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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: Feb 23, 2021

Since the annuity industry has been facing stiff headwinds of late, due to the COVID-19 crisis, market volatility and historically low interest rates, one might not expect the brisk level of activity we have been seeing along the product pipeline since the start of the year...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Feb 08, 2021

Last month we saw plenty of evidence that emerging fund types that have gained traction on the retail side – namely defined outcome portfolios and those that pursue environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing – will be entering the variable space in greater numbers this year...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Feb 01, 2021

It wasn’t that long ago that we discussed trends in registered index-linked annuities (RILAs), however we now feel we must do so again, since several new ones were filed with the SEC recently. This, we think, confirms our feeling that these products will be a major focal point of industry activity in 2021...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jan 25, 2021

In this report we’ll offer up our closing thoughts on variable annuity product filings from 2020, a year which saw an increase in de-risking activity on the part of insurers, as some major names are pivoting way from selling guaranteed living benefits (GLBs)...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jan 18, 2021

This year we intend to follow through on a longtime resolution to start covering fixed-index annuities (FIAs) more frequently in these pages, due to their importance to the overall annuity market and the fact that we think they have long-term growth potential – even though their near-term prospects have dimmed due to low interest rates...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jan 11, 2021

This will be a longer-than-usual variable fund report as December was quite an active time, especially for insurer Jackson National, which filed numerous moves, including new fund registrations, sub-advisory changes and reorganizations which are scheduled to take place in the spring...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jan 04, 2021

This year we intend on providing our subscribers with more in-depth coverage of registered index-linked annuities (RILAs), firstly because we expect their sales to continue outpacing all other annuity types, secondly because we think insurers will introduce new designs, and thirdly, that RILAs will increasingly have to contend with a rival product.


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

This will be our customary year-end report, based on what we know from U.S. annuity industry data through the third quarter. It certainly goes without saying that 2020 was a trying one for us all, and we are not “out of the woods” yet, by any stretch of the imagination...


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

In November we saw several new variable fund registrations, most notable among them a series of defined outcome funds that mimic the attributes of registered index-linked annuities (RILAs) in that they will offer limited protection against investment losses...


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

It’s about time we got caught up with variable annuity benefit rate sheets because much has happened since we last visited the subject. Most changes insurers have been making of late involve de-risking – even closing benefits to new sales completely...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 03, 2020

As we do each quarter, we reviewed business results of stock-traded insurers we watch regularly and discovered that for most of them, annuity sales improved slightly compared to the prior quarter, but were still lower than the year before...


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...


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