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Keeping Some Skin in the Game: How to Start a Capital Market in Longevity Risk Transfers


  • Blake, David
  • Biffs, Enrico


The recent activity in pension buyouts and bespoke longevity swaps suggests that a significant process of aggregation of longevity exposures is under way, led by major investment banks and buyout firms with the support of leading reinsurers. As regulatory capital charges and limited reinsurance capacity constrain the scope for market growth, there is now an opportunity for institutions that are pooling longevity exposures to issue securities that appeal to capital market investors, thereby broadening the sharing of longevity risk and increasing market capacity. For this to happen, longevity exposures need to be suitably pooled and tranched to maximize diversification benefits offered to investors and to address asymmetric information issues. We argue that a natural way for longevity risk to be transferred is through suitably designed principal-at-risk bonds.

Suggested Citation

  • Blake, David & Biffs, Enrico, 2012. "Keeping Some Skin in the Game: How to Start a Capital Market in Longevity Risk Transfers," MPRA Paper 44680, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44680

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Biffis, Enrico & Blake, David, 2010. "Securitizing and tranching longevity exposures," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 186-197, February.
    2. Alex Cowley & J. David Cummins, 2005. "Securitization of Life Insurance Assets and Liabilities," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 72(2), pages 193-226.
    3. Gorton, Gary B & Pennacchi, George G, 1993. "Security Baskets and Index-Linked Securities," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66(1), pages 1-27, January.
    4. Peter M. DeMarzo, 2005. "The Pooling and Tranching of Securities: A Model of Informed Intermediation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(1), pages 1-35.
    5. Enrico Biffis & David Blake, 2013. "Informed Intermediation of Longevity Exposures," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 80(3), pages 559-584, September.
    6. Coughlan, Guy & Khalaf-Allah, Marwa & Ye, Yijing & Kumar, Sumit & Cairns, Andrew & Blake, David & Dowd, Kevin, 2011. "Longevity hedging 101: A framework for longevity basis risk analysis and hedge effectiveness," MPRA Paper 35743, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Peter DeMarzo & Darrell Duffie, 1999. "A Liquidity-Based Model of Security Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(1), pages 65-100, January.
    8. Subrahmanyam, Avanidhar, 1991. "A Theory of Trading in Stock Index Futures," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 4(1), pages 17-51.
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    Cited by:

    1. Meyricke, Ramona & Sherris, Michael, 2014. "Longevity risk, cost of capital and hedging for life insurers under Solvency II," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 147-155.

    More about this item


    capital markets; longevity risk; pooling; tranching; asymmetric information;

    JEL classification:

    • D47 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Market Design
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors


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