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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: 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: 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 16, 2018

The New Year is now well underway, however we can’t say we’ve seen a great deal of noteworthy variable product filings yet, with the exception of changes Transamerica made to certain guaranteed living benefit rate sheets...


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 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 21, 2017

In our following of activity along the variable annuity product filing pipeline of recent weeks, we came to the opinion that things are rather slow going; however we did see multiple benefit rate sheet updates, some which we’ll cover in this report. We’ll also touch on a few product changes...


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 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: Apr 25, 2017

In this report we’ll get caught up with new variable annuity contracts and guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits (GLWBs) filed with the SEC so far this year. In our view, industry filing activity in 2017 has been rather slow compared to years past, although this is not surprising to us given the secular de-risking period we are in...


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: Feb 27, 2017

After reviewing the results of selected publicly-traded insurers from their fourth quarter earnings calls and financial statements, we expect that the variable annuity industry as a whole reflected the experience of these companies, namely lower sales for Q4 and the year...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 29, 2016

As we have done since first publishing The Soleares Report, we are devoting this last issue of December to a quick look back on the year that was in the variable annuity industry. Our view is that 2016 was a difficult time for the business on multiple levels, and our feeling is that the challenges will continue into the New Year...


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: Jul 25, 2016

Second quarter earnings season is now underway and insurers will be reporting their results, thus we are starting to formulate our own thoughts on where variable annuity sales might have moved during that time period. In this commentary we’ll also get into some interesting product filings of late...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jul 11, 2016

In this report we’ll comment on a new variable annuity filed by Jackson National – another that will be marketed to fee-based advisors – plus we’ll touch on product filing activity we found interesting from recent weeks...


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: Mar 14, 2016

This will be a very brief commentary containing random thoughts on the variable annuity scene, as it looks to us at this point in the year. The brevity of this report is mostly due to the lack of noteworthy product developments since last week...


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: Feb 01, 2016

In this report we’ll reflect on variable annuity product activity that occurred during 2015, and suggest whether or not similar patterns might continue into this year – and beyond...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 28, 2015

Each year we provide, with our last issue of December, a quick rundown of how the variable annuity business performed so far, from our perspective, and a few forward-looking thoughts for the New Year. We like to think this report helps subscribing companies with the industry evaluations they make annually...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 08, 2015

In this report we’ll discuss deferred income annuities (DIAs), products that, in our view, were built to provide less risky forms of guaranteed income as compared to living benefits, and to answer longstanding objections to traditional income annuities, such as lack of flexibility and liquidity...


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...


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