This chart broadly indicates your company's expected return to your portfolio standard deviation relative to your peers. Expected return is not a guaranteed rate of return, but rather, a forecast of the future value of the portfolio. The standard deviation reflects your portfolio's expected volatility.
Investment opportunities should always be made in conjunction with their risk characteristics. Portfolio risk can be reduced by holding combinations of assets that are diversified and less correlated.
This chart indicates your company's "expected return" relative to your "risk assets". Additionally, you can compare your company's expected return to your peers.
This chart indicates your company's fixed income exposure to BBB rated bonds relative to your peers.
Companies tend to increase BBB allocations when seeking greater investment income or future returns.
This chart displays what your company's average maturity is for each credit rating bucket relative to your peers within your corporate bond allocation.
This is a measurement in years for how long it takes for the price of a bond to be repaid by its internal cash flows (coupons and principal repayment at maturity). Bonds with higher maturities carry more interest rate risk and have higher price volatility. Combining more interest rate risk with a lower credit profile could also be a concern.
This chart indicates your company's allocation to corporate bonds broken down by credit rating category relative to your peers.
Corporate bonds are typically higher risk than government bonds which typically leads to higher yields. The lower an issuer's credit quality, the more costly it becomes to issue debt due to its increased chances of default.
This chart indicates your company's allocation to NAIC rated bonds 3 to 6 relative to your peers.
High Yield bonds carry a higher risk of default; however, these bonds pay a higher yield than investment grade bonds.
This chart indicates your company's common stock allocation relative to your peers.
Common stocks typically offer greater returns than bonds but carry higher risk of loss as well as increased return volatility. If your portfolio holds a large percentage of surplus in common stocks and stocks suffer significant losses (e.g. 2008), your surplus position could be materially impacted.
This chart broadly indicates your company"s allocation to "risk assets" relative to your peers. Risk assets typically consist of High Yield bonds, Common Stock, Preferred Stock, and long-term Schedule Ba investments which may include a number of other asset classes (real estate, hedge funds etc.).
Since returns are not guaranteed, an increase in your risk asset bucket over time should be yielding you an appropriate increase in return. If your company is in a lower quartile, it is important to consider if any added benefits could be gained from your portfolio adjusted for risk.
This ratio measures a company's net retained premium in relation to its surplus. This ratio measures the company's exposure to pricing errors in its current book of business. A company should demonstrate a controlled business growth with quality surplus growth from strong internal capital generation. It is also important to look at your company's operating leverage in conjunction with the risk profile of your investment portfolio. With lower operating leverage, one may be able to take on more investment risk.
This chart indicates the total liabilities to surplus relative to your company's peers. This measures a company's exposure to unpaid obligations, unearned premiums, and exposure to reserving errors.
Compare key elements of your Government Risk Pool's investment process directly with other pools utilizing SAA's proprietary Pooling Peer Database.
SAA's database consists of 23 risk pooling clients and additional non-client pools that have supplied verified data for the provided peer analyses.
As the database continues to grow, so will the depth of your Pool's peer analysis.
To Generate Your Pool Peer Group:
- Select "Insurer Type" and provide asset totals & surplus in millions (e.g. enter 15.1 for $15,100,000). Fees should be entered in percent format.
- After populating all required fields, select "Add to Pool Peer Group & View Exhibits" and your Pool's data will be added to the comparative exhibits.
- To submit another entity, overwrite the "Entity Name" and complete the required fields. A drop-down will appear to let you navigate between entities.
To request a complete peer analysis (comparing asset allocation, yield/duration metrics, credit quality, etc.) or learn how SAA can help with your Pool's investment process, please contact Dan Smereck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Risk Asset Allocation as % of Surplus:
(Surplus = "net position" or "net assets")
- Risk Assets divided by Surplus.
- Broadly indicates your company's allocation to "risk assets" relative to your peers. Risk assets include high yield bonds, bank loans, real estate, common stock, preferred stock, and equity funds. An increase in your risk allocation should be yielding an appropriate increase in return. If your company is depicted as relatively lower, it is important to consider if any added benefits could be gained from your portfolio adjusted for risk. For pools that are restricted from holding risk assets, additional options may include forming a captive pursuant to applicable laws.
- Invested Assets divided by Surplus.
- This metric exhibits the investment leverage across each entity. Investment risk is only one component of an entity's overall risk profile, and should be considered alongside operational risk, underwriting risk, and reinsurance/reserving risk. How much surplus does your pool need to meet its members' needs, to manage the risk exposures it's comfortable taking, and to maintain a cushion for contingencies?
Investment Manager Fees/Fixed Income Portfolio Size:
- Average annual fee of core fixed income managed assets per entity.
- How does your average annual fee compare? A fee level does not determine a manager’s effective capabilities, however, there has been increased downward pressure on manager fees across the industry.
- SAA's complete peer analysis includes ~30 exhibits and can be requested by contacting Dan Smereck at at email@example.com.
- All governmental risk pooling clients (23) currently advised by Strategic Asset Alliance are participants of the database.
- All data, totals and fees are as of 12/31/2018 with the exception of surplus (see below).
- Surplus (or “net position”) reflects the most recently audited financial statements. Most entities within the database have a fiscal year-end of June 30th, although some entities differ. Where an audited surplus is not available, an estimated official surplus is used as provided by the entity’s executive staff.
With SAA Solutions, we help insurance companies and governmental risk pools with an investment portfolio <$25MM achieve an improved investment process, at a fraction of the cost of an in-house investment professional.
Key Benefits of SAA Solutions
- Investment expertise from SAA’s Principals, all former Senior Investment Executives in the insurance industry, at a fraction of the cost of an in-house investment professional.
- Similar investment process as utilized by much larger organizations.
- Staff time saved on a very specialized, time intensive activity.
- We have no conflicts of interest nor vested interested in the trades you approve, as you will have access to Index Funds and ETFs from various providers.
- SAA Solutions provides all of the following:
- Strategic Asset Allocation Analysis
- Investment Policy Generation
- Performance Monitoring
- Quarterly Review Calls
- Quarterly Trade Execution
What Services Do You Receive?
1. Strategic Asset Allocation Analysis
Advice on the current investment asset allocation and risk profiles, subject to current insurance regulations, every two years or as material business changes occur.
2. Investment Policy Generation
SAA will assist client in developing a policy utilizing SAA’s “Best Practices” templates, including the setting of your company's benchmark (tied to asset allocation).
3. Performance Monitoring
Ongoing monitoring of investment portfolio holdings and risks, based upon recommended benchmarks.
4. Quarterly Review Call
Review and analysis of your portfolio’s quarterly performance with the Board, Investment Committee and/or senior management via conference call.
5. Quarterly Trade Execution
SAA executes quarterly trades via Vanguard Brokerage Services®, as necessary, to re-balance portfolio if outside of policy limits.
Sample Case Studies
- Lack of Resources: How can smaller insurers strengthen their investment program?
- Under Served Pools: How can pools get pool-specific investment expertise?
- Lack of Pool Investment Data: How can I compare my pool to other pools?
- Accounting: How can we simplify Schedule D accounting and reduce costs?
- Outdated Investment Process: Low-cost consulting services without sacrificing quality?
1. Asset Allocation
SAA will provide advice on the current investment asset allocation and risk profiles, subject to current insurance regulations, every two years or as material business changes occur.
Over 90% of your company’s investment performance and returns will be determined by the allocation decision.
SAA will review the impact of different allocations in a risk management framework by modeling various asset class combinations for clients.
SAA uses an asset allocation approach providing detailed asset allocation strategies designed to maximize return on risk adjusted capital for any given product line.
*The information provided is meant for demonstrative purposes only. The information does not reflect or represent an actual company or entity.
Strategic Asset Allocation - Efficient Frontier:
*Provided for illustrative purposes only, not a recommendation.
SAA integrates the results of efficient frontier analysis with the impact of company constraints, downside risk analysis and other variables, to develop a plan that will best achieve each client’s objectives.
Strategic Asset Allocation - Risk Asset Impact to Surplus:
*Provided for illustrative purposes only, not a recommendation.
The impact of risk asset declines on company surplus levels is a key component of SAA’s strategic asset allocation analysis given the implications these declines may have on a company’s ability to continue to operate as desired.
2. Investment Policy
SAA will assist client in developing a policy utilizing SAA’s “Best Practices” templates, including the setting of your company's benchmark (tying in the asset allocation).
This is not a static process, as SAA Solutions provides the latest issues impacting investments and how other insurers/pools are successfully addressing these issues within their policy.
New investment alternatives, changing regulatory and rating agency biases, and changing business conditions mean that, if you have not reviewed your investment policy in the last year, a “best practices” review is in order.
Why “Best Practices” are Critical:
- Provides peace of mind that the policy is relevant to today’s capital markets and the unique requirements of your insurer/pool.
- Protects your organization from the managers taking actions that have been a problem in other cases.
Investment Policy - Excerpt:
Key Components of ‘Best Practices’ Investment Policy:
- Preamble – Who? What? Roles and Responsibilities
- Investment Return and Management Objectives
- Asset Allocation and Risk Management Guidelines
- Identification of Appropriate Benchmarks
- Investment Performance Evaluation and Reporting
- Investment Policy and Guidelines Evaluation