InsuranceERM Annual Awards 2023 - Americas

Insurance asset manager of the year: Conning

Conning's survey of insurance industry decision-makers in late 2022 highlighted that many firms expect to take on more investment risk in the next few years with nearly one in four expecting more than 25% of their portfolios to be invested in private assets in two years.

Conning has moved to help its insurance clients on this. It acquired a majority stake in boutique real estate manager Pearlmark this year to help it expand into the asset class.

It has also been evolving its range of available investment strategies through other sources like affiliate Octagon Credit Investors, which offers floating-rate fixed-income opportunities and esoteric asset-backed securities thatmay provide greater yields than similarly rated public corporate debt.

The investment management firm has also been a leader in developing best practices related to ESG, focusing on clients' investment strategies and reporting needs.

In 2012, Conning became a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative to solidify its commitment to a discipline it has practiced for many years. In 2019, Conning also became a signatory to PRI's "ESG in Credit Ratings" statement, committing to incorporating ESG into credit ratings and analysis.

The firm's US and London-based investment operations received a five-star rating for four relevant categories in the most recent PRI Assessment Report.

In 2021, Conning achieved CarbonNeutral company certification indicating the firm's net greenhouse gas emissions are zero for a defined duration. To achieve this certification, Conning worked with leading experts on carbon neutrality and climate finance, Natural Capital Partners.

The multi-faceted approach has enabled Conning to become one of the biggest third-party asset managers for US insurers and wins it this year's asset manager award.