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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: May 10, 2018

First-quarter variable annuity deposits for most of the stock-traded insurers we monitor regularly were better compared to the prior-year quarter and we expect the industry may have had a similar experience...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Feb 27, 2018

As we typically do each earnings season, we reviewed variable annuity business results for a small number of selected stock-traded insurers and for most of them, sales improved in Q4, however we can’t say the same about the industry as a whole...


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: Aug 14, 2017

As we suspected, some stock-traded insurance companies we cover regularly garnered increases in variable annuity sales sequentially, which we attribute partly to seasonality – since the second quarter is usually a strong one for the industry – and partly to the continued strong performance of the stock market...


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: Apr 11, 2017

Not long ago industry research firms released full-year 2016 variable annuity sales data, thus in this report we’ll give our thoughts on what the numbers revealed, and discuss some themes from last year might remain relevant moving forward...


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: Feb 22, 2017

In this commentary we’ll discuss Hartford’s plan to replace a large number of funds in its variable annuity contracts, and the controversy it has generated. We’ll also endeavor to put the proposed move in context with similar ones undertaken by insurers in the past...


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

As we have done since first publishing The Soleares Report, we are devoting this last issue of December to a quick look back on the year that was in the variable annuity industry. Our view is that 2016 was a difficult time for the business on multiple levels, and our feeling is that the challenges will continue into the New 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: Nov 08, 2016

In this commentary we’ll discuss new variable annuity concepts Lincoln National filed recently that we found interesting, and catch up with other recent developments, some related to products in the pipeline we have written about earlier, which may debut by the end of this year...


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: Sep 13, 2016

In this commentary we’ll discuss current conditions in the variable annuity business, such as which products are selling the best, and touch on details from recent product filings...


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: 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: Jan 04, 2016

Just as we were getting back into the swing of things after the holidays, there was a sharp decline in the stock market, which prompted us to think of what the implications could be for the industry. In this brief commentary we’ll discuss some thoughts that came to mind...


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: 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 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...


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