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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: Nov 17, 2020

During October we saw a number of new variable fund registrations and not surprisingly, most of them will invest in fixed income – an asset class that has managed to generate positive flows in recent months on the retail side. In this report we’ll cover the new offerings and touch on other notable fund developments...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 11, 2020

In this report we’ll discuss new registered index-linked annuities filed recently by Jackson National, currently the leader in variable annuity sales in the U.S., and one of the only major insurers not to offer such a product. We will also touch on some filings of rate sheets and product changes...


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

Lately we have been of the opinion that insurers are in a predicament we have seen in years past, namely that while there remains great demand for annuities – especially those that can provide investors with downside protection – market volatility and low interest rates are making it ever more difficult for companies to meet that demand...


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

This report contains our customary look back at notable variable fund filings from the prior month, in which we saw a good deal of activity for the autumn, with two insurers registering new portfolios and, in our view, a large amount of changes made to investment platforms...


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

Although times have been difficult for insurers, as they are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, market volatility, rock-bottom interest rates, social upheaval and the stresses of an election year, those challenges haven’t kept them from filing new products and features in recent months, and we’ll cover some of them in this report...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Sep 19, 2020

This is our second quarter snapshot of developments in variable managed-volatility portfolios, in which we will cite data we compiled from trust semi-annual reports. As we usually do this time each year, we will have year-to-date return information for most portfolios in our coverage group...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Sep 09, 2020

This report will cover noteworthy variable insurance fund developments from the months of July and August. We usually see light filing activity during the summer, but this time around it was pretty lively, with multiple new fund registrations and no shortage of manager replacements and fee adjustments...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 26, 2020

This report contains our customary review of second quarter annuity results for selected stock-traded insurers. With few exceptions the news was bad, as most companies – especially those who specialize in fixed-index annuities (FIAs) – reported sharp drops in sales...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 12, 2020

Second quarter earnings season will be wrapping up soon and next week we’ll devote these pages to our customary delving into what was revealed on insurers’ conference calls. For now we’ll provide some perspective on what we know thus far...


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

It wasn’t that long ago that we provided an update on filings of new variable annuity contracts and guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits (GLWBs). Well, since then even more have entered the pipeline making it necessary for us to get our readers up to speed again...


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

In June we noticed no new variable insurance fund registrations come through but did see a great deal of activity involving changes to investment platforms, such as sub-advisory replacements and adjustments to fund fees and expenses...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jul 15, 2020

This commentary will touch on recent activity along the variable annuity product pipeline – which admittedly has been relatively modest this year – as we have developments to share regarding new contracts and guaranteed living benefits...


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

We admit we are a little late in providing our coverage of variable managed-volatility portfolios for the first quarter – and we are sorry for the delay. This commentary will contain highlights from the data we compiled and notes on happenings within this subset of the variable fund universe...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jun 24, 2020

Although our country is still faced with very challenging times and the financial markets have been volatile, that does not mean that variable annuity product activity has come to a standstill. Not by any means – and we will provide some perspective in these pages...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jun 19, 2020

In our view, the rate of variable insurance fund filing activity was slow in May but that was to be expected since new portfolios set to debut this year would have been registered well in advance of the prospectus update season. Most filings we will cover here involved adjustments to insurers’ investment platforms...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jun 15, 2020

In this report we’ll cover notable developments of recent weeks that occurred on the variable annuity scene: rate sheet updates from two major insurers, both of which took effect today, and a new benefit buyback offer scheduled to start in September...


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

Despite the market turmoil and social upheaval, we have no shortage of things to cover this week regarding the annuity scene: lately there have been a number of new variable annuity registrations, new guaranteed benefit filings and index options added to fixed-index annuities (FIAs)...


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...


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