Second Meeting - Task Force on Asset Allocation

Published in 



12:00 – 12:30    Registration 

12:30 – 13:00    Introductory remarks

  • Chairman:        Jean-Pierre Pinatton, Supervisory Board, Oddo BHF
  • Rapporteurs:    Karel Lannoo, CEO, CEPS and  Cosmina Amariei, Researcher, ECMI

13:00 – 13:30   Opening address

  • Nathalie Berger, Head of Insurance and Pensions Unit, DG FISMA, European Commission

13:30 – 15:00    Session 1. Insurance companies

The insurance sector is the largest institutional investor in Europe and remains highlyconcentrated in a small number of countries. Despite a shift towards products featuring lower guarantees and a more flexible return structure, non-unit-linked still constitute the bulk of the policies on the balance sheets of life insurers. On the assets side, the process of de-risking has come to a halt and has started to reverse in recent years. Some insurers have been gradually increasing their exposure to higher-yielding debt instruments but also to infrastructure, private equity and direct lending. On average, non-life insurers operate at higher shares of equity than life insurers.

  • What are most relevant constraints/opportunities on the balance sheets of insurers?
  • Are the concerns about the increasing duration mismatch and re-investment risk warranted? What types of risk management strategies are currently being employed?
  • What are the drivers behind externalising portfolio management and other types of services (reporting, data analytics etc)?
  • Should prudential regulation be used as tool to (dis) incentivise investment in certain asset classes? Is the current regulatory framework (Solvency 2) conducive to long-term investment? 

Panel debate

  • Dimitris Zafeiris, Head of Risk & Financial Stability Department, EIOPA
  • Christian Jochum, Head of Strategy Development, Managing Director, Zurich Insurance
  • Mireille Aubry, Prudential Regulation, Standards and Foresight Officer, Covea
  • Claudio Bocci, Partner & Head of Asset Management, Prometeia

Discussion & wrap-up

15:00 – 15:30    Coffee break

15:30 – 17:00    Session 2.  Pension funds

Europe’s pension savings gap is projected at around €2 trillion a year, and there is no one 'silver bullet' for solving this increasingly complex problem. Over the last ten years, European pension funds (defined benefit or defined contribution, occupational or personal, mandatory or voluntary plans) have experienced an increase in their investments. At present, there is significant heterogeneity in the asset allocation among member states, with respect to direct or indirect holdings of equity in particular. When it comes to future challenges, the pension product mix (and underlying investment strategy) will have to accommodate the longevity ‘risk’ and deliver satisfactory and stable returns over time.

  • What is the outlook for asset allocation (traditional vs alternatives) and investment strategies (active vs. passive, cash flow vs liability driven) in the medium and long run?
  • Do the main risks  for pension funds appear to be on the return portfolio, or rather on the matching portfolio? Does the business model play a significant role?
  • Are pension funds re-considering their in(out)-sourcing of asset management or coinvestment/partnerships with other institutional investors?
  • What does PEPP need to induce adequate savings for future retirement income? Is it going to be sufficiently attractive for both savers and providers? 

 Panel debate

Discussion & wrap-up

17:00 – 17:30   Conclusions & discussion about the 3rd meeting


  • This is a closed-door meeting and the participation is limited to the members of the experts group and broader task force, academic/policy/industry observers and selected invitees. Detailed information is available here.
  • Please do not hesitate to contact Cosmina Amariei by email at: cosmina.amariei@ceps.eu or by phone on +32 222 93 955.