Allocations to alternative investments to increase, ESG a factor: Eaton Partners

A survey of institutional investors by Eaton Partners found that almost two-thirds intend to increase their allocations to alternative asset classes and private capital markets, with 9% of respondents targeting non-correlated assets specifically, while ESG is also seen as an important factor for future investment flows.

“As the world navigates new challenges related to the ongoing pandemic, inflationary pressures, supply chain disruption, and market volatility, LPs remain confident in the ability of private capital markets to weather these storms,” explained Jeff Eaton, Global Co-Head and Managing Director at Eaton Partners.

The survey found that institutional investors continue to have a constructive outlook on private capital markets and alternative investments, set against a backdrop of rising inflation, potentially higher interest rates, and with increased scrutiny on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues also a factor.


City of Zurich pension to double insurance-linked securities allocation

The City of Zurich Pension Fund announced a rebalancing of its portfolio strategy, part of which will see the investor as much as double its allocation to the insurance-linked securities (ILS) asset class.

The City of Zurich Pension Fund manages roughly 21 billion Swiss francs in assets, which equates to more than US $22.5 billion.

Currently, as of the end of September 2021, the pensions allocation to insurance-linked securities (ILS) sits at around 1.5% of its assets, so could be roughly CHF 315 million, or US $340 million.


Ledger Investing launches Nanorock casualty ILS fund

Ledger Investing has launched its first insurance-linked securities (ILS) fund, a casualty risk focused strategy backed by a single investor, and an ILS management unit, Ledger ILS Managers LLC. While the firm plans a $300 million co-mingled casualty ILS fund strategy as well.

Using its own technology platform, a marketplace for connecting capital market investor funding with insurance and reinsurance risks, Ledger Investing has announced the closing of Nanorock Fund Ltd.

The Nanorock Fund will invest primarily in casualty insurance risks through the Ledger Connect platform, its proprietary tech platform, with a range of longer-tailed liability driven lines in scope.


BlackRock aims to raise $2.3bn+ for ESG fund that targets cat bonds

Giant asset manager BlackRock is aiming to raise more than $2.3 billion for its new environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment fund strategy that includes catastrophe bonds as one of its target asset types.

As we were the first to cover back in August, the investment manager is marketing the soon to launch BlackRock ESG Capital Allocation Trust, a closed-end fund strategy focused on equity and debt securities, at least 80% of which will be expected to meet specified environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria.

The strategy will see BlackRock’s portfolio managers for the ESG fund screen out certain issuers and focus on bonds that are demonstrably ESG appropriate.


China regulator calls on insurers to sponsor cat bonds in Hong Kong

China’s insurance regulator has called on insurers in the country to look to sponsor catastrophe bonds in Hong Kong as a way to access diversified sources of reinsurance capacity and offload peak natural catastrophe risks.

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) said in a notice that domestic Chinese insurers sponsoring catastrophe bonds out of Hong Kong will be supporting its “closer” economic partnership agreement between the country and the Special Administrative Region.

As we’ve explained before, China’s government has been supportive of the development and introduction of catastrophe bond rules in Hong Kong and sees the special purpose reinsurance vehicles that can now be established there as a route for mainland Chinese insurers to access the capital markets for risk transfer and reinsurance purposes.


Germany contributes $40.9M to risk transfer initiative

The United Nations Development Programme said Monday that the German government has contributed €35 million ($40.9 million) in funding for a new risk transfer initiative, the Insurance and Risk Finance Facility, within its Finance Sector Hub.

The goal is to co-create insurance and risk finance solutions in over 50 developing countries by 2025 and contribute to the InsuResilience Vision 2025 target of protecting 500 million poor and vulnerable people by 2025.


CEA’s risk transfer returns to $9.6bn. Short-term future needs less certain

The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) increased the size of its reinsurance and catastrophe bond risk transfer program by around 4.4% as of the end of July 2021, to reach almost $9.6 billion, but in the short-term future growth of the program seems less certain due to rising exposure and the cost of coverage.

That’s practically the same as the record size for the program, of also almost $9.6 billion of risk transfer that the CEA had in-force as of October 2020.

A relatively significant amount of catastrophe bond maturities shrank the CEA’s risk transfer and reinsurance program, back to $9.15 billion by December 2020, a figure it remained at through the end of last year.


Abu Dhabi Investment Authority expanded its ILS portfolio in 2020

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), a sovereign wealth investment fund owned by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and tasked with investing funds on behalf of the Government of the Emirate, expanded its insurance-linked securities (ILS) allocations last year, as it put an increasing emphasis on asset classes that offer relatively uncorrelated returns.

ADIA first allocated to the insurance-linked securities (ILS) market back in 2019, putting around $550 million into deployments across a range of ILS fund managers, across catastrophe bonds, collateralized reinsurance and also possibly retrocession.

In 2020, ADIA’s Alternative Investments Department (AID) completed more transactions than in any previous year, as the sovereign wealth investor placed a growing emphasis on sourcing diversified returns from new and niche asset classes.


ILS capital returns to previous record level of $97bn: Aon

Helped by a record period of catastrophe bond issuance in the first-half of 2021, alternative capital levels in reinsurance, largely in insurance-linked securities (ILS) formats, have now returned to their previous record year-end level of $97 billion, according to Aon.

As of the half-way point of 2021, Aon’s Reinsurance Solutions counts total global reinsurance capital as having reached a new high of $660 billion.

That’s increased by just over 1.5% since the end of 2020, as additional capital raises, positive performance and retained earnings, as well as ILS market expansion, drove the global reinsurance capital base higher again.


Zenkyoren targets $500m Nakama Re cat bond out of Singapore

Zenkyoren, the Japanese National Mutual Insurance Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives and one of the world’s largest buyers of catastrophe reinsurance protection, is back in the insurance-linked securities (ILS) market, targeting a $500 million Nakama Re Pte. Ltd. (Series 2021-1) catastrophe bond issuance to transfer more of its earthquake exposure to the capital markets.

This will be the twelfth catastrophe bond directly sponsored by Zenkyoren that we have listed in our extensive Deal Directory.

This is also set to be one of the largest cat bonds sponsored by Zenkyoren, as the mutual insurer is targeting at least $500 million of multi-year reinsurance protection across the two tranches of Japanese earthquake risk linked notes that will be issued and sold to investors.