Insights

These views and opinions are those of the authors at the time of writing, may be subject to change, are for informational purposes only, and they should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation for the purchase or sale of securities by Conning. The information may not be current and Conning has no obligation to provide any updates or changes. Individual portfolio management teams for Conning may have views and opinions and/or make investment decisions that, in certain instance, may not always be consistent with the views and opinions expressed therein. While any third-party data used is considered reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed.

Pension Funded Status Tracker September 2019

10/14/2019

During the month of September, the average corporate defined benefit pension plan’s funded status increased by 2% to 89% funded. The asset portfolio marginally increased in value, while liabilities decreased in value as a result of increased interest rates.


Pension Funded Status Tracker August 2019

09/19/2019

During the month of August the funded status of the average U.S. corporate defined benefit pension fell by 3% to 87% funded. The asset portfolio witnessed mixed returns though increased in overall value over the month and liabilities also increased in value, primarily driven by a large drop in interest rates. 


CLOs: A Distinct Income Opportunity in Today's Environment

08/30/2019

Fixed-income investors concerned that interest rates will rise might want to consider collateralized loan obligation (CLO) securities. CLOs feature floating interest rates, which may help hedge against rising market interest rates.


Insurance M&A in the First Half of 2019: Taking a Breather

08/22/2019

The pace of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the insurance industry slowed during the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. However, we expect more deals as the year progresses. Conning’s Jerry Theodorou offers insights on trends in M&A activity across insurance sectors through the first half of 2019. 


Pension Funded Status Tracker July 2019

08/20/2019

During the month of July 2019, the average corporate defined benefit pension plan’s funded status remained flat at 90%. The asset portfolio marginally increased in value and liabilities also increased in value as a result of spreads tightening.


Esoteric ABS: A Clear Opportunity for Uncertain Times

08/13/2019

The asset-backed securities (ABS) subset known as “esoteric ABS” may sound complex but it is often backed by collateral that is easy to understand, such as commercial aircraft, railcars and shipping containers. Learning more about esoteric ABS may be rewarding: a number of esoteric ABS are currently offering yields at a premium to traditional ABS and other assets of similar quality and duration.



Pension Funded Status Tracker June 2019

07/16/2019

During the month of June 2019, the average corporate defined benefit pension plan’s funded status improved by 2% to 90%. The asset portfolio increased in value as both the hedging and growth portfolios delivered positive returns and liabilities also increased in value, albeit less than the asset portfolio.


The Art and Science of Modeling Economies: A New Approach to Target Setting

07/02/2019

The setting of calibration targets is one of the most important components of the application of an economic scenario generator (ESG) to risk management. In Conning’s latest white paper, authors Matthew Lightwood, a director of Risk Solutions, and Hal Pedersen, managing director of Risk Solutions, discuss a new approach that combines an understanding of central bank monetary policy, historical analysis, and expert judgment to establish credible calibration targets for an ESG. 


Asset TV: Conning's Annual Corporate Pension Report

06/27/2019

In a recent interview with Asset TV, Scott Hawkins, a Director of Insurance Research, and Sean Kurian, Head of Institutional Solutions, discuss the financial health of the U.S. corporate defined benefit (DB) industry through the analysis of the U.S. DB pension plans of the 3,000 largest U.S corporations.


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