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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: 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...


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...


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