Reinsurance helps life insurers transfer risk and release capital. But when it's internal--between affiliates--and the reinsurer is offshore, it's hard to tell if the deal is real or just 'regulatory arbitrage.'
Leading private equity-linked fixed indexed annuity (FIA) issuers ceded the risk (the liability) of 95% of their 2021 sales to the balance sheets of affiliated or co-owned reinsurers located mainly in Bermuda.
Many for-profit US life/annuity companies do not use independent reinsurers. They use an affiliated or captive reinsurer in a jurisdiction like Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Vermont, or Arizona. This makes their operations less transparent.
“Fidelity’s settlement of this case is somewhat surprising as typically vigorously defended itself in other excessive fee litigation," wrote ERISA blogger Thomas E. Clark.