At European level, insurers are the largest institutional investors, managing € 7.7trn assets at the end of 2011. Insurers’ significant role as investors is a consequence of their primary role of providing protection from risks, as well as long-term savings and retirement products.
The main driver of insurers’ investment decisions is the profile of their liabilities. As most of their liabilities are long-term, investing with a long-horizon perspective becomes a natural match between insurers’ assets and their liabilities. At the same time, a range of framework conditions and policy actions can shape and impact the way in which insurers invest.