The Solvency II Directive is the legislation setting out prudential rules for the European insurance industry. It provides a risk measurement framework for defining capital requirements for insurance companies when they invest into private equity and venture capital funds. A review of the Directive has been launched on 22nd September 2021 and is currently ongoing.
The capital that must be set aside by insurers to address the risks they face for investing in private equity has a significant influence on their asset allocation decisions. With insurers representing more than 10% of the investment into European private equity, the Directive has the potential to affect the amount of capital flowing into private equity and venture capital funds. Over the past few years much attention has been given to improving the criteria allowing insurers to set up "long-term equity portfolios" subject to a preferential capital charge.
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