Even under the International Financial Reporting Standard 4 (IFRS 4), the current accounting regime for UK life insurance companies is oriented towards delaying the recognition and distribution of profit, and still remains largely rooted in traditional requirements for statutory solvency reporting. This paper tests empirically the value relevance of the alternative ‘realistic reporting regime’ of voluntary embedded value (EV) disclosures that has been generally adopted by leading UK and Continental European insurers. In recent years, EVs have also been used internally (but not disclosed) by many US life insurers. The results found here are consistent with value relevance and some implications for standard-setters are explored
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