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Collateral Analysis & Negotiations: An Actuary’s Perspective. Aon Global Risk Consulting Ron Schuler FCAS, MAAA Associate Director & Actuary Overview.

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collateral analysis negotiations an actuary s perspective

Collateral Analysis & Negotiations: An Actuary’s Perspective

Aon Global Risk Consulting

Ron Schuler FCAS, MAAA

Associate Director & Actuary


At a minimum, the process of estimating and evaluating collateral amounts should seek to achieve the following objectives:

  • Provide quantitative or qualitative information to be used for decision-making by risk management and its partners, constituents, and counter-parties.
  • Improve clarity, understanding, and eliminate ambiguities underlying the collateral determination process.
  • Provide a robust set of supportable and understood analytics and information which can be used to better understand and support the determined collateral position(s) as well as other related estimates and costs that impact the Total Cost of Risk (TCOR).

Understanding A Company’s Collateral Position: Why is it relevant?

  • Actual costs, credit capacity, and opportunity costs.
  • Managing expectations, effective communication, and negotiations require information (that will be provided to and used by various parties).
  • Defines positional arguments.
  • Components of Total Cost of Risk (TCOR) shouldn’t be viewed in isolation, and thus, collateral impacts other risk financing decisions.
  • Provides risk management perspective on performance relative to prior expectations, performance metrics, and/or benchmarks.
  • Quantifies statistical information which provides insight into trends, operational changes, or changes in risk profile.
  • Facilitates efficient audit, accounting, and risk management processes.
  • Provides prospective guidance for risk management and other financial purposes.
  • Assist with brokerage support, guidance, and recommendations.
  • Provide the necessary actuarial documentation which is consistent with actuarial, financial, and accounting standards of practice.

Outputs are directly related to information provided to:

  • Financial Reporting
  • Accounting / Budget
  • Risk Management (General)
  • Benchmarking / Performance Metrics
  • Internal / External Audit
  • Insurers / Regulators
  • Insurance Placement (Brokerage / Captive / Other )
  • Loss Control / Claims Management
  • Other Parties (M&A+D / Vendors)
the basics collateral calculation
The Basics: Collateral Calculation

Foundation of the Collateral Calculation:

  • Actuarial Loss Reserve Analysis – Retrospective
  • Loss Forecast Analysis – Prospective
  • Risk Load Analysis – Retrospective & Prospective
  • Roll-Forward Analysis – Prospective
  • Financial Strength / Credit Risk Analysis – Prospective

Collateral = Ultimate Loss + Loss Forecast + Risk Load – Actual Paid – Expected Paid – Working Fund (+/ – ) Other (+/ – ) Credit Adjustment

Other: Overdue Premium, Audit Premium, Retro Adj, LCF, LBA, etc.

the basics collateral calculation1
The Basics: Collateral Calculation

Collateral Calculation & Negotiation Process: The Challenge

Don’t be a spectator: Actively manage the process.

  • Challenge the experts.
  • Challenge the methods, assumptions, data, and considerations underlying the various analyses.
  • Challenge the status quo.
    • Analysis vs. Approach
    • Retrospective & Prospective Components
    • Core Assumptions: Credibility, Complement, Risk, Coverage, Characteristics , Availability of Statistics, & Other
    • Determination & translation of credit risk to a probability of default (or vice versa)
    • Other Considerations: Technical and Contractual
    • Other General: e.g. Funding Options
  • Every item underlying the collateral calculation can be quantified:

Quantify, Challenge, Understand, Communicate, Repeat.

financial strength credit risk analysis
Financial Strength / Credit Risk Analysis
  • Used to assess financial strength and/or creditworthiness of insured
  • Insurer Perspective: There are two types of risk (Reserve, Credit). Insurer is in the business of insurance (i.e. not a bank), thus primary goal is to eliminate exposure to credit risk
  • Utilized by insurers to determine viability of writing program and/or underwriting surcharge / discount
  • Generally based on insurer judgment versus a more technical evaluation of credit strength
  • Consideration of relevant factors such as general economic conditions and how they impact the insured, insured pro forma statements, the probability and timing of default, variance / risk in loss estimates, expected recovery rates, interest yields, and time value of money.
financial strength credit risk analysis1
Financial Strength / Credit Risk Analysis
  • Type of financials and information provided impact credit evaluation (Audited, Reviewed, Compiled, & Internal)
  • Preferred financials to review: Latest Audited, Interim, and supplemental information
  • Other Information reviewed:
      • Public Information: S&P, Moody’s, Fitch, D&B
      • Company Specific Information: SEC filings, Pro Formas, Interview, etc
      • Industry Specific Information: Competitive, Industry, Key Economic Variables
  • Financial credit review results in credit “rating” which, in turn, should be converted to expected probabilities of default
  • Probabilities of Default similar to Rating Agencies (S&P, Moody’s, Fitch)
      • BBB+ and Above: Investment Grade / Superior
      • BBB to BBB-: Speculative / Average
      • B and Below: Distressed / In Default
financial strength credit risk analysis2
Financial Strength / Credit Risk Analysis
  • Types of financial ratios: Liquidity, Leverage, Profitability, and Cash Flow
  • Liquidity Ratios: Measure ability to meet short-term obligations.
      • Net Working Capital = Current Assets less Current Liabilities
      • Current Ratio = Current Assets / Current Liabilities
      • Rules of Thumb:
        • NWC > 0 for Y year period
        • CR > 2
  • Leverage Ratios: Measure the extent to which a company is financed with debt.
      • Long-term debt (LTD) to Equity or LTD to Tangible Equity : Provides an indication of long-term solvency. Tangible Equity = Equity less Goodwill less Intangible Assets
      • Times Interest Earned (TIE) = EBIT / Interest Expense
      • Rules of Thumb:
        • LTD / E < 1 is acceptable; LTD / E > 2 implies a potential issue to pay interest and principle
        • 3 < TIE < 5 is acceptable; TIE < 3 is poor and TIE > 5 is good
financial strength credit risk analysis3
Financial Strength / Credit Risk Analysis
  • Profitability Ratios: Measure ability to meet short-term obligations.
      • Return on Sales = Net Income / Revenue; measures operating margin
      • Operating Margin = EBIT / Revenue; measures operating margin before interest & tax
      • Return on Total Assets = Net Income / Total Assets or EBIT / Total Assets; measures how effectively firm assets are used.
      • Return on Equity = Net Income / Equity; measure the return on invested capital
      • Rules of Thumb:
        • Need to review short- and long-term
        • ROE > Industry Benchmark
  • Cash Flow Ratios: Measure whether firm is a cash generator or user.
      • Net Cash Flow: CF > 0 (generator), CF < 0 (user)
      • CF to Revenue = CF / Revenue; measures the cash generating ability of revenues
      • CF to CMLTD = CF / CMLTD; measures firms ability to generate sufficient cash to meet short-term fixed obligations; CMLTD = Current maturity of LTD
      • Rules of Thumb:
        • Need to review short- and long-term
        • CF / Revenue > 0 is acceptable