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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: Feb 23, 2021

Since the annuity industry has been facing stiff headwinds of late, due to the COVID-19 crisis, market volatility and historically low interest rates, one might not expect the brisk level of activity we have been seeing along the product pipeline since the start of the year...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jan 25, 2021

In this report we’ll offer up our closing thoughts on variable annuity product filings from 2020, a year which saw an increase in de-risking activity on the part of insurers, as some major names are pivoting way from selling guaranteed living benefits (GLBs)...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jan 18, 2021

This year we intend to follow through on a longtime resolution to start covering fixed-index annuities (FIAs) more frequently in these pages, due to their importance to the overall annuity market and the fact that we think they have long-term growth potential – even though their near-term prospects have dimmed due to low interest rates...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jan 04, 2021

This year we intend on providing our subscribers with more in-depth coverage of registered index-linked annuities (RILAs), firstly because we expect their sales to continue outpacing all other annuity types, secondly because we think insurers will introduce new designs, and thirdly, that RILAs will increasingly have to contend with a rival product.


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 29, 2020

This will be our customary year-end report, based on what we know from U.S. annuity industry data through the third quarter. It certainly goes without saying that 2020 was a trying one for us all, and we are not “out of the woods” yet, by any stretch of the imagination...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 09, 2020

It’s about time we got caught up with variable annuity benefit rate sheets because much has happened since we last visited the subject. Most changes insurers have been making of late involve de-risking – even closing benefits to new sales completely...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 03, 2020

As we do each quarter, we reviewed business results of stock-traded insurers we watch regularly and discovered that for most of them, annuity sales improved slightly compared to the prior quarter, but were still lower than the year before...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 17, 2020

During October we saw a number of new variable fund registrations and not surprisingly, most of them will invest in fixed income – an asset class that has managed to generate positive flows in recent months on the retail side. In this report we’ll cover the new offerings and touch on other notable fund developments...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 11, 2020

In this report we’ll discuss new registered index-linked annuities filed recently by Jackson National, currently the leader in variable annuity sales in the U.S., and one of the only major insurers not to offer such a product. We will also touch on some filings of rate sheets and product changes...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Oct 23, 2020

Lately we have been of the opinion that insurers are in a predicament we have seen in years past, namely that while there remains great demand for annuities – especially those that can provide investors with downside protection – market volatility and low interest rates are making it ever more difficult for companies to meet that demand...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Sep 29, 2020

Although times have been difficult for insurers, as they are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, market volatility, rock-bottom interest rates, social upheaval and the stresses of an election year, those challenges haven’t kept them from filing new products and features in recent months, and we’ll cover some of them in this report...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 26, 2020

This report contains our customary review of second quarter annuity results for selected stock-traded insurers. With few exceptions the news was bad, as most companies – especially those who specialize in fixed-index annuities (FIAs) – reported sharp drops in sales...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 05, 2020

It wasn’t that long ago that we provided an update on filings of new variable annuity contracts and guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits (GLWBs). Well, since then even more have entered the pipeline making it necessary for us to get our readers up to speed again...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jul 15, 2020

This commentary will touch on recent activity along the variable annuity product pipeline – which admittedly has been relatively modest this year – as we have developments to share regarding new contracts and guaranteed living benefits...


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 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 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 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 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...


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