Insurers testing exotics for Solvency II optimisation

Insurers have been using derivatives to optimise their equity holdings and reduce capital requirements under Solvency II, but dealers are still battling with uncertainties in the regulation

Exotic strategies are tempting insurers

With just weeks to go until Solvency II comes into force at the start of 2016, European insurers have been turning to complex equity derivatives in a bid to manage their capital more efficiently. But with continuing uncertainty surrounding some of the finer details of the regulation and a lack of clarity over exactly what constitutes excessive basis risk, both dealers and insurers have to make some educated guesses about what will qualify for capital relief.

"There is always going to be a suite

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