Mark Whitford Joins as IAM's Actuarial Investment Strategist; Michael Materasso of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group Adds Role as Head of Insurance Investment Solutions Business
SAN MATEO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 12/11/13 --
Franklin Templeton Investments today announced the expansion of its global insurance asset management (IAM) solutions business with the appointment of Costas Komodromos as business head. Mark Whitford joins as the group's actuarial investment strategist, and Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group'sMichael Materasso has been appointed head of insurance investment solutions.
"A combination of key regulatory changes, weak global economic growth and an extended period of low interest rates have increasingly spurred insurance companies to further rely on third-party asset managers to tackle growing investment, liability and regulatory challenges," said Costas Komodromos, head of insurance general account business, and 22-year financial services industry practitioner. "This growth in demand has spurred us to increase our focus and expand our infrastructure around this type of solution," he added.
The addition of actuary Mark Whitford, senior insurance investment risk strategist, further expands Franklin Templeton's capabilities in tailoring solutions to insurance clients' needs. "We have re-engineered this business to offer bespoke solutions for life, health, property and casualty and reinsurance companies that comprehensively address the asset and liability sides of their balance sheets," said Thomas Regner, president of Franklin Templeton Institutional. "Mark's expertise is an important part of this strategy."
Moreover, Whitford's experience involves more than 20 years of advising insurance clients on developing custom-built investment solutions. Previously, he was a director at Brookfield Investment Management, and vice president at Conning Asset Management.
According to research from financial services consultancy Patpatia & Associates, it has been estimated that over 55 percent of US insurers have outsourced some of their general account assets to at least one third-party manager. Insurers globally held approximately US$24 trillion in assets under management as of the end of 2011, according to the consultant.
"Insurance companies are looking to better manage their investment portfolios in the wake of numerous regulatory changes including the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), the Dodd-Frank Act and Solvency II. Against this uncertain regulatory and market backdrop, many insurers are further leveraging the expertise of outside investment managers and their sophisticated portfolio and risk management systems to find better ways to manage their general accounts," noted industry veteran Michael Materasso, senior vice president and portfolio manager for Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group.
Franklin Templeton has been a long-term partner in the insurance asset management industry globally, and has more than 20 years of enduring relationships with insurance companies that comprise over $64 billion in insurance assets under management as of September 30, 2013.
Whitford added: "We understand what it takes to manage portfolios for insurance companies globally and are continuing to develop customized strategies for these companies that leverage Franklin Templeton's global investment expertise and strong risk management capabilities."
Whitford is currently in the process of hiring a team of risk analysts to help build out the investment solutions available to insurance clients.
About Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group
With over $353 billion in fixed income assets under management across a number of our investment advisers and more than 156 fixed income specialists, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group is one of the largest fixed income management groups in the world. This highly experienced team covers a diversified range of US core and satellite strategies in all major fixed income sectors with one of the longest track records in the industry for multiple fixed income strategies such as US municipal bond, high-yield and global bond investing.
About Franklin Templeton Investments
Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) is a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management solutions managed by its Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series, Bissett, Fiduciary Trust, Darby, Balanced Equity Management and K2 investment teams. The San Mateo, CA-based organization has more than 65 years of investment experience and over $870 billion in assets under management by its subsidiaries as of November 30, 2013. For more information, please call 1-800/DIAL BEN® or visit franklintempleton.com.
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Source: Franklin Templeton