Outsourced insurance assets managed by unaffiliated U.S.-based investment management firms rose to $1.78 trillion as of June 30, 2011, up more than 5% from the end of 2010, according to a survey conducted by Insurance Asset Manager LLC.
Alex McCallum, IAM’s editor, said in an interview that the low interest-rate environment has led to insurers outsourcing an increasing portion of their assets to be invested in alternative asset classes.
In a separate interview, David Holmes, a partner with manager consultant Eager, Davis & Holmes, which tracks third-party insurer mandates, said 3.1% of new hirings during the first half of 2011 flowed to alternative or more specialized asset classes, up sharply from 0.8% of new mandates during all of 2010.
Mr. McCallum said for the 12 months through Dec. 31, 2010, insurance assets outsourced to unaffiliated money managers rose by more than 14%, following a 33% bounce for the 12 months through Dec. 31, 2009.
For the latest six months, the survey showed Deutsche Insurance Asset Management enjoying an $11 billion increase in general account assets to $213.9 billion — just enough to claim the top spot among managers of unaffiliated general account assets from BlackRock, with a $5 billion gain to $210 billion.
However, with a more than $60 billion lead over Deutsche in managing subadvised insurance-related accounts, BlackRock retained the top spot for unaffiliated outsourced insurance assets with $313 billion, followed by Deutsche with $250 billion.