Suitability

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.

List of Articles

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Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 23, 2016

Leading industry research firms released second-quarter 2016 annuity sales data not long ago, and results for variable annuities were down substantially over last year, while some fixed annuity product types did fairly well...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: May 16, 2016

We just finished conducting our review of first quarter results of publicly-traded insurers we monitor regularly, and for all of them, variable annuity sales fell, thus we suspect the industry experienced a similar result...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Apr 13, 2016

Product filing activity around the variable annuity business has been kind of slow in our opinion, at least compared to past years, so in this report we’ll do some “riffing” – offering up impromptu thoughts on how we think first quarter results might look when the data come out, and themes to watch as the year moves forward...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Feb 22, 2016

As is our custom, we reviewed fourth quarter results of publicly-traded insurers we monitor regularly, and found it hard to come up with a strong indication as to where the industry finished for that period. A few companies had at least modest sales increases while others were not so fortunate...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 28, 2015

Each year we provide, with our last issue of December, a quick rundown of how the variable annuity business performed so far, from our perspective, and a few forward-looking thoughts for the New Year. We like to think this report helps subscribing companies with the industry evaluations they make annually...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 09, 2015

We just completed our third quarter review of variable annuity business results of selected stock-traded insurers and found that for all of them, sales fell sequentially during that time period. Market volatility was the most-often cited reason by companies for their sales declines; we think seasonality played a role as well...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Oct 12, 2015

This week we’re going to comment on an interesting new variable annuity buyout launched fairly recently by Zurich American Life, an insurer that long ago pulled out of selling new contracts. The fact the company is coming out with such a program now is proof, in our view, that legacy VAs and riders can be problematic, years down the road...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Sep 29, 2015

It seems like the year is going by very fast – the third quarter is winding down already and yet, in our view, it’s hard to forecast how the variable annuity business will finish up – moreover, we are seeing emerging issues that will be of importance to the business well into the future...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 31, 2015

This commentary will be a short reflection on how a distribution arm of Voya Financial has curtailed the sale of certain variable annuity share classes with guaranteed benefits, at the insistence of regulators. It’s our suspicion that other firms will probably have to follow suit, and such moves might have an impact industry sales...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 25, 2015

This commentary will be a brief reflection on recent developments regarding the income-taking aspects of annuities that we think our subscribers should monitor – as it’s not clear to us yet how much of an impact they will have on the industry...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 10, 2015

Overall, we’re of the opinion that second quarter earnings for stock-traded insurers we watch regularly were pretty strong, and for all of them, variable annuity sales went up sequentially, thus we suspect the industry experienced a similar uptick...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: May 18, 2015

In our view, this May variable annuity prospectus update season hasn’t been all that eventful – although we must admit we are still sifting through all the filings. In this commentary we’ll discuss a few of the more interesting things we found through our research...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: May 11, 2015

Last week we finished reviewing first quarter results for stock-traded insurers we monitor regularly, and for most of them, variable annuity sales were lethargic, thus we expect the industry experienced similar results...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Apr 21, 2015

Last week we attended the annual LIMRA/LOMA/Society of Actuaries Retirement Industry Conference held in Washington, D.C., and in this commentary, as we have done in the past, we won’t try to completely recap the event, rather we’ll discuss thoughts and impressions we came away with from the three days...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 08, 2014

In this commentary we’ll provide more of our observations on annuity sales in the third quarter, and consider the competitive landscape as we enter the holiday season...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: May 19, 2014

In the first quarter of this year variable annuity sales fell, on a sequential basis, for every member of our group of publicly-traded insurers we watch regularly, which makes us pretty sure that the industry experienced a similar result...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Mar 03, 2014

We’ve seen an interesting mixture of product initiatives on the part of variable annuity insurers in recent weeks, which we will share with you in this commentary. Most of these moves had a de-risking quality to them – but not all...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 30, 2013

Throughout most of 2013, variable annuity sales took a downward trajectory, due mostly to the de-risking undertaken by insurers, mirroring moves they had executed the year before. While net flows into VAs slowed, fixed and indexed annuity sales grew, sustaining total annuity industry output...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 04, 2013

It’s our opinion that vintage variable annuity benefits remain problematic for quite a few insurers, and we expect more de-risking measures to be taken over time. Last week Principal Financial filed a program that will allow clients to trade out of older VAs into ones offering newer (read: less risky) lifetime withdrawal benefits...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Oct 28, 2013

Last Tuesday Jackson National sent a letter to financial advisors announcing the temporary suspension of 1035 exchanges and qualified transfers of assets into three variable annuity contract suites effective October 25. In this commentary we’ll provide our thoughts regarding this news...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jul 29, 2013

This summer has been slow in terms of variable annuity product filings – as usually is the case for the time of year – however we have seen enough interesting things come through to give us the feeling that, for insurers, innovation and de-risking are now going hand-in-hand...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jul 15, 2013

In our last few commentaries we’ve shared our suspicion that, based on language in some recent SEC filings, four state insurance departments might not allow some or all of Hartford’s planned sub-account restrictions on certain variable annuity guaranteed living benefits, scheduled for this October. Last week we got confirmation that for one of the


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jul 08, 2013

In this commentary we will return to a few storylines from around the variable annuity business that we have been tracking of late, and weigh in on new ones that we have seen emerge...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jun 24, 2013

We have been sifting through recent filings of variable annuity contracts and lifetime withdrawal benefits and, while we haven’t been seeing quite as much activity in the pipeline as in past years, we did catch a few noteworthy developments, which we’ll share in this commentary...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jun 17, 2013

In this commentary we’ll get caught up with variable insurance fund filings from the months of April and May, a time period that was fairly active, however we didn’t see a large number of new registrations...


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