DOL fiduciary rule

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


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: May 03, 2018

In this report we’ll comment on variable annuity benefit launches that have occurred of late plus touch on adjustments and tweaks insurers have been making during the May prospectus update season...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Mar 12, 2018

Given that not much variable annuity product filing activity has occurred since our last update, this week we will provide a simple reflection on current conditions in the industry...


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: Jan 29, 2018

With this report we’ll conclude our coverage of variable annuity contracts registered last year and provide some thoughts on current directions in product design...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jan 02, 2018

In this first commentary of the New Year we’ll discuss some variable annuity product filings submitted to the SEC over the last days of 2017, which, in our view, reflected the kind of contracts and features the industry is most focused on at the moment...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 19, 2017

As usual, our last commentary of December is a reflection on how the variable annuity business performed this year, based upon what we know thus far from sales levels and product developments...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 29, 2017

For a number of reasons there is now much interest around the industry in variable annuities built for sale through fee-based financial advisors; with that fact in mind, in this report we’ll provide some perspective on the subject and thoughts for the future...


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: Nov 02, 2017

Third quarter earnings season is now underway, and we are highly interested in what conference calls might reveal about the variable annuity business. We’re suspecting that sales levels might have started improve at least a bit due to the delay in full implementation of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary standard...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Sep 11, 2017

This will be yet another one of our reports covering recent variable annuity product filings we found interesting. Most of them involved alterations to existing contracts and riders; there were also updates to annuities in the pipeline and a new benefit buyback program...


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: Aug 01, 2017

As second quarter earnings season has gotten underway, in this commentary we’ll provide a few thoughts about how we think the variable annuity industry has been performing. We will make sure to follow up with more perspective once official sales numbers come out...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jul 24, 2017

Just when we thought product development pipeline activity had gotten as slow as it could possibly get, we noticed interesting filings last week of new variable and structured annuities, which should launch sometime this year...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jun 29, 2017

As we opined in our last commentary, activity along the variable annuity product pipeline continues to be rather slow, thus we don’t have a great deal of new developments to cover. Our intention with this report is to get caught up with competitive conditions, from a product perspective, as they stand currently...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jun 20, 2017

Activity has been a bit slow along the variable annuity product pipeline of late – which is typical of this time of year – however we do have a few notable filings to report on, and will also offer up some thoughts on related industry themes...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: May 23, 2017

It’s about time we checked in on the variable annuity product pipeline because we noticed a good mix of interesting filings come through over the past few months, most of them debuting during the May prospectus update season...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: May 17, 2017

In first quarter earnings calls of stock-traded insurers we watch regularly, a common theme was discussed on pretty much all of them: issues in dealing with the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule which put a damper on annuity sales...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: May 03, 2017

Last week we attended the annual LIMRA/LOMA/SOA Retirement Industry Conference, held in Orlando, Florida, and in this report we’ll share some thoughts on a topic that was much discussed throughout the event – the Department of Labor’s fiduciary standard...


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: Apr 19, 2016

We are expecting variable annuity filing activity will be picking up soon as we are entering the May prospectus season, however we are unsure whether insurers will introduce many new product ideas as they are still figuring out the ramifications of new Department of Labor fiduciary rules governing sales through qualified plans and IRAs...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Apr 05, 2016

This week we’ll discuss a new variable annuity filed by Jackson National designed to be sold through fee-based advisors, which may be an indication that new Department of Labor fiduciary rules – set to come out very soon – will prompt insurers to offer more such contracts in the future...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jul 28, 2014

In recent reports we’ve opined about how slow activity along the variable annuity product pipeline has become this summer. Yet last Friday MetLife cut through the seasonal doldrums by registering an interesting new contract with a guaranteed living benefit...


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

Earnings season for stock-traded insurers we monitor regularly has concluded, and, for the most part, variable annuity sales for those companies fell, due to a combination of factors that have become familiar to anyone following the industry of late: the downturn in the stock market, low interest rates, and product de-risking...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jul 07, 2008

As more Baby Boomers reach retirement age, financial services firms will be competing over who will manage the trillions of dollars these folks have socked away in their defined contribution (DC) plans. We anticipate a spirited scramble for assets in the years ahead and insurers will position annuities as one of the best deals available...