Impact, with a Capital ‘I’

Socially responsible investing is a hot topic among sophisticated investors. An investment team led by life insurers – IMPACT Community Capital (IMPACT) – is tackling one of the toughest social challenges in our country: the shortage of affordable housing for low-income workers and families. IMPACT was founded in 1998 by leading insurance companies for the sole purpose of sourcing and managing purpose-driven investments. IMPACT’s current owners and investors include Nuveen (a TIAA company), Farmers Insurance, Nationwide, Allstate, and Pacific Life. These insurers believe that access to affordable housing connects workers to opportunities and families to schools, childcare and healthcare. Like … Continue reading "Impact, with a Capital ‘I’"

Investments in Infrastructure: Win-Win-Win

Life insurers are best known for helping families build a financial safety net that protects them through all stages of life. Helping people take care of the things that matter most is the most critical mission for members of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). But ACLI members also make key contributions to society beyond our iconic financial security products. Life insurers play a major role in capital formation and liquidity in the financial marketplace. We are one of the nation’s largest sources of investment capital, with $6.5 trillion invested in the U.S. economy. Much of that is invested … Continue reading "Investments in Infrastructure: Win-Win-Win"

Fed Alternative to LIBOR Benefits Insurers, Consumers

Do you remember how global banks manipulated the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) — an international benchmark interest rate — during the 2007-09 financial crisis? If that doesn’t ring a bell, don’t worry. Plenty of insurance industry advocates remember it well. Life insurers hedge interest rate risks on their investments in certain bonds that reference LIBOR. These hedging instruments help protect the value of life insurers’ investments from the effects of interest rate fluctuation. This process enables insurers to better manage financial risks, which helps them provide consumers with long-term financial protection products. However, because of the instability caused by … Continue reading "Fed Alternative to LIBOR Benefits Insurers, Consumers"

California Communities Gain from Partnership with Life Insurers

California often leads the way on government policy. Socially responsible investing is one example. During the recession of the early 1990s, California regulators proposed a community reinvestment mandate for insurers, similar to one imposed on banks by the federal government. The investments would target underserved urban and rural areas of the state. Local insurers supported the idea of community investment but argued for a voluntary approach. They pointed to the more than $110 billion insurers already have invested in California. The challenge was to show how this capital benefits specific communities. So, California insurers suggested an alternative to the mandate: … Continue reading "California Communities Gain from Partnership with Life Insurers"

G20 Says Aging Society Is a Priority Issue

People are living longer, and financial security into retirement is not just a challenge in the United States – it’s a challenge facing people around the world. The G20 – an international forum for the governments of 20 major economies – has selected aging society and filling the protection gaps created by increasing longevity as a priority issue. The Japanese G20 presidency will explore best practices for how to increase financial inclusion and fill the gaps in income replacement and retirement security during a period of unprecedented longevity. Japan is building on the foundation begun under Argentina’s G20 presidency, which … Continue reading "G20 Says Aging Society Is a Priority Issue"