Insurance companies account for a significant proportion of secondary market players. Preqin’s Secondary Market Monitor database shows that 14% of all non-traditional secondary market buyers are insurance companies. On the sell side, alongside banks and investments banks, insurance companies form the largest portion (12%) of all secondary market sellers. Insurance companies are now facing more regulations, including Solvency II which requires them to improve the liquidity of their balance sheets to ensure they are able to fulfil claims. Offloading portfolios of private equity fund stakes on the secondary market is an effective way for them to do this.
One insurance company active on the secondary market is CNP Assurances. The EUR 250 billion French insurance company will consider purchasing private equity fund stakes on the secondary on an opportunistic basis going forward. It does not have any specific preferences with regards to fund type or vintages but it is interested in more mature vehicles that have a significant amount of the funds’ capital already committed. CNP Assurances is also still open to the idea of selling off private equity fund stakes on the secondary market in order to actively manage its portfolio. Back in November 2010, it sold its stakes in Barclays Private Equity European Fund II and Barclays Private Equity European Fund III to LGT Capital Partners.