FRANKFURT AM MAIN, October 4, 2022 – Investors are facing a volatile financial environment amid inflation, ongoing Covid-19 restraints, and geopolitical conflicts. In uncertain times, companies with higher credit scores tend to be more resilient, financially healthier, and suffer less with economic fluctuations than their counterparts with low credit scores. Within this framework, Solactive is pleased to announce the launch of the GBS United States 500 Enhanced Investment Grade Index, which will be used for an investment management mandate from Zurich managed by a global asset manager firm DWS America.
The GBS United States 500 Enhanced Investment Grade Index provides investors with exposure to securities from the top 500 companies in the United States stock market that are not insurance related and have high credit quality. Despite being a pure equity portfolio, the index innovates by screening stocks using the issuer’s credit-rating concept, which is generally employed on fixed income products.
The index uses the Solactive GBS United States 500 Index as a starting point. In a second step, securities of companies assigned to any of the following insurance-related industries are excluded from the universe: multi-line insurance, life/health insurance, insurance brokers/services, property/casualty insurance, and specialty insurance. Lastly, the companies that constitute the index must also have a long-term issuer credit rating higher than or equal to A3, according to Moody’s rating scale, or A-, according to Standard & Poor’s or Fitch’s Ratings rating scale, or not being rated by all the agencies and without any debt outstanding.
Timo Pfeiffer, Chief Markets Officer of Solactive, commented: “In an economic environment mined by increasing interest rates and fear of recession looming over multiple economies, investors might seek refuge in companies that are financially more solid and creditworthy .The index strategy can potentially benefit from inflows in these companies, while their counterparties with lower credit rate might face increasing costs and operational risks, which could ultimately hamper their profitability and stock market performance. This launch shows that our clients and us follow the same innovative mindset when it comes to offering the best solutions to investors according to their needs and current trends. We are content to have developed such an index, based on our Global Benchmark Series, for DWS and Zurich and we look forward to continuing this relationship.”
John Cassedy, Head of Insurance Coverage-Americas, at DWS, highlighted the innovative nature of the index developed with Solactive and Zurich: “Insurance investing is a highly specialized and regulated segment of the institutional market, and we are proud to have been able to leverage our four-plus decades of experience and expertise working with insurers to develop a novel solution that could potentially have broader industry application.”
Matt Vincent, Regional Investment Manager at Zurich, stated: “We appreciate the quick and proactive way of implementation of the custom-made index. Solactive also shows how simple but meaningful such an implementation can be given the dynamic environment and technology available.”
Note to editors
Solactive is a leading provider of indexing, benchmarking, and calculation solutions for the global investment and trading community. Headquartered in Frankfurt and with offices in Hong Kong, Toronto, Berlin, and Dresden, we innovate and disrupt the status quo.
The unique blend of our 250 staff’s expertise in data, data science, financial markets, and technology enables our clients’ continued success through the delivery of a superior experience, unique customization capabilities, and the best value for money available in the industry. With more than 20,000 indices calculated daily, we offer a full suite of solutions, including market-leading ESG and thematic indices.
As of January 2022, Solactive served approximately 500 clients across the world, with approximately US$250 billion invested in products linked to our indices. Solactive is registered with ESMA as a benchmark administrator and is supervised by the BaFin. For more information, please visit: www.solactive.com
DWS is among the leaders in the global insurance asset management business. We have demonstrated a commitment to the insurance market dating back to 1929 by taking a comprehensive approach in developing customized investment solutions and programs for insurers. With insurance professionals located in key locations around the world, this differentiates us from many competitors and provides a basis for understanding the dynamics and complexities of insurance investing. With customized insurance fixed-income at the core, DWS is able to deliver multi-asset solutions in an insurance context by accessing an investment platform that includes active and passive equity and fixed income, alternatives and cash. The recipient of multiple awards and with more than $200 billion in insurance general account assets under management (as of December 31, 2021), we are among the largest third-party managers of insurance portfolios worldwide, according to the Insurance Investment Outsourcing Exchange. For more information, please visit: www.DWS.com.
Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer serving people and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Founded 150 years ago, Zurich is transforming insurance. In addition to providing insurance protection, Zurich is increasingly offering prevention services such as those that promote wellbeing and enhance climate resilience.
Reflecting its purpose to “create a brighter future together”, Zurich aspires to be one of the most responsible and impactful businesses in the world. It is targeting net-zero emissions by 2050 and has the highest-possible ESG rating from MSCI. In 2020, Zurich launched the Zurich Forest project to support reforestation and biodiversity restoration in Brazil.
The Group has about 56,000 employees and is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information is available at www.zurich.com.