Market volatility spurs interest in tail-risk management strategies

The financial crisis and resulting regulatory expectations have left insurers and pension funds increasingly aware that severe and unexpected risks hide behind every corner. The question of how to deal with them remains open. Thomas Whittaker reports

Scorpion tail

While the prospect of a eurozone collapse or the default of a major sovereign was once an unforeseeable event, the evidence before insurance companies and pension funds alike would suggest that anything is possible. This new perspective on the economic environment has led to an increasing interest in tail-risk management.

The term tail risk encapsulates that most thorny of issues for risk managers – events that are both unforeseeable and catastrophic. Defined as a three-standard-deviation event

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