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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: Jul 21, 2014

This commentary contains our regular coverage of notable variable insurance fund filings from the prior month. In June we saw fairly brisk rate of activity, including a number of new registrations...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: May 12, 2014

In this commentary we’ll cover notable variable insurance fund filings from the month of April, which was a somewhat slow period in our opinion...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Apr 22, 2013

This March we didn’t see a great deal of variable insurance fund filings with the SEC. Most of the activity revolved around manager changes and the trimming down of fund platforms through mergers and liquidations...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jan 21, 2013

It’s been our habit to provide a regular review of noteworthy variable insurance fund filings each month, however during the holiday season there were other product happenings that got us a little behind in that practice. Therefore with this report we will get caught up with fund filings from last November and December – and we must say that some


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jan 07, 2013

As we get fully into 2013 we’re noticing that a few variable annuity insurers are getting right back into the swing of things, by touching up their product offerings and coming out with new designs...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Sep 17, 2012

In this report we’ll get caught up with variable insurance fund developments from July and August. During those months we detected an interesting mix of new registrations, fee and expense adjustments, reorganizations and manager changes…


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: May 14, 2012

As we usually do on each quarter, we compiled variable annuity sales results for 10 stock-traded insurers we watch on a regular basis, because performance of this group has proven to be a good early indicator of how the industry is moving. The upshot is that it looks like the industry, for the first quarter of 2012, sustained its second consecutive


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 12, 2011

In this report we’ll provide our usual highlights of recent variable fund filings, and comment on the announcement today from Sun Life Financial that it will discontinue sales of variable annuities in the U.S. To us, the insurer’s decision provides further evidence that this is a tricky time, one where industry players will be treading carefully..


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Sep 26, 2011

As is our habit, we sifted through SEC filings related to variable insurance funds, and in August found numerous changes and adjustments to investment platforms, in particular there were plenty of mergers and liquidations, either already completed or under proposal. We continued to see funds introduced with strong risk-managed components to them,


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jun 20, 2011

We thought the month of May was rather active in terms of SEC filings related to variable insurance underlying funds. There was an interesting mix of movement: sub-account platforms were streamlined, new management fee arrangements were established, and there was a smattering of new portfolio registrations...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Mar 07, 2011

With this report we are getting caught up with variable insurance fund developments from the first two months of this year, and during that time we saw the continuation of an emerging trend: that of more insurers coming out with funds that have risk-management elements...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 27, 2010

It’s become our custom with the last report of December to offer reflections on how the variable annuity business performed over the past year, and suggest issues to watch in the future. We admit that we do this a bit early, as full-year sales data won’t be released for awhile; even so, we like to get a start on the evaluation process. In future


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 13, 2010

During November, the rate of variable fund filings is usually rather slow, and the same pattern held true this year. We noticed no new registrations during the month. Insurers appeared to be tidying up their sub-account platforms for the end of the year, through an assortment of mergers, liquidations and other adjustments...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 15, 2010

In recent years we have tended to see a modest number of variable insurance fund filings during the month of October, and the same pattern held true this time around. There were a few interesting new registrations, but, for the most part, filing activity centered on changes and adjustments to platforms...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 01, 2010

The number of variable annuity contracts designed for fee-based financial advisors has been growing of late, and in this commentary we’ll share some thoughts as to the why this is happening, and weigh in on other notable developments on the product front...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Oct 18, 2010

It’s time again for us to conduct our monthly review of variable insurance fund filings. We thought the industry was pretty active during September, with insurers making quite a few modifications to their investment platforms...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jul 19, 2010

This edition of the report is our regular commentary on variable insurance fund filings from the prior month, and during June the most frequent activity we saw involved change, whether through mergers, sub-advisory replacements, new names or other adjustments. We attribute this pattern to most insurers having their investment platforms firmly in p


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Apr 19, 2010

Over the recent past we’ve described the variable annuity business as being in a period where fewer new product ideas are being launched than we’re used to for this time of year. Thus we weren’t surprised to find the same pattern reflected in the filing of underlying funds, and for the month of March we identified no new registrations. We do expe


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Feb 22, 2010

After reviewing fourth quarter variable annuity results of stock-traded companies we regularly monitor, we found a familiar mixed result – a few insurers did well while most others saw deposits decline – reflecting how the industry has looked the past few quarters...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jan 11, 2010

We continue to see an interesting mix of variable annuity contracts and features coming out, some following the trend towards the simpler and cheaper, others more fully loaded. Regardless of this diversity, we firmly believe that the de-risking needs of insurers are driving much of the activity; however things might loosen up a bit more as the yea


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 28, 2009

It’s become our custom to dedicate our last commentary each year to looking back at how the variable annuity business performed, to get the evaluation process started before fourth quarter data are released. Thus in this report we’ll discuss important industry issues and events from 2009, consider which companies did well and which didn’t (and sug


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 16, 2009

During the month of October there was the usual moderate stream of variable insurance fund filings, and within them one could see evidence of key priorities for the industry, one of the most obvious being the curtailment of investment risk in connection with guaranteed benefits...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Sep 21, 2009

During August we identified a number of new variable insurance portfolios filed with the SEC, most of them funds of funds (F-of-Fs), however the most frequent activity – as has been the case in recent months – centered around the trimming and consolidation of variable trusts. There were also a few unique tweaks and adjustments that we’ll cover in


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 10, 2009

It’s once again time for us to offer our quarterly commentary on variable annuity sales for the stock-traded insurers we regularly monitor, and to discuss relevant themes facing the industry. We’ll start off by saying that the second quarter was encouraging in that deposits rebounded sequentially for most of the members of our coverage group, mirr


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 03, 2009

Recently we’ve been soliciting opinions (and, we must admit, a few rumors) from our industry contacts on which variable annuity players got some sales momentum during the second quarter, to help us get some early clues on how things went. In this commentary we’ll share highlights of what we learned and provide some of our own reflections...


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