Case Study

Insurer-owned asset manager turns to Cerulli to build brand credibility and asset flows

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Defining Opportunity

How does an insurer-owned asset management company build credibility and attract asset inflows? What are the right investor channels to target?

How do we do it?

The Cerulli Approach

Cerulli built an outside-in strategy to determine what investors want and an inside-out approach to discover what business leaders believe about the future of innovation and factors inhibiting growth.

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Approach One


Cerulli attained feedback from third-party institutional investors through qualitative sessions and quantitative analysis on the most important capabilities they seek from external managers. According to our findings, investors want:

  • Asset class experience
  • Innovative product
  • Stability of performance
  • Track record
  • Regulatory awareness
  • Competitive pricing due to scale of core fixed-income business
  • Experience managing liquidity and capital charge requirements
  • Experience with managing inflation and risk for long periods of time
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Approach Two


Our dialogue and quantitative feedback with internal business leaders and external market players found two significant challenges hindering growth of the asset management arm of the business. Our findings?

  • Competing against pure-play asset managers and other in-house insurance asset managers
  • Establishing the right degree of autonomy of the asset management affiliate


What’s brand got to do with it? Everything.

We took a hard look at the strength of the brand, evaluating perception and analyzing distribution resources. Focus points:

The Outcome

Cerulli's Strategic Recommendations

Proof Point

What Does the Data Say?

Insurance companies show greater preference for insurer-owned asset managers: 28% of insurance companies indicate that they are very likely to appoint an insurer-owned asset manager, with an additional 31% somewhat likely. 14% are unlikely to appoint an insurer-owned asset manager.

Our Subject Matter Experts:

Laura Levesque, CFA

Laura Levesque, CFA


Bio →

Laura Levesque, CFA

Laura Levesque, CFA


Laura has over 15 years of institutional investment management industry experience. She is a member of the Institutional practice, where she leads research for two annual reports. Her focuses are institutional investment solutions including OCIO, and sales and services models. Her experience and knowledge of the institutional asset management space provide a directional framework to ongoing consulting projects. She also regularly contributes to The Cerulli Edge series.

Prior to joining Cerulli Associates, Laura held equity research, product, and analytics roles at Columbia Threadneedle and MFS Investment Management. She is a CFA charterholder and member of the CFA Society Boston.

Full biography here.

Christopher Swansey

Christopher Swansey

Associate Director

Bio →

Christopher Swansey

Christopher Swansey

Associate Director

Christopher is an associate director on the Institutional team where he supports multiple reports annually, including the annual outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) report, and various strategic consulting projects throughout the year. He also regularly contributes to The Cerulli Edge—Institutional Edition, The Cerulli Edge—U.S. Edition, and The Cerulli Edge—U.S. Monthly Product Trends.

Christopher was a Senior Analyst at Mercer working within their executive compensation practice before joining Cerulli in 2018.

Full biography here.

Learn More

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You may be interested in:

  • Annual report
  • The Cerulli Edge
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Cerulli Consulting

For 30 years, Cerulli Associates has been offering guidance to financial institutions for strategic positioning and new business development. We are industry's most trusted resource for strategic consulting and custom research, providing clear, actionable outcomes.

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