Externally managed insurance assets grew by 29% to $1.38 trillion in 2009, following a 28% drop a year earlier, according to a survey by Insurance Asset Manager.
The percentage growth in outsourced assets returned to levels seen in 2005, 2006 and 2007, when growth was 31%, 31% and 22%, respectively.
BlackRock ran the most non-affiliated general account insurance assets last year, at $191.2 billion, up 59% from a year earlier; Deutsche Insurance Asset Management was second with $172.8 billion, up 15%; and General Re-New England Asset Management was third with $79.48 billion, up 27%.
Alex McCallum, editor of the IAM survey, said in a telephone interview that he believes the financial crisis prompted many insurance companies to take a closer look at outsourcing.
“Maybe they had been managing their portfolios in-house for many years and the crisis made them sit up and think about looking (to outside investment firms),” he said.
He said insurance companies that already outsourced part of their investments, such as hedge funds and real estate, might have looked to assign more to external managers.