“This issue of Insight offers our once-a-year in-depth look at segregated funds offered to individual retail clients. This report reflects updated data for the entire segregated funds universe plus interviews with industry executives about the trends driving the business.
The segregated funds business is maturing after a renaissance and growth boom that began in 1997 when Manulife pioneered the idea of wrapping an insurance contract around a brand name mutual fund.
There has been very little product development this year; the mantra has been repackage and rationalize. Sponsors have concentrated more on melding existing funds into portfolio solutions and on filling gaps in their line-ups.
As in the mutual funds world, there is also a big drive to rationalize existing segregated fund line-ups. This is being driven in part by the consolidation of major life insurance companies and in part by efforts to prune funds with generous guarantees that were created before the imposition of capital reserve requirements.”