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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, 2017

After reviewing earnings calls of stock-traded insurance companies we cover regularly, we came away with the impression that for of them, variable annuity results were lackluster, although there were a few instances of modest improvement...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jul 10, 2017

The focus of this report will be on variable annuity guaranteed benefit buyouts from Voya Financial and Zurich American Life that have either already launched or will be coming out soon – and both resemble similar programs the insurers extended to clients earlier...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Feb 27, 2017

After reviewing the results of selected publicly-traded insurers from their fourth quarter earnings calls and financial statements, we expect that the variable annuity industry as a whole reflected the experience of these companies, namely lower sales for Q4 and the year...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 29, 2016

In covering the variable annuity business, oftentimes, due to the amount of product filing activity insurers engage in, our reports almost “write themselves” in that we have much to discuss. During slower periods like these, we tend to comment on broader themes that may be of relevance now, or should be monitored in the future...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 15, 2016

In this commentary we’ll offer up our usual thoughts from insurers’ quarterly earnings calls. This time we came away with the a feeling we’ve had for some time now: that companies are more or less accepting that variable industry sales are in retraction for the foreseeable future...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Oct 25, 2016

Over the past few weeks there’s not been a great deal of filing activity around the variable annuity business, however yesterday there was a notable development: a new benefit buyback program from Voya Insurance and Annuity Company, which we’ll cover in this report, along with some other things...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Oct 03, 2016

In this report we’ll discuss the filing by AXA Equitable of a new option that’s being extended to owners of vintage variable annuity guaranteed benefits. Unlike past offers from the company, which enticed clients to cash out of their benefits altogether, this one will encourage them to switch from one benefit to another...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 08, 2016

Based on our review of results of publicly-traded insurers we watch regularly, variable annuity sales fell for most, with at least one bright spot. Thus we are unsure whether the recent downward movement in industry sales continued or whether there was a respite...


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: 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: Feb 09, 2016

In recent SEC filings we’ve seen interesting variable annuity developments scheduled to take place either during the May prospectus update season – typically the time when insurers update or launch new products – or even later. In this report we’ll discuss some things in the pipeline that piqued our interest...


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: 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: Aug 04, 2015

This year we’ve been expecting to see more insurers offer variable annuity benefit buyback programs, but so far only the same small number of companies has done so. Late last week one member of this group, AXA Equitable, filed a variation on its existing program, which we’ll discuss in this commentary...


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: Feb 17, 2015

As is our practice each quarter, we reviewed earnings results for selected stock-traded insurers we track regularly, and came to the conclusion that for most of them, variable annuity operations performed more or less in line with expectations, but with a few hiccups here and there...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 10, 2014

Third quarter earnings season for the publicly-traded insurers we watch regularly concluded last week, and for most of those companies, variable annuity business operations retained profitability, largely because the stock market’s rise caused assets under management to grow...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 11, 2014

During the second quarter publicly-traded insurers we monitor regularly experienced increased profitability within their variable annuity operations, however sales for most were somewhat lackluster, as has been the case of late...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jun 02, 2014

To date, only a few insurers have come out with structured annuities, which contain a basket of index-linked options with buffers to protect investors against a set percentage of losses. That’s why we were somewhat surprised to see a registration last week of a new offering from ING USA Annuity Life Insurance Company...


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: May 05, 2014

While the May variable annuity prospectus update season has been somewhat slower than usual, we did see a few interesting product initiatives filed recently, including instances of buyout programs and other incentives targeting holders of vintage benefits...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Feb 24, 2014

We reviewed fourth quarter earnings results for selected publicly-traded insurers we track regularly and came to the conclusion that variable annuity industry deposits dropped for the quarter and the year as a whole. We think the very precipitous sales declines of a number of companies offset growth reported by a few...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 12, 2013

It seems to us that most variable annuity insurers fared well this third quarter from an earnings standpoint, helped by a rise in the stock market. However VA sales were down for the group of seven stock-traded carriers we watch regularly, which makes us think that the industry as a whole probably experienced the same kind of result...


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