Are insurers prepared to capitalize on strategic risks?

Are insurers prepared to capitalize on strategic risks?Jaykumar Shah, assistant manager for insurance, Deloitte Services India Pvt. Ltd, August 26, 2015

Does the advent of driverless cars threaten to eliminate the need for personal auto liability insurance? Will medical advances extend life spans to the point where life insurance and annuity products need to be radically changed to remain viable? What if major online retailers start to underwrite as well as distribute insurance products? These are just a few examples of emerging strategic risks that will likely require a different approach by insurers when compared to the management of more traditional exposures.

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Commercial real estate startups: Catalysts for disruption?

Commercial real estate startups: Catalysts for disruption?Saurabh Mahajan, Real Estate assistant manager, Deloitte Services LP, August 19, 2015

Welcome to the age of startups! Today’s technologies have lowered entry barriers and enabled startups to provide unique value propositions, disrupting many industries. Commercial real estate (CRE) is witnessing its own rise in startups with the potential to transform the industry, from the way space is used to the way it is bought, sold, and leased.

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Algorithmic self-trading in the Treasury markets: Do we need more effective pre-trade risk controls?

Algorithmic self-trading in the Treasury markets: Do we need more effective pre-trade risk controls?Val Srinivas, Banking & Securities research leader, August 12

Some of you may remember the US Treasury “flash crash” last October. That was the day—October 15, 2014—when intraday volatility in Treasury securities in both cash and futures markets exploded, and the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield experienced an unprecedented 37-basis-point trading range. In particular, during a 12-minute window between 9:33 and 9:45 a.m. ET, yields plunged 16 points but came back up again. Liquidity also dropped sharply before this event window.

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Annuity buyers likely to keep agents in the loop

Annuity buyers likely to keep agents in the loopSam Friedman, Insurance research leader, Deloitte Services LP, August 5, 2015

The rise of a “do-it-yourself” mindset among many web-savvy consumers has prompted online shoppers to bypass intermediaries in a number of industries—including insurance. But don’t expect the mass disintermediation of those selling annuities anytime soon. Indeed, the latest research from the Deloitte Center for Financial Services found that guidance from insurance agents and financial planners remains the dominant factor in just about every aspect of a consumer’s annuity purchase decision.

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The more things change: Are there no new ideas in retail banking?

The more things change: Are there no new ideas in retail banking?Jim Eckenrode, Executive Director, Deloitte Services LP, on July 29, 2015

I spend time every day (as I’m sure many of you do) visiting several sources of news and information as part of my effort to keep abreast of changes in the financial services industry. I thought I’d share one of these items with you by way of a series of excerpts. The topic is retail banking trends, with a particular emphasis on technology, and what should be top of mind for executives in the coming year:

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Internet of Things has upside potential, downside risks for insurers

Internet of Things has upside potential, downside risks for insurersSam Friedman, Insurance research leader, Deloitte Services LP, July 22, 2015

The Internet of Things has the potential to revolutionize the insurance industry, given the vast amount of real-time data that could soon be available to support underwriting, pricing, and claims management decisions. Yet that doesn’t mean implementing and monetizing this tremendous opportunity will be easy or without significant downside risks for carriers.

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Calculating the impact of student loans on retirement savings

Calculating the impact of student loans on retirement savingsJ. Lynette DeWitt, Investment Management research manager, July 15, 2015

“No one should go broke because they chose to go to college,” opined President Obama in a State of the Union address.1 This argument is difficult to fault. Yet, the average total cost of one year at a private nonprofit higher education institution in the USA rose to $42,419 in 2014,2 so it’s easy to see how high monthly loan payments could take the fun out of tossing one’s cap into the air—especially if the graduate ends up unemployed afterward.

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UN urges insurers to raise their game on sustainability

UN urges insurers to raise their game on sustainabilitySam Friedman, Insurance research leader, Deloitte Services LP, July 8, 2015

One day before Pope Francis released his historic call to action on climate change, insurance leaders from around the world gathered at the United Nations last month for a summit on the subject, where they were urged to leverage their vast resources and risk management expertise to bolster sustainable development and their profitability at the same time.

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Commercial real estate sector: Get set to be disrupted by driverless cars

Commercial real estate sector: Get set to be disrupted by driverless carsSurabhi Sheth, Real Estate research leader, Deloitte Services LP, July 1, 2015

The disruptive implications of “driverless” cars taking over the road are likely keeping auto executives up at night, and for very good reasons. With a technology company leading the way in developing such “self-driving” vehicles, could traditional manufacturers be staring at the potential extinction of cars operated by actual people—the bread and butter product for auto companies throughout the industry’s history?

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Exponential technologies and zero marginal costs in financial services

Exponential technologies and zero marginal costs in financial servicesVal Srinivas, Banking & Securities research leader, Deloitte Services LP, on June 24, 2015

Around this time last year, I wrote a blog post on the first Exponential Finance conference hosted by Singularity University. In that post, I speculated about the implications of exponential technologies—such as artificial intelligence, robotics, ambient computing, and 3D printing—for financial services.

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