Jack Kelly, Director of Government Affairs, The - Berkeley Law

Jack Kelly, Director of Government Affairs, The - Berkeley Law

Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy UC Berkeley School of Law Witness: Jack Kelly, Director of Government Affairs, The Institutional Li...

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Witness: Jack Kelly, Director of Government Affairs, The Institutional Life Markets Association (ILMA) Hearing: Recent Innovations in Securitization Date: September 24, 2009 Website: http://www.house.gov/apps/list/hearing/financialsvcs_dem/kelly_testimony_with_attachment.pdf Securitization Kelly notes that there has been a lot of speculation about the securitization of life settlements and he attempts to clarify the reality of securitization in the life settlements market. Securitization of insurance is not a new phenomenon. Securitization is key to merging insurance and capital markets. Securitization is economically beneficial in the following ways: o Reduced borrowing costs; o Increased choices for consumers; o Increased liquidity; o Efficient risk transfer; o Separating credit quality from an asset’s owner and the asset; o Professional asset management. Life settlement securitizations are rare, although securitization is widely used in the life insurance industry. Kelly dismisses the argument that life settlement securitization would increase the cost of life insurance premiums for the following reasons: o Life settlement is for seniors, most of whom lapse their policies less frequently. o Fewer lapsed policies could help life insurance companies because life insurance policies have large upfront costs. o The life settlement market is very limited in size. Myth v. Truth Kelly disagrees with the claim that some have made that the life settlement securitization market will be the next subprime mortgage crisis. Mortgage-backed securitization depends on continued funding from the borrower, but life settlement securitization is paid for in advance. If the life settlement securitization failed, the investor would be the only participant to incur losses. Regulation of Life Settlements Kelly believes that life settlement transactions should be regulated to protect consumers. The life settlement broker and life settlement provider should be registered. Documents associated with the life settlement contract should be transparent and informative. Consumers should consult with a financial adviser and a lawyer throughout the transaction. Uniform laws should be adopted for all states to protect consumers. The SEC is the proper regulator of life settlement securitizations. Page 1