Capital implications of infrastructure assets for insurers under SAM

Infrastructure as an asset class is hardly a new idea. Retirement funds are attracted to the promise of higher turns, long-dated cash flows, and consistency with increasingly important ESG factors.  Insurers, unlikely retirement funds, have to hold risk-based capital against the risks inherent in their investments. This makes it more difficult to underestimate the risks […]

Downwards counterfactual analysis

Stress and scenario testing are important risk assessment tools.¬† They also provide useful ways to prepare in advance for adverse scenarios so that management doesn’t have to create everything from first principles when something similar occurs. But trying to imagine scenarios, particularly very severe scenarios, isn’t straightforward. We don’t have many examples of very extreme […]

Move over cholera, here’s the Black Death

The Black Death, caused by the bacterium¬†Yersinia pestis, wiped out 30 to 50 percent of Europe’s population between 1347 and 1351 Now, South Africa has been placed on high alert for a potential plague infection. Mortality rates are estimated anywhere between 30% and 100% without treatment. Many estimates are towards the top end of this […]

Argentina teetering towards default

I’ve been working with a few insurers and reinsurers on credit risk recently. We’ve had plenty of reasons to think about it, what with new regulations (SAM, Basel III) and South African government downgrades. However, sometimes I get the impression that credit risk is viewed as an academic risk, as something that happens to others, […]

The Perfect Storm Part 1 – IFRS reporting under SAM

A client recently mentioned that they were concerned about the implication that the adoption of Solvency Assessment and Management (SAM) would have on insurance accounting under current IFRS4. The apparent concern was that measurement of policyholder liabilities for IFRS reporting would change to follow SAM automatically. Let me start out by saying this is categorically […]

The Perfect Storm – Part 0

The world of financial reporting for insurers has never been this close to the edge. There is more change brewing now even than when Europe adopted “European Embedded Values” and later “Market Consistent Embedded Values”. The irony is that Embedded Values may well fall away as a result of the latest change. So what is […]

SAM Risk-free Rate Workshop

The Technical Provisions Task Group and KPMG ran a workshop for industry participation on risk-free rates recently. The idea was to see whether we could improve the extent and quality of industry comment on key, controversial areas of the proposed SAM regime. Turnout was good, but not great, but the discussion and points raised were […]

Kings, constitution and SAM legislation

I haven’t posted in ages – plenty happening on the work front, which is mostly good news. I also don’t really have time to comment properly on this article but Wits academic, Robert Vivian, but it’s interesting reading all the same. Read Vivian’s letter first and then come back to my comments. I can’t help […]