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.

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Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Apr 12, 2019

In this report we’ll comment on new variable annuity guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits (GLWBs) filed with the SEC so far this year. While filing activity of such riders has been increasing, it is still well below the levels of years past...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Mar 28, 2019

In this report we’ll provide more perspective on the kinds of new variable annuity contracts that are being registered this year with the SEC. A common tendency has been for insurers to “bracket” key elements of contracts and guaranteed benefits, the details of which will be added later, prior to launch...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Feb 27, 2019

While most stock-traded insurers we follow regularly reported declines in variable annuity deposits in the fourth quarter, most had improved results year over year, which is what we had been expecting given the demise of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary standard and a feeling of renewed optimism around the industry...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 31, 2018

If we were to characterize the year 2018 for the variable annuity business based on what we know thus far, we would call it a time of renewal, as sales started to recover, an improvement that has helped brighten prospects for the annuity industry as a whole...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 11, 2018

In our view as we enter the heart of the holiday season, things are looking up for the variable annuity business: sales are recovering and insurers are building out their product offerings again. In this report we’ll share some thoughts on the current state of affairs and touch on recent product developments...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 04, 2018

Based on our review of selected public insurers’ third quarter results, and recently-released data from industry research firms, we think the variable annuity business experienced positive uplift in the quarter, which we think will carry through the rest of this year...


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

As third quarter earnings season is well underway, in this commentary we’ll provide a few forward-looking thoughts on how the variable annuity industry may have performed during that time period – we’ll follow up with actual sales numbers later when we compile them. In addition we’ll cover some noteworthy product filings from recent weeks...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Sep 25, 2018

It’s been a few weeks since Ohio National announced it will be exiting the industry, even so we thought we should offer up a little historical perspective and thoughts about what the departure might mean for other players...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 28, 2018

Variable annuity sales for most stock-traded insurers we follow regularly showed improvement in the second quarter, which no doubt contributed to the industry’s quarter-over-quarter rise. This report will be our customary quarterly rundown of what we gleaned from insurers’ earnings reports...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 09, 2018

This will be a brief commentary touching on some of the main attributes of structured annuities, a product type that has garnered significant sales traction in recent years and has been a source of innovative tweaks and modifications on the part of insurers...


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

Second-quarter earnings season for stock-traded insurers is now underway and we are looking forward to hearing how variable annuity sales fared for companies we watch regularly. We suspect that more than a few carriers experienced at least modest improvement...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jun 05, 2018

Variable annuity industry sales were better than expected in the first quarter of this year and we suspect that if conditions continue to improve over the rest of 2018, insurers will feel more comfortable to come out with interesting new product ideas...


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...


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