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Soleares Research, LLC is a market research and consulting firm servicing the annuity and life insurance businesses. We provide, through our website, periodic articles that cover important industry trends; we also offer clients phone or on-site consultations, executive briefings and presentations. We pride ourselves on first-class customer service and responsiveness to our clients. We aim to be an indispensable resource to the marketplace.

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Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: May 29, 2020

First quarter variable annuity sales for most stock-traded insurers we track regularly improved compared to the prior year, once again due to lower interest rates making the product look better than fixed and indexed annuities. Effects from the COVID-19 crisis were just beginning to be felt in the quarter – they will show up to a greater extent in


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: May 22, 2020

In our view some interesting variable insurance fund filings came through during April, including a few new registrations, sub-advisory and fee changes, and prospectus supplements addressing market risk issues in light of the COVID-19 crisis...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: May 08, 2020

The month of May is a time when insurers file annual updates to their variable annuity and fund prospectuses, and, admittedly, many filings have been coming through of late – more than enough to keep us occupied...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Apr 27, 2020

As first-quarter earnings season will be in full swing next month we’ll offer up a few thoughts on Equitable, the insurer who spun off from parent AXA via initial public offering in May of 2018. We’re certainly overdue in doing so – this year we will add it to the list of companies whose earnings calls we follow each quarter...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Apr 20, 2020

Thanks to the COVID-19 crisis we’ve had ample time to hunker down and monitor the variable annuity filing pipeline and in this report we’ll discuss some interesting developments we found, ranging from new registrations, notable amendments and benefit rate sheet updates...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Apr 13, 2020

In March there’s usually less variable insurance fund filing activity compared to the prior month, which was again the case this year. However, we did see several new registrations, and there was no shortage of changes to fund platforms. Of particular note was that multiple insurers made adjustments to fees and expenses...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Apr 06, 2020

Given the turmoil in the financial markets it’s only natural to think that variable annuity insurers would start to de-risk in earnest, and they have been – we have seen numerous products cutbacks come through recently which we’ll discuss in this report...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Mar 30, 2020

In our view, variable managed-volatility portfolios performed relatively well in 2019, benefiting from the momentum in the equity markets that prevailed through most of the year. This brief report will conclude our coverage of such portfolios for that year...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Mar 25, 2020

Recently U.K.-based Prudential plc disclosed plans to spin off its Jackson National unit, a move we think will have many ramifications for the U.S. annuity industry. In this report we’ll attempt to put this matter into perspective with events of the past few years...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Mar 16, 2020

February is usually when many new variable portfolios are registered in preparation for the May prospectus update season and such was again the case this year. During the month we also noticed quite a few interesting changes being made to investment platforms...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Mar 10, 2020

In this report we’ll provide thoughts on a new variable annuity guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit (GLWB) scheduled to launch during the May prospectus update season, and notable changes to existing riders we discovered in benefit rate sheets...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Mar 05, 2020

Variable annuity sales for most of the stock-traded insurers we track regularly improved in the fourth quarter of last year, in line with how the industry as a whole performed...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Feb 27, 2020

In January multiple new variable insurance funds were filed with the SEC – including an ESG offering – while the most noteworthy changes to existing funds, in our view, involved sub-advisory replacements and proposed liquidations...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Feb 20, 2020

This report contains our closing thoughts on variable annuity product filings from 2019, a period that, in our view, was lively in terms of competition among insurers, who engaged in further innovation among emerging product types...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Feb 06, 2020

This will be a brief report covering new variable annuities registered with the SEC lately – which we think provide an early indication as to what kind of products will be popular in 2020...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jan 28, 2020

This report is our last installment of our monthly coverage of notable variable insurance fund filings from 2019. In December we didn’t see many new fund registrations, but there was no shortage of changes and adjustments to investment platforms...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jan 23, 2020

In this report we’ll get caught up with noteworthy variable annuity product developments from late last year and discuss a new guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit (GLWB) filed not long ago...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jan 04, 2020

Since we started publishing The Soleares Report, at the end of each year have provided a review – like this one – of how the variable annuity industry fared based on currently-available data, which is intended to help our readers reflect on the recent past and prepare for internal planning meetings...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 19, 2019

This report contains our customary coverage of notable variable insurance fund filings from the prior month. During November we saw one new registration, while the most common changes were sub-advisory replacements, mergers and liquidations, as well as adjustments to fund fees...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 14, 2019

In this report we’ll get up to date on variable and structured annuity benefits whose elements are set periodically by rate sheet – a risk mitigation approach that has gotten increased usage in recent years...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 05, 2019

Throughout this year we have covered filings related to structured annuities – a product type that has gotten much sales traction of late – and lately we began to feel that a more substantial update was in order, thus we are providing one in this report...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 26, 2019

To follow up on our last report, while the variable annuity business performed well in the third quarter, the same can’t be said for the total U.S. individual annuity market, which, according to LIMRA, saw deposits dip to their lowest quarterly level since the year-earlier period...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 22, 2019

As per usual, we reviewed third quarter variable annuity results for a few selected stock-traded insurers and found that most had pretty strong performance, especially on a sequential basis – reflecting how industry sales were their highest in years, according to LIMRA...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 16, 2019

In this report we’ll get caught up with some variable annuity product filings submitted to the SEC from October through the middle of this month. It was an interesting mix, including new contracts and riders as well as interesting changes and adjustments...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 08, 2019

In this commentary we’ll get caught up with two months’ worth of noteworthy variable insurance fund filing activity. During that time there were quite a few interesting developments, and new registrations...


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