European insurance companies and pension funds (ICPF) are significant institutional investors within the EU and globally. Their investment decisions are relevant for the rest of the economy, as well as their own performance. The aim of this study is to identify and rank the potential drivers of equity investments by ICPF. The analysis is based on a combination of different research methods, namely interviews with a representative sample of insurers and pension funds, econometric analysis and theoretical model. Market conditions, prudential framework and the accounting framework are identified as the main drivers affecting the investments in equity of insurance companies. Market conditions are also among the main drivers of defined benefit pension funds. Additionally, also the asset liability management is an important factor for pension funds. Taxation plays for both insurance company and pension funds less of a role in the allocation to equity.
The project comprised the following tasks and objectives:
1. Identify key drivers of investment in equity on the basis of market-wide data, rigorous quantitative, trend and comparative analyses.
2. Identify drivers of investment in equity for targeted traditional insurance portfolios and defined benefits pension funds by means of interviews to confirm or inform the first list of key drivers.