Friends Life's Mark Versey: "Infrastructure is now a core investment strategy"

Friends Life is now directly investing in both infrastructure and commercial real estate debt after awarding combined mandates of £1bn this year. Jamie Bullen asks chief investment officer Mark Versey what lies behind this new strategy


Efficient asset allocation with least squares Monte Carlo

Traditional methods of allocating assets fall short in several key aspects. In this paper, Romain Lombardo and Alexis Bailly show how the LSMC approach can be used to optimise asset allocation for insurers in a Solvency II world


Jobs for actuaries still influenced by Solvency II

Preparations for Solvency II sparked a huge recruitment drive for actuaries. But with the momentum gone and work nearing completion in many firms, how is the jobs market changing? Katie Kouchakji reports


Protests against FTT build up steam

Europe's Financial Transaction Tax has now been adopted by 11 states. Many insurers argue that the tax will make running their businesses more difficult and costly -- to the detriment of their customers. With less than six months left until the official implementation date, Sarfraz Thind looks at whether the industry has time to make its voice heard


Generating return in a cold climate

Low interest rates are prompting insurers to look to further afield in their hunt for yield. For those with resources and dedication, two major areas of focus right now are corporate loans and infrastructure lending. But are these the assets of the future that many say they are? Sarfraz Thind reports


Learning from Japan's 'lost decades'

With much of Europe mired in a deepening recession, the parallels with Japan's 'lost decades' become ever more acute. Paul Fulcher and Teoman Kaplan explore whether European insurers can learn from their Japanese peers in how to deal with a prolonged state of stagnant economic growth and low interest rates


Manulife's Rahim Hirji: shifting from hedging to growth

Risk management is no longer about policing an insurance company, says Rahim Hirji, chief risk officer at Canada's Manulife Financial. He talks to Lorna Davies about changing regulations, market concerns and the development of the CRO


2013: the ERM challenges ahead

Leading consultants and CROs say getting the most out of Solvency II implementation will be a big challenge for 2013, but other aspects of ERM will reappear on the agenda, as will the necessity of keeping ERM at the heart of business. Here is a compilation of responses to the questions InsuranceERM asked experts just before Christmas


Using replicating portfolios to calculate capital

In the previous article in this series (A primer in replicating portfolios), Adam Koursaris explored a set of useful principles for replication -- general facts that govern the use of replicating portfolios in asset-liability modelling. Now he examines practical aspects of RPs in insurance capital calculation.


Balance-sheet volatility is next challenge for insurers

Solvency II's approach to valuing assets and liabilities presents additional challenges for insurers in managing the volatility this creates. Michael Faulkner reports.