individual claimant, the insurer needs to articulate these risks in its capital modeling. These risks can be categorized as follows:
Matthew Day, Head of Rating Agency Advisory, Strategic Advisory EMEA - Capital Optimization
What drives (re)insurer capital planning? Maybe it is risk appetite, internal dynamic capital modeling or actuarial analysis. Or perhaps it is external pressure from regulators, rating agencies or investors. In reality, it is probably a combination of all of these factors. Faced with conflicting views of what constitutes both the available capital and the assessment of the amount required relative to the risk, optimizing (re)insurer capital adequacy is likely to be a key challenge confronting a company. Rarely will the company be able to fully satisfy all the demands. Developing a management framework to evaluate, analyze and compare these divergent needs is therefore essential to extract the maximum efficiency from (re)insurer corporate capital structure.
Markus Müller, Global Partners & Strategic Advisory EMEA, Capital Optimization
Increased capital efficiency remains at the forefront of (re)insurers’ strategies - owing largely to the pending introduction of the Solvency II regime, rating agency capital requirements and the continued pressure around shareholder expectations.