Innovation of the year - Axa's TwinStar

French insurer Axa's pioneering variable annuity (VA) product, TwinStar, offers cautious German investors an opportunity for greater returns


Based on Axa's US product, Accumulator, TwinStar was launched on the German market last year, and has already sold 45,000 policies. Registered in Ireland rather than Germany, TwinStar benefits from certain regulatory advantages. Whilst German entities have to content themselves with offering a maximum guarantee of 2.25% - which is the prescribed technical interest rate for annuities in Germany - TwinStar has little difficulty in offering a guarantee of 3% or 3.25%. The actual rate that consumers

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