Insurance equity analysts have been described as the "E.F. Huttons of the insurance industry." Since 1985, the number of publicly held insurers has increased nearly five-fold. And with this expansion, equity analysts have emerged among the most powerful voices in our industry. Accenture completed a survey of nearly one-quarter of the world's insurance equity analysts this year in order to gather their views on the challenges carriers face and the business strategies that analysts reward. The survey, conducted by New York-based Institutional Investor Market Research, focused on how insurers can outperform the market and achieve superior ratings over the next three years. The findings, especially with regard to technology, were eye opening.

While analysts acknowledged the difficult market conditions-an uncertain economy, softening premium rates and an array of competitive threats-the survey clearly indicates that they have high expectations for growth and profitability.

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