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Investment banks set up longevity group

GLOBAL - A group of leading investment banks including Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and UBS have formed a trade association focused on the mortality and longevity market.

The New York-based Institutional Life Markets Association aims to "encourage best practices and growth of the mortality and longevity related marketplace".

It said: "ILMA seeks to establish industry best practices and disclosures, to encourage standardization of documents, and to advocate for the appropriate regulation of the rapidly evolving life settlement and premium finance marketplace."

It added: "Some of ILMA's guiding principles, to which all members agree to adhere, include: promoting transaction transparency, protecting the identity of insureds, supporting longstanding insurable interest principles, and advancing public understanding of the life settlement and premium finance industries."

The body would also advocate "appropriate regulation" that supports growth, integrity and competition in these industries.

ILMA's members believe that the development of the longevity and mortality market is crucial to addressing the interests of an ageing population in which retirement is increasingly financed by personal savings rather than by defined benefit pension funds.

And it the group said the development of this market is also needed to address the interests of other holders of longevity and mortality risk, who are increasingly turning to the capital markets in order to manage this risk.

Founder members: Bear Stearns, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Mizuho International, UBS and West LB AG. The founding members' inaugural meeting took place on March 22.

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