Abstract: Being active in both the insurance sector and the banking sector, financial conglomerates intrinsically increase the interconnections between the banking sector and the insurance sector. We address two main concerns about financial conglomerates using a unique database on bilateral exposures between 21 French financial institutions. First, we investigate to what extent to which the insurers that are part of financial conglomerates differ from pure insurers. Second, we show that in the presence of sovereign risk, the components of a financial conglomerate are better off than if they were distinct entities. Our empirical findings bring a new perspective to the previous results of the literature based on using different types of data.
Abstract: We discuss when and why custom multi-factor risk models are warranted and give source code for computing some risk factors. Pension/mutual funds do not require customization but standardization. However, using standardized risk models in quant trading with much shorter holding horizons is suboptimal: (1) longer horizon risk factors (value, growth, etc.) increase noise trades and trading costs; (2) arbitrary risk factors can neutralize alpha; (3) “standardized” industries are artificial and insufficiently granular; (4) normalization of style risk factors is lost for the trading universe; (5) diversifying risk models lowers P&L correlations, reduces turnover and market impact, and increases capacity. We discuss various aspects of custom risk model building.
Abstract: In this paper, irrational exercise behavior of the buyer of an American put is characterized by a single parameter. We model irrational exercise rules as the first jump time of a point processes with stochastic intensity. By the rationality parameter, we parameterize a family of stochastic intensities that depends on the value of the put itself. We present a probabilistic proof that the value of the American put using the irrational exercise rule converges to the arbitrage-free price as the rationality parameter converges to infinity. Another application of this result is the penalty method for approximating the price of an American put.
Abstract: This paper compares two different types of private retirement plans from the perspective of a representative beneficiary: a defined benefit (DB) and a defined contribution (DC) plan. While salary risk is the main common risk factor in DB and DC pension plans, one of the key differences is that DB plans carry portability risks, whereas DC plans bear asset price risk. We model these tradeoffs explicitly in this paper and compare these two plans in a utility-based framework. Our numerical analysis focuses on answering the question of when the beneficiary is indifferent between the DB and DC plan. Most of our results confirm the findings in the existing literature, among which, e.g., portability losses considerably reduce the relative attractiveness of the DB plan. However, we also find that the attractiveness of the DB plan can decrease in the level of risk aversion, which is inconsistent with the existing literature.
Abstract: Publicly provided long-term care (LTC) insurance with means-tested benefits is suspected to crowd out either private saving or informal care. This contribution predicts crowding-out effects for both private saving and informal care for policy measures designed to relieve the public purse from LTC expenditure such as more stringent means testing and increased taxation of inheritance. These effects result from the interaction of a parent who decides on the amount of saving in retirement and a caregiver who decides on the effort devoted to informal care which lowers the probability of admission to a nursing home. Double crowding-out effects are also found to be the consequence of exogenous influences, notably a higher opportunity cost of caregiving.
Abstract: Insurance companies use conservative first order valuation bases to calculate insurance premiums and reserves. These valuation bases have a significant impact on the insurer’s solvency and on the premiums of the insurance products. Safety margins for systematic biometric and financial risk are in practice typically chosen as time-constant percentages on top of the best estimate transition intensities. We develop a risk-oriented method for the allocation of a total safety margin to the single safety margins at each point in time and each state. In a case study, we demonstrate the suitability of the proposed method in different frameworks. The results show that the traditional method yields an unwanted variability of the safety level with respect to time, whereas the variability can be significantly reduced by the new method. Furthermore, the case study supports the German 60 percent rule for the technical interest rate.