Life, death and structures

Mortality risk

A disgruntled spouse bringing about the untimely demise of his or her other half in order to cash in on a life insurance policy is a scenario beloved by crime writers. But monetising life insurance doesn't have to be quite such a grisly affair. In the past few years, a niche secondary market for life insurance policies – albeit an extremely illiquid one – has emerged in the US, with a handful of licensed brokers now permitted to buy and sell policies.

The market for life settlements – the n

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