Insurers embrace innovative hybrid capital structures

Contingent capital bonds are becoming increasingly attractive, writes Louie Woodall. But regulatory reforms mean firms must ensure they have a firm grip on the inner workings of these products


Hybrid capital is occupying an ever-larger segment within insurers’ and reinsurers’ capital structures. Swiss Re reported a hybrid and contingent capital ratio of 9.4% in 2012, up from 6.6% in 2011, while Aviva’s stock of subordinated debt made up 20% of its capital structure on a market consistent embedded value basis in 2012, compared with 17.5% in 2010 (22% in 2011). Similarly, Zurich’s subordinated debt has increased over the past two years from 16.5% to 17%.

This year has witnessed a marked

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The economic view

Insurers are using the delays to Solvency II to improve their economic capital models

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