Year in review report

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: 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: 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 30, 2014

Each year we devote the last commentary of December to taking a quick look back at the past year in the variable annuity business, and we’ll do so again this time, and also make some observations on trends in other annuity forms...


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: Dec 31, 2012

The year 2012 was a time when insurers made reductions to their variable annuity products: these moves included the trimming of guarantees, fee increases, closures of contracts and riders, installation of tighter investment restrictions, cuts to commissions, and even complete departures from the business. Such activity served to depress industry s


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 19, 2011

As we have done in the past, we reserved our last weekly commentary of this year for a reflection on how the variable annuity business performed in 2011. It is our way of getting a narrative started, based on what we know right now…


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 27, 2010

It’s become our custom with the last report of December to offer reflections on how the variable annuity business performed over the past year, and suggest issues to watch in the future. We admit that we do this a bit early, as full-year sales data won’t be released for awhile; even so, we like to get a start on the evaluation process. In future


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 28, 2009

It’s become our custom to dedicate our last commentary each year to looking back at how the variable annuity business performed, to get the evaluation process started before fourth quarter data are released. Thus in this report we’ll discuss important industry issues and events from 2009, consider which companies did well and which didn’t (and sug


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 29, 2008

This is our customary early retrospective of the past year for the variable annuity business, in which we’ll offer a narrative of how things unfolded chronologically in 2008, the market conditions that arose and their corresponding impacts on the competitive landscape. In the process we’ll be commenting on industry data points we have not covered


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 24, 2007

In this report, our last of the year, we’ll conclude our two-part commentary summarizing key forces influencing the sale of variable annuities in 2007 – our main three being “features, shelf space and scale” – and give you some topics to watch for in the coming year...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 17, 2007

Last year at this time we published a commentary with our reflections on how the variable annuity industry performed in 2006, based on what we knew at that point, and made some suggestions as to how the year might conclude. In this report we’re going to start the same exercise for 2007, knowing that we’ll have more to say later, once final results


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Dec 18, 2006

As the holiday season is now upon us, in our last commentary of the year we’ll take the opportunity to quickly consider how things went for the variable annuity business in 2006, using currently-available data, and suggest some lessons and implications for the future. Once full-year sales are posted we’ll revisit these thoughts and discuss the yea