Variable Annuities - Risk Books
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Variable Annuities

Edited By Tigran Kalberer and Kannoo Ravindran


Variable Annuities provides an overview of all the relevant aspects of variable annuity (VA) products from an insurers perspective. It is a collection of contributions from several authors, co-ordinated in such a way that it covers all relevant areas with minimal overlap and a consistent level of detail. The market is of huge interest for US, European and Japanese insurers.

Publish date: 1 Dec 2009

Availability: In stock

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Variable Annuities

Book description

For several hundred years, the insurance industry has offered a tremendous variety of life insurance products. Some of these life insurance products are aimed at providing investment possibilities, such as with-profits endowments and annuity products. These products typically provide substantial investment guarantees, which is one of their main advantages, along with tax privileges and the fact that the assets are managed prudently.

The success of these products can be traced back to the fact that together with the distribution model, directly approaching potential customers, these products are ideal for the clients that are either less sophisticated in planning for their retirement, or do not want to invest efforts in this planning or have avoided to address this topic at all.

But there are some clear disadvantages, which may not be relevant to all, but to some customers and the forces of competition lead companies to develop new products, which addressed these disadvantages, which are:

  • The opaqueness of the investment process
  • The lack of customer-control over the investment process
  • The not sufficient profit sharing of returns above the investment guarantee – and the opaqueness of this profit sharing mechanism

Over time it has become apparent that there is an additional disadvantage from a company perspective, which is the substantial required risk capital these products generate due to the guarantees they provide.

All these problems can be addressed with so-called unit linked products – at the expense of not providing investment guarantees any more.

Unit-linked products invest the savings part of the premiums of the policyholder transparently in investment vehicles, mostly internal or external funds and let the policyholder participate fully in the investment returns of these funds – the upside as well as the downside.

While these products clearly address the issues mentioned above they typically do not provide any investment guarantees any more.

The obvious step now is to build investment guarantees into unit-linked products – this is what Variable Annuities provide.

Variable Annuities combine the advantages of traditional life insurance products – long term investment guarantees, with the advantages of unit-linked products – transparency of the investment and full upside participation.

This of course comes with a price:

  • The policyholder has to pay a premium for the additional investment guarantee
  • The shareholder has to manage the substantial risks generated by such products

Nevertheless these products have had a tremendous success in the US and in the past few years we have seen these products being offered in the European markets. These products are new to Europe, except in some locations, where they have been widespread, e.g., Switzerland, and have generated a lot of interest as they can address the weaknesses of the traditional life products.

New sales volumes are encouraging and we can witness the creation of a new product class, after the unit-linked products have entered the European market some decennia ago.

This book will cover:

* History of the VA market

* Current VA market environment in North America, Europe, Australasia

* Valuation of VA contracts

* Risks and Risk Management of VAs

* An analyst and rating agency’s view of a VA writer

* Insurance regulations governing VAs

* Liquidity in global derivatives markets

* Effectiveness of hedging programs during the market turmoil

Published in December 2009, Variable Annuities is the practitioner’s guide to managing risks in this trillion-dollar global market.

This new book provides, for the first time, a comprehensive analysis of the variable annuity marketplace, the use of these products and the challenges associated with the risk-management of these products that have been compounded by the recent financial crisis.

In Variable Annuities more than 25 leading market experts reveal how industry tools are changing, how strategies are being reshaped; and how techniques are being enhanced.

Written by practitioners for practitioners, detailed chapters explore:

  • Identifying and quantifying risks: including methods for tackling actuarial/policyholder risks, basis risk, valuation of contracts and guarantees
  • Risk management strategies: the use of product design to manage risks and reduce unhedgeable exposure, reinsurance contracts and OTC instruments
  • Hedging: hedge efficiency, measuring effectiveness, lessons of the crisis
  • Product types and markets: North America, Japan, Europe and Asia-Pac
  • Accounting and regulation: the challenges of IFRS and GAAP

With over 25 leading expert practitioners, Variable Annuities covers all aspects of this expanding market and will be the DEFINITIVE guide for:


Risk managers


Investment bankers

Stock/credit Analysts




Software developers for risk-management solutions

Book details

Book 9781906348212 / EBook 9781908823342
Publish date
1 Dec 2009
155mm x 235mm

Editor biography

Tigran Kalberer and Kannoo Ravindran

Tigran Kalberer has pioneered the application of market-consistent valuation techniques in life insurance during the last 20 years. He has applied risk management and notably ALM techniques for life insurance companies in a wide variety of situations. Having previously been at KPMG, Tigran is currently Principal and Consulting Actuary at Milliman.

Kannoo Ravindran (Ravi). Since pioneering the use of derivatives to manage market risks embedded in variable annuities at a time when writers of such risks used only traditional reinsurance/retrocession or took on the risks naked, Ravi has been working on all aspects of variable annuity risk-management (including managing such risks on a total account value exceeding USD 100 billion) and product development. Ravi is currently President and CEO of Annuity Systems.

Table of contents


Tigran Kalberer and Kannoo Ravindran


1. History and Development of the Variable Annuity Market

Mike Kaster; Marianne Purushotham

Kaster Actuarial; Watson Wyatt

2. North American Variable Annuities

Hubert Mueller


3. Australasian Variable Annuities

Michael Winkler

New Re

4. European Variable Annuities

Lukas Ziewer; Yves Lehmann

Oliver Wyman; Societe Generale


5. Risks Underlying Variable Annuities

Tigran Kalberer


6. Valuation of Variable Annuity Contracts

Vinay Kalro, Jay Blumenstein and Joe Zhao

Swiss Re

7. Valuation of Variable Annuity Guarantees

Kirk Evans

Samsung Life

8. Models used to Quantify Market Risks in Guarantees

Dan Heyer


9. Models used to Quantify Actuarial/Policyholder Behavioural Risks in Guarantees

Tze Ping and Matt Wion

Ernst & Young


10. Overview of Commonly Used Risk Management Strategies

Rajeev Dutt


11. Using Product Development to Manage Risks

Adam Stolz


12. Using Reinsurance to Manage Risks

Michael Winkler

New Re

13. Using Capital Markets to Manage Risks

Yves Lehmann

Societe Generale

14. Putting it all Together – from Dynamic to Static

Kannoo Ravindran

Annuity Systems Inc.


15. Measuring and Reporting Hedge Efficiency

Mark Evans


16. Measuring the Effectiveness of a Hedging Strategy

Jorg Sauren


17. Experiences and Lessons Learnt – Does Hedging Work?

Mun Kurup and Warren Manners


18. Issues Relating to Running A Hedging Programme

Kannoo Ravindran

Annuity Systems Inc


19. An Overview of Insurance Regulations

Sam Gutterman


20. Accounting: IFRS and GAAP challenges

Stefan Engelander



21. Quantifying and Managing Basis Risks

Pin Chung

Allianz Investment Management

22. Replication Portfolios and Hedging

Tigran Kalberer


23. What do Analysts look for when Evaluating Companies Writing Variable Annuities?

Darin Arita

Deutsche Bank

24. What do Rating Agencies look for when Evaluating Companies Writing Variable Annuities?

Scott Robinson

Moody’s Investors Service

25. Liquidity in Global Derivatives Markets

Naveed Choudri and Edward Tom

Credit Suisse

Please note that this table of contents is provisional and is subject to change prior to publication

Customer Reviews

Average customer reviews for Variable Annuities

Good review of risk and deriviatives issues

The summaries provided for each market and the key distinctions of the types of annuities serve to give background on the major risks to be managed and assumptions to be reviewed, particularly where derivatives will be used.
Review by Drew , 07/02/2012

Must have for VA professionals

The book provides good insights about the VA products and markets. It is a good reference book for people in the variable annuities industry.
Review by Efren , 30/01/2012

The VA Bible!

Invaluable resource. Gives a general but comprehensive overview of the industry. Some chapters go into some depth...
Review by Kwasi , 22/12/2011

Read more reviews

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