October 9, 2012 ELSA announces an updated Code of Practice
ELSA ANNOUNCES AN UPDATED CODE OF PRACTICE
The European Life Settlement Association (ELSA) announces the publication of an updated Code of Practice following its Second Investor Summit held in London on 26th September.
The ELSA Code of Practice Committee, chaired by Simon Erritt of Coventry Capital, included Patrick McAdams of SL Investment Management, Mike Fasano of Fasano Associates, Jim Maxson of Morris, Manning & Martin, Beat Hess of AA-Partners, Anna M. Bailey of LifebondXchange, Darwin Bayston of LISA, and Paul Siegert of the Insurance Studies Institute. They worked intensively to abridge and clarify the main three sections of the document: product design, disclosure and reporting, and sales and marketing.
The updated Code has been presented to the FSA, the CSSF, the Central Bank of Ireland and the Irish Stock Exchange. It has also been presented and discussed at a panel session of the Second ELSA Investor Summit by Simon Erritt, Gareth Mee of Ernst & Young, Christian Seidl of Life Bond Management and BVZL, and Jose Garcia of Carlisle Management. The Code can be now viewed at: http://www.elsa-sls.org/code_of_practice.htm.
Simon Erritt said: "ELSA first published its Code in September 2010. This revised and updated Code aims to provide a benchmark for transparency and self-regulation for investors in life settlements. Working with European regulators we hope that the standards required by the ELSA code will become common practice for the asset class and help ensure investors’ interests are protected".
Patrick McAdams said: “The life settlement market is at a critical stage of its development and now, more than ever, it is paramount that market participants work together with the common goal of ensuring the market reaches its full potential benefitting investors and policy sellers alike. However, as with all worthwhile endeavours, serious challenges must be overcome and difficult decisions made. ELSA remains at the forefront of this effort with its members fundamentally believing addressing those issues that are impeding the market’s development will deliver a much brighter future.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
ABOUT LIFE SETTLEMENTS
Life settlements are the sale of a life insurance policy by its owner to a purchaser that pays the owner a cash settlement. As an alternative to the lapse or surrender of a life insurance policy American policyowners have the right to sell their policies and receive a market value for their property. Life settlements are regulated in 40 of the United States, covering almost 90 percent of the US population.
According to a 2010 US government report on life settlements, policy owners entering into a life settlement received $5.62 billion more than they would have received from their life insurer for the years 2006-2009. The report also estimated that the life settlement market grew from $200 million in 1998 to a between $5.5 and nearly $13 billion in the years 2006-2009. Today, the life settlement market today is estimated at between $4-7 billion.
A 2011 Conning Research & Consulting report, entitled “Life Settlements: An Asset Class Resets”, while detailing the risks and past performance of life settlement investments stated that “[a]s the life settlement market reboots, investors will continue to find an opportunity to make returns that are higher than other fixed income investments” and pointed out that investors “will find clearer, and more stable, regulation” and “a legal landscape that has seen several recent cases that strengthened their ability to receive death benefits.”
The European Life Settlement Association (ELSA) was founded in 2009 to set standards for the European life settlement industry. We represent European funding sources, service providers and intermediaries in the life settlement market who are looking to promote transparency by providing accurate, authoritative information to retail and institutional investors, regulatory bodies and the media. Our focus is on the promotion of best practice and the positive development of the European life settlement industry’s reputation amongst all stakeholders. We encourage fair competition and investor protection within the European market.
For further information please contact:
Investment Director of SL Investment Management
T: +44 (0) 784 326 6392
Managing Director, Capital Markets, Coventry Capital
ELSA Deputy Chair
T: +44 (0)20 7318 8903
T: +44 (0) 798 416 0102