Dynamic surplus optimization with performance- and index-linked liabilities

Seminar in Insurance and Economics

SPEAKER: Sascha Desmettre (Johannes Kepler University Linz).

TITLE: Dynamic surplus optimization with performance- and index-linked liabilities.

ABSTRACT: The increasing importance of liability-driven investment strategies and the shift towards retirement products with lower guarantees and more performance participation provide challenges for the development of portfolio optimization frameworks which cover these aspects. To this end, we establish a general and flexible terminal surplus optimization framework in continuous time, allowing for dynamic investment strategies and stochastic liabilities, which can be linked to the performance of an index or the asset portfolio of the insurance company. Besides optimality results in a fairly general surplus optimization setting, we obtain closed-form solutions for the optimal investment strategy for various specific liability models, which include the cases of index-linked and performance-linked liabilities and liabilities which are completely or only partially hedgeable. We compare the results in numerical examples and study the impact of the performance participation, unhedgeable risk components, different ways of modeling the liabilities and the relative risk aversion parameter. We find that performance- or index-linked liabilities, which provide a close link between the wealth of the insurance company and its liabilities, allow for a higher allocation in the risky investment. On the other hand, unhedgeable risks reduce the allocation in the risky investment. We conclude that, aiming at a high expected return for the policy holder, insurance companies should try to connect the performance of insurance products closely to the wealth and minimize unhedgeable risks.

The corresponding paper is joint work with M. Wahl and R. Zagst (both TU Munich) and appeared in European Actuarial Journal, August 24, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1007/s13385-021-00292-z.

Link to Seminar in Insurance and Economics.