Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) doubled ILS allocation in 2020

ARTEMIS: The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), a large Canadian institutional retirement fund, has more than doubled its investments in the insurance-linked securities (ILS) asset class over the last year.

Insurance-linked securities (ILS), so investments into insurance-linked funds as well as some other reinsurance related securities, began in earnest for the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) in late 2019.

Then in early 2020, HOOPP employed Bernard Van der Stichele, an experienced ILS and reinsurance sector executive, as a Portfolio Manager for its new Insurance-linked Securities investment program earlier this year.

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Cat bonds: Structurally diversifying & primed for growth, says Neuberger Berman

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Catastrophe bonds and insurance-linked securities are one of the “very few genuinely, structurally diversifying asset classes,” according to the Neuberger Berman Insurance-Linked Strategies team, who give the asset class a positive outlook for 2021.

Writing in a white paper, the Insurance-Linked Strategies team of global asset manager Neuberger Berman explain that they also believe catastrophe bonds remain attractively valued and as an asset class is set to continue growing.

Catastrophe bonds, among the ILS universe, are particularly attractive to institutional investors, given they enable access to the returns of “a fundamentally uncorrelated asset class (natural catastrophe risk) in a form that is typically more liquid than most reinsurance contracts and vehicles,” the Neuberger Berman ILS team states.

World Bank has ‘only scratched the surface’ on what it can do: Bennett, ILS NYC 2021

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The World Bank has “only scratched the surface” on what it can do with member governments that are looking to transfer some of their disaster risk to the reinsurance sector and the capital markets, according to Michael Bennett, Head of Derivatives & Structured Finance, World Bank Treasury.

The World Bank is an international organisation with 189 member governments. Through the use of both traditional reinsurance and the issuance of catastrophe bonds, a sub-sector of the insurance-linked securities (ILS) space, it helps its members transfer disaster risk to the markets.

The focus of the Treasury Department of the World Bank is often the tail-end of a broader engagement with a given member designed to assess and quantify their disaster risk.

Catastrophe protection gap needs capital market support: Bernardino, EIOPA

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Gabriel Bernardino, the soon to retire Chairman of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), has highlighted the capital markets role in delivering catastrophe insurance that has fewer protection gaps.

In an interview with Brink News, Bernardino explained the need for multi-peril catastrophe insurance and reinsurance coverage that protects against the uncovered portion of risks, such as non-damage business interruption related to a pandemic or other peril, just as much as physical property damage.

“I think there is a clear recognition from all parties, that the current situation — when we look at the coverage of business interruption — is far from optimal. It creates risks for the companies and reputational risks for the insurance market,” Bernardino explained.

World Bank supports Central Asia Multi-Peril Risk Assessment

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Central Asian countries will benefit from a better understanding of their natural disaster risks, which in time could lead to greater use of risk transfer, insurance and reinsurance capacity in the region, as the World Bank supports a multi-peril risk assessment project for the region.

One of the first steps in moving towards sovereign disaster risk transfer, such as use of insurance, reinsurance or catastrophe bond type arrangements, tends to be in the development of risk modelling tools to enhance the understanding of exposures in a country.

To that end, the World Bank, alongside its partners, has launched an initiative to provide a multi-peril risk assessment of natural disaster risks, including earthquakes, floods and selected landslides within the Central Asia region.

Catastrophe protection gap hit 64% in 2020, $171bn goes uninsured: Aon

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The global catastrophe protection gap reached 64% in 2020 as roughly $171 billion of natural catastrophe and severe weather losses were not covered by insurance and reinsurance, one of the largest brokers Aon has said.

Aon’s latest annual catastrophe report highlights climate influences on a significant number of impactful events in 2020 and the brokers’ CEO Greg Case calls for organisations to ensure they are protected against the global risk of concurrent events.

Aon’s report includes 416 natural catastrophe and severe weather events from 2020, which the broker estimates drove economic losses of US $268 billion, some 8% above the average annual losses for this century.

Brazil’s regulator targeting ILS for the right (domestic) reasons

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With Brazil’s government having recently formalised and published legislation related to special purpose reinsurance transformer vehicles and insurance-linked securities (ILS) issuance, the country’s insurance regulator Susep has said it hopes the regime will reduce reinsurance costs for carriers.

As a result of which, Brazil’s regulator the Superintendência de Seguros Privados (Susep) hopes that introducing direct capital market’s sources of third-party reinsurance and retrocession capital can ultimately help to lower insurance costs for the country’s consumers.

Brazil’s insurance and reinsurance market regulator Susep had been seeing feedback on a framework for legislation and a regulatory regime to allow for the issuance of insurance-linked securities (ILS) in Brazil.

City National Rochdale ILW fund lifts assets by 13%

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City National Rochdale’s largely industry loss warranty (ILW) focused mutual insurance-linked securities (ILS) investment fund increased its total net assets under management to $147.8 million by the end of October 2020, an increase of 13% in the quarter.

The City National Rochdale Select Strategies (CNRLX) fund is an interval style mutual fund with a focus on investments in industry loss warranty (ILW) reinsurance and retrocession contracts across global peak peril zones, as well as some regional U.S. ILW contracts. In addition, the fund also holds some investments in catastrophe bonds.

The fund accesses the returns of the ILW market and sources its risk-linked investments through a relationship with asset manager Neuberger Berman’s experienced ILW and index reinsurance investment team.

Brazil formalises ILS and special purpose reinsurance vehicle rules

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Brazil has now published its awaited rules on insurance-linked securities (ILS) issuance and special purpose reinsurance vehicles, which are due to come into force from January 4th 2021 bringing domestic ILS capabilities to its marketplace.

As we’ve documented previously, the insurance and reinsurance market regulator, the Superintendência de Seguros Privados (Susep), had been seeing feedback on a framework for legislation and a regulatory regime to allow for the issuance of insurance-linked securities (ILS) in Brazil.

As we also previously reported, Brazil’s regulator, Susep, had also called for the local insurance and reinsurance sector to embrace transparency to support these ambitions of enabling ILS to be issued domestically.

Where the new ILS opportunities lie – and how to access them

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In a webinar hosted by Intelligent Insurer’s Re/insurance Lounge, AkinovA CEO Henri Winand and Kirill Savrassov of Phoenix CRetro explored the possibilities for ILS to expand into new geographies and lines of business.

A significant motive for bringing insurance-linked securities (ILS) to new geographies is diversification of portfolios, according to Henri Winand, founder and chief executive officer of AkinovA.

Speaking in an Intelligent Insurer Re/insurance Lounge webinar titled “New domiciles, new risks, new structures: another evolution for ILS”, he noted that while an attraction of ILS is that it is seen as uncorrelated from the capital markets, it has a disadvantage in that portfolios are largely concentrated in North America, and to some extent in Asia.