Conning and Ramius Alternative Solutions LLC, which develops and manages customized alternative investment portfolios, have entered into a strategic alliance.
Conning and RASL are developing tailored strategies for insurers that utilize a variety of liquid instruments created in recent years – including exchange-traded funds and total return swaps – that are designed to produce returns that have low correlations to existing client portfolios. This approach provides exposure to sources of return traditionally available only to investors in hedge funds but with lower fees and capital charges as well as greater transparency and liquidity.
The two firms plan to leverage Conning’s expertise in insurance asset management and strategic asset allocation with RASL’s extensive experience in alternative asset strategies. Client strategies will be overseen by an investment committee consisting of senior professionals from both firms.
In other industry news:
MetLife added MetLife Promise Whole LifeSelect 10, MetLife Promise Whole LifeSelect 20 and MetLife Promise Whole LifeSelect 65 to its MetLife Promise Whole Life series of products.
The new products offer three premium durations – 10 years, 20 years and to age 65, after which no further payments will be required to keep a policy in force. They also provide death benefit and cash value benefits that can continue to grow after the policy is paid up and may provide a competitive supplemental income stream during retirement. The optional riders include:
The Enricher – this optional rider allows the policyholder to pay additional premiums, if desired, which are used to purchase paid up insurance. This allows clients to put additional money into their life insurance policies, thereby increasing not only the policy’s death benefits but also the cash value which can be accessed to provide for needs like supplementing retirement income;
Acceleration of Death Benefit Rider –will provide the policy owner access to all or a portion of the available death benefit should the insured become terminally ill; and
Disability Waiver of Premiums Benefit – waives premiums should the insured become totally disabled (as defined by the rider) for a continuous period of at least six months.
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), one of the nation’s largest mutual life insurers and a leading provider of employee benefits, today announced it delivered strong performance across the board in 2012, achieving year-on-year sales growth in all product lines. This strong performance directly benefitted policyholders, as Guardian declared its highest ever dividend payout to Whole Life policyholders in its history: $805 million.
For the year, on a consolidated basis, Guardian paid out $4.7 billion of benefits to policyholders, had a statutory gain of $1.16 billion from operations, before taxes and dividends to policyholders (on a consolidated basis), and had $289 billion life insurance in force.
Guardian finished the year with all four major credit ratings agencies affirming the company’s financial strength:
- A.M. Best Company — A++
- Standard & Poor’s — AA+
- Moody’s Investor Service — Aa2
- Fitch — AA+
New York Life will donate $100,000 to One Fund Boston. The fund was established to streamline donations into one account to help the families and first responders affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.