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BlackRock Popular With Large P&C, Life Insurers

When asked which asset managers they used, large P&C and life insurers cited BlackRock Inc. the most in 2015, according to a ranking compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The term "large" is defined for the purposes of this analysis as insurers with more than $10 billion in net admitted cash and invested assets. This could mean an individual filer that is not part of a group, such as the State Compensation Insurance Fund, which counted roughly $20 billion in such assets as of year-end 2015. Or this could represent a group, such as State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.'s P&C group, whose assets totaled more than $150 billion.

In the case of groups, an asset manager could receive credit for an entity that did not meet the $10 billion threshold, but whose group did. For instance, BlackRock received credit for managing a portion of Tokio Marine Holdings Inc.'s assets, even though the two Tokio Marine subsidiaries it managed money for — U.S. Specialty Insurance Co. and Houston Casualty Co. — each had less than $10 billion in assets. This is because Tokio Marine's P&C group had $18.83 billion in assets. However, this resulted in only one citation for BlackRock because both of those entities roll up to Tokio Marine's P&C group.

The asset manager data comes from the General Interrogatories of annual statutory statements submitted to the NAIC by insurers, namely interrogatory 28.05. In it, insurers can list multiple advisers. For example, one of BlackRock's largest clients was Lincoln National Life Insurance Co., which had approximately $96.98 billion in assets. Lincoln National listed eight advisers in its filing, including in-house adviser Lincoln Investment Management Co. Affiliated advisers such as these were excluded from the ranking, but, as this illustrates, one cannot determine from the filing how much of the insurer's assets BlackRock manages. Lincoln National Life is a unit of Lincoln National Corp.

The asset manager names in S&P Global Market Intelligence's ranking are shown at the parent level. While some names are familiar, others might be better known by their subsidiaries. Minnesota Mutual Cos. Inc., for instance, is the parent of Advantus Capital Management Inc. and Asset Allocation & Management Co. LLC, while Cathay Financial Holding Co. Ltd. owns Conning Inc. Additionally, Sammons Enterprises Inc. ESOT is affiliated with Guggenheim Capital LLC entities.

Top financial services groups most used by nonaffiliated PandC and life insurance groups for managing investments in 2015