Variable funds

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 08, 2021

Last month we saw plenty of evidence that emerging fund types that have gained traction on the retail side – namely defined outcome portfolios and those that pursue environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing – will be entering the variable space in greater numbers this year...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jan 11, 2021

This will be a longer-than-usual variable fund report as December was quite an active time, especially for insurer Jackson National, which filed numerous moves, including new fund registrations, sub-advisory changes and reorganizations which are scheduled to take place in the spring...


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 15, 2020

In November we saw several new variable fund registrations, most notable among them a series of defined outcome funds that mimic the attributes of registered index-linked annuities (RILAs) in that they will offer limited protection against investment losses...


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: Oct 13, 2020

This report contains our customary look back at notable variable fund filings from the prior month, in which we saw a good deal of activity for the autumn, with two insurers registering new portfolios and, in our view, a large amount of changes made to investment platforms...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Sep 19, 2020

This is our second quarter snapshot of developments in variable managed-volatility portfolios, in which we will cite data we compiled from trust semi-annual reports. As we usually do this time each year, we will have year-to-date return information for most portfolios in our coverage group...


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

This report will cover noteworthy variable insurance fund developments from the months of July and August. We usually see light filing activity during the summer, but this time around it was pretty lively, with multiple new fund registrations and no shortage of manager replacements and fee adjustments...


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 27, 2020

In June we noticed no new variable insurance fund registrations come through but did see a great deal of activity involving changes to investment platforms, such as sub-advisory replacements and adjustments to fund fees and expenses...


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

We admit we are a little late in providing our coverage of variable managed-volatility portfolios for the first quarter – and we are sorry for the delay. This commentary will contain highlights from the data we compiled and notes on happenings within this subset of the variable fund universe...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jun 19, 2020

In our view, the rate of variable insurance fund filing activity was slow in May but that was to be expected since new portfolios set to debut this year would have been registered well in advance of the prospectus update season. Most filings we will cover here involved adjustments to insurers’ investment platforms...


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 22, 2020

In our view some interesting variable insurance fund filings came through during April, including a few new registrations, sub-advisory and fee changes, and prospectus supplements addressing market risk issues in light of the COVID-19 crisis...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Apr 13, 2020

In March there’s usually less variable insurance fund filing activity compared to the prior month, which was again the case this year. However, we did see several new registrations, and there was no shortage of changes to fund platforms. Of particular note was that multiple insurers made adjustments to fees and expenses...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Mar 30, 2020

In our view, variable managed-volatility portfolios performed relatively well in 2019, benefiting from the momentum in the equity markets that prevailed through most of the year. This brief report will conclude our coverage of such portfolios for that year...


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: Feb 27, 2020

In January multiple new variable insurance funds were filed with the SEC – including an ESG offering – while the most noteworthy changes to existing funds, in our view, involved sub-advisory replacements and proposed liquidations...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Feb 06, 2020

This will be a brief report covering new variable annuities registered with the SEC lately – which we think provide an early indication as to what kind of products will be popular in 2020...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jan 28, 2020

This report is our last installment of our monthly coverage of notable variable insurance fund filings from 2019. In December we didn’t see many new fund registrations, but there was no shortage of changes and adjustments to investment platforms...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jan 04, 2020

Since we started publishing The Soleares Report, at the end of each year have provided a review – like this one – of how the variable annuity industry fared based on currently-available data, which is intended to help our readers reflect on the recent past and prepare for internal planning meetings...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 19, 2019

This report contains our customary coverage of notable variable insurance fund filings from the prior month. During November we saw one new registration, while the most common changes were sub-advisory replacements, mergers and liquidations, as well as adjustments to fund fees...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 16, 2019

In this report we’ll get caught up with some variable annuity product filings submitted to the SEC from October through the middle of this month. It was an interesting mix, including new contracts and riders as well as interesting changes and adjustments...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 08, 2019

In this commentary we’ll get caught up with two months’ worth of noteworthy variable insurance fund filing activity. During that time there were quite a few interesting developments, and new registrations...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Oct 09, 2019

Last month we saw a “bumper crop” of new registrations submitted to the SEC, a group that included multiple variable annuities and a new structured product. We’ll discuss them in this commentary...


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