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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.

List of Articles

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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 08, 2014

In this commentary we’ll provide more of our observations on annuity sales in the third quarter, and consider the competitive landscape as we enter the holiday season...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 17, 2014

In this commentary we’ll offer up some comments on third-quarter results of Dutch insurer AEGON, because it has a substantial variable annuity business in the U.S. and its experience in the quarter mirrored that of some competitors here...


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: 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: 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: Dec 30, 2013

Throughout most of 2013, variable annuity sales took a downward trajectory, due mostly to the de-risking undertaken by insurers, mirroring moves they had executed the year before. While net flows into VAs slowed, fixed and indexed annuity sales grew, sustaining total annuity industry output...


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...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jul 22, 2013

Usually in June we see a slowdown in variable insurance fund filings, but this year we thought there was a good bit of activity, which we’ll discuss in this commentary...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: May 13, 2013

We have just completed our review of variable annuity results for publicly-traded insurers we watch regularly and, based on the performance of those companies, we suspect the industry saw a drop in deposits in the first quarter. Moreover we think we could be in for a downward trend in sales throughout this year...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Apr 15, 2013

Now that the first quarter has ended and we are well into the next one, we’ll share some thoughts on how we think the variable industry may have done so far this year. We think there was a mix of the good and not so good...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Mar 18, 2013

From some of our sources we heard that Morningstar was to report final fourth-quarter 2012 variable annuity sales data today, and, if early indications prove correct, we think Jackson National took the No. 1 spot in the industry for that time period. In this commentary we’ll discuss the possible significance of Jackson’s sudden move upward...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Mar 11, 2013

In this report we’ll try to break from our usual preoccupation with product nuances to raise questions as to where the variable annuity business is headed. It’s clear that most insurers are moving beyond offering rich guarantees, however we think it will take time – and several attempts – before newer ideas bear fruit...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Feb 25, 2013

By the end of last week we finished reviewing the fourth-quarter earnings reports of selected publicly-traded insurers we watch regularly, and we came away with the suspicion that variable annuity industry sales were probably down for that period, due to a combination of product de-risking and the lackluster performance of the stock market...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 12, 2012

After reviewing the variable annuity business results of the group of stock-traded insurers we track regularly, we’re figuring that third quarter industry sales were flat to slightly up sequentially, and probably got a little lift from the stock market…


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 20, 2012

At different points in the past we have combed through quarterly financials of stock-traded insurers for data related to variable annuity guarantees, in an effort to gain insight on how such benefits might be impacting insurers. We have just compiled second quarter data and found that, as we expected, for most companies account values fell and net


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