Case Studies

    Corporate Pension Liability
    Global/International Equity Manager
    Risk Exposure Management
    Insurance Asset Management
    Merge Intermediary Business Units
    Launch Asset Management Unit
    Institutional Equity Asset Management
    Institutional Fixed-Income Management

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  Proprietary Papers

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Insurance Asset Management

$8 Billion in Assets Raised in Over Three- to Four-Year Period

Project goal:
To begin an insurance investment management business for a global investment bank.

Business context:
The organization was interested in cultivating new sources of revenues and assets. A strategic decision was made to enter into the market for managing insurance assets, as insurance firms had recently expanded their outsourcing of both core fixed income assets and specialized asset classes. With intense competition for clients and relatively little industry experience, the firm sought an expert in the field who could organically initiate the new insurance business line.

Approach:
Jeff Margolis was identified as an insurance industry expert. He was charged with launching the business from ground zero. Within the larger organization, which included investment management, investment banking and securities sales divisions, he investigated how to strongly position the firm’s product line and identified senior level executives with the relevant relationships to open doors. This personal approach included ground-level meetings, working sessions and, finally, agreements among business units to assist in the insurance effort.

Solution:
Working closely with key contacts he had cultivated from around the firm, Mr. Margolis overcame several competing priorities with sell-side business groups. He highlighted recently acquired fixed-income management expertise to establish credibility with insurers and selected a number of specialty investment strategies to market as extensions of the firm’s core competencies. He recruited another individual from within the organization and formed a very small core team that could “plan, build and sell” in parallel.

Outcome:
The organization successfully entered into the insurance market within a few months and raised over $8 billion in assets over a 3-to-4 year period. The organization also expanded its initial product offering to insurance clients during that time.

Lessons learned:
A successful solution is one that fits well with the unique culture of the organization. In the highly autonomous environment of this particular organization, the personal approach of reaching out, building consensus and creating commitment to launching the business worked extremely well. Bringing in an outside expert can be very useful to organizations that are looking to add to their core competencies. Such an individual can often see cultural issues, opportunities and competing priorities that are less obvious to those inside the firm, while bringing the expertise to jump start the effort.

Even with well thought out plans, new initiatives will encounter resistance from competing priorities. These hurdles should be welcomed. They represent new possibilities to leverage the best the organization has to offer. Cultivating a willingness to meet resistance productively is crucial to growth.