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Conning Research: After Capital Rebuilding, Individual Annuity Insurers Seek Growth Again Focus on New Products and Markets Likely

HARTFORD, Conn., May 10, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- As individual annuity insurers shift away from rebuilding capital and towards premium growth, they will need to redevelop their competitive positioning, according to a new study by Conning Research & Consulting.

"The first priority for individual annuity insurers following the financial crisis has been to rebuild capital," said Scott Hawkins, analyst at Conning Research & Consulting. "Insurers have made significant progress in repairing their capital positions. At the same time, premiums have actually declined, and rebuilding them will be a challenge. As insurers seek new growth, each will analyze and leverage their unique competitive advantages to position themselves for either organic or acquisitive growth." The Conning Research study, "The Real Challenge in Rebuilding Individual Annuities: Developing Competitive Advantage in a Concentrating Market" reviews the recent history of concentration and consolidation that has altered the competitive landscape and premium growth rate. Looking forward, the study addresses key strategies that will distinguish successful competitors in this new environment.

"Individual annuity insurers have responded to a slowing rate of growth over the past fifteen years with product development heavily focused on variable annuity benefits," said Stephan Christiansen, director of research at Conning. "Yet as insurers look to the future, it is unlikely that enhancing benefits alone will provide the support it has in recent years. Our analysis points to the need for insurers to refine their individual success factors, including superior product development, distribution effectiveness and new market penetration." "The Real Challenge in Rebuilding Individual Annuities: Developing Competitive Advantage in a Concentrating Market" is available for purchase from Conning Research & Consulting by calling (888) 707-1177 or by visiting the company's web site at www.conningresearch.com.

About Conning Research & Consulting Conning Research & Consulting is a division of Conning, a provider of asset management and insurance industry research and advisory services to insurers.

Conning Research & Consulting has published independent insurance industry research for 50 years, including market coverage of 30 segments of the industry in addition to industry forecasting and identification and analysis of major strategic issues. As a result of its wealth of experience and intimate knowledge of the insurance industry, Conning understands industry challenges and opportunities and provides in-depth analyses on a wide range of industry products and issues. Conning is headquartered in Hartford, CT.

Contact: Anne Steinberg

Kitchen Public Relations, LLC

212-687-8999

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