Private-equity firms have been buying and reinsuring annuity lines for a chance to exercise their investment and asset-management capabilities, says Scott Robinson of Moody's Investors Service. Fixed and fixed-indexed annuities were the main target of alternative-investment managers in 2012, but the trend this year may be variable annuities, Robinson said. "[Private equity] firms are looking for something that is going to meet their returns, and they have fairly high return hurdles. They are looking for businesses that are going to provide some diversification to their other investments," he said.

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