Our news snapshot of the week features the most popular stories of last week including two senior people moves in structured derivatives, our Korean market review and latest product developments in Europe and the US.

In the past week, one of our most read stories was the exclusive coverage of the coming departure of Morgan Stanley’s Larry Wilson, head of structured note sales, North America based in New York since late 2018.

Prior to that, Wilson spent 16 years at J.P. Morgan where he oversaw retail distribution of structured investments in the continent.

In Asia, UBS has hired Suicheng Wang in its Tokyo office as managing director, head of structuring, Japan. He joined from Goldman Sachs where he was managing director specialising in funds and reinsurance in the equity and fund derivatives structuring team, also based in Tokyo.

Across the border, the Korean market continues to see investors pivoting from equity-linked securities (ELS) to principal-protected equity-linked bonds (ELBs) and derivative-linked bonds (DLB). Hana Securities’ overall structured product sales amounted to 24% of the market share in April, our South Korea market Review, April shows.

In Singapore, financial services firm Conduit Group has expanded its investment solutions through a partnership with independent French structured products provider Kepler Cheuvreux Solutions. The solutions in scope include structured products issued in an open architecture and actively managed certificates (AMCs).

As follow up of our past SRP APAC Awards 2024, Singapore Exchange reflected on the evolvement of innovation in the Asian structured product market over the past year and highlighted autocallable structured certificates available on the bourse – in a first for Asia.

In addition, Murex, which has won the Best Pricing & Risk Analytics Provider accolade, discussed how the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI)-linked autocall fiasco has triggered a product shift.

Meanwhile, Guillaume Arnaud, head of quantitative investment solutions (QIS) at Société Générale, which pocketed six accolades at the SRP Europe Awards 2024, talked to SRP about how long convexity overlays are growing as a complement to risk-on long carry exposure.

In Germany, certificate volumes spiked driven by retail demand, according to an SRP analysis that sampled the annual results for the five main domestic structured product issuers.

Swiss-based fintech GenTwo has partnered with securitisation specialist ISP Group to develop their structured products offerings by investing in each other’s infrastructure.

Our weekly product wrap shines a light on the launch of Opportunité IA Mai 2024 linked to a new underlier – the Bloomberg DM Artificial Intelligence 50 Point Decrement II Index (EUR) in France, which is on the paper of Privalto, the BNP Paribas entity that provides structured products for independent asset managers.

In the regulatory space, the European Supervisory Authorities (EBA, Eiopa and Esma – ESAs) have released their final reports on greenwashing in the financial sector.

Back to North America, a Vancouver-based mineral exploration firm has issued two tranches of gold-linked notes worth US$24.3m through agents led by Raymond James while waiting to harvest its recurring revenue.

The US index-linked annuities market continues to display momentum as Baltimore-based Transamerica has expanded its partnership with FT Indexing Solutions by bringing the First Trust Equity Edge Index to its flagship registered index-linked annuity (Rila) - Transamerica Structured Index Advantage Annuity - on an exclusive basis.

On the indexed universal life (IUL) side, Annexus, an independent retirement product design and distribution company, has collaborated with Boston-based insurer John Hancock Financial to launch John Hancock Indexed Universal Life. 

In the second part of the series, we look at the earnings results of three more active insurance carriers in the US, including Jackson Financial that has delivered its record Rila sales.

Last but not least, Tim Mortimer from FVC brings us his insights on product understanding versus underlying performance as he notes that the strength of structured products is their ability to reshape risk-return profiles away from linear outcomes.

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