What is Unit-Linked life insurance?

What is Unit-Linked life insurance?

What is Unit-Linked life insurance?

Unit-Linked life insurance, also known as Wealth Assurance, Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI), Branche 23 Fonds dédié/Tak 23 toegewezen fonds (Belgium), Ramo III private insurance solutions (Italy), assurance vie en unités de compte (France) is an established and internationally recognised tool for wealth, estate and succession planning.


A Unit-Linked life insurance contract can be invested in a variety of assets, both listed and non-listed, via a range of internal or external funds. It does not offer a guaranteed return as its value is directly linked to the performance of the underlying assets of the insurance policy and subject to market fluctuations. It is adaptable to the most complex of situations, and its robustness and flexibility make it highly complementary to other popular wealth management solutions. It can be tailored to suit the unique needs of individuals, their families and institutions, with the potential to enhance financial planning.

At Lombard International Assurance, we are committed to setting and maintaining the highest standards of risk management and compliance in the industry. Our Unit-Linked life insurance solutions are fully compliant with the legal requirements of multiple global jurisdictions.

Our international team of 400+ experienced wealth structuring specialists, subject-matter and technical experts consists of over 40 different nationalities speaking over 30 different languages. We have the experience and local knowledge to engage with our clients and partners in their native tongue with an understanding of regional cultures needs and requirements.

Unit-Linked life insurance can be used to complement other popular wealth planning solutions


In an ever more globalised world, we offer the benefits of real choice and flexibility, Designed to meet the evolving and ever more sophisticated needs of upper affluent,HNW and UHNW clients and institutions, our solutions serve their wealth planning needs, objectives and personal circumstances. Depending on the jurisdiction, they can be easily combined with their existing wealth planning structures, such as a Trust, a discretionary managed account, fixed interest products, a civil company or other legal entities. These solutions complement a Unit-Linked life insurance solution, allowing for a holistic and comprehensive approach to estate planning.

Our expertise

Why Lombard International Assurance

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Our expertise

Our solutions

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Key features




Tailor a truly bespoke succession planning strategy to the needs of each family while catering to often complex family circumstances and individual lifestyles.



Meet liquidity needs to repay debt, satisfy estate and succession taxes, protect against key person risk and preserve the integrity of the family business across generations.



Align with and optimize existing planning and holding vehicles, including trusts, companies and foundations, as life insurance is flexible and highly complementary to other wealth management solutions.



Invest in a broad and diversified range of asset classes, from traditional stocks and bonds to non-traditional assets, which include private equity, hedge funds and real estate.



Ensure that wealth passes to future generations and/or philanthropic or other causes exactly as planned, while maintaining control during clients' lifetimes and beyond.



Continue to adapt and rebalance investment portfolios in line with clients' evolving needs and in response to prevailing market conditions.



Decide and freely change who will benefit from family wealth (including those who may not be legal heirs).



Benefit from a solution that adapts to international lifestyles and remains effective across borders by being generally recognized in multiple global jurisdictions.

The contract and its set-up


Each situation is unique requiring individually tailored wealth planning strategies.

At Lombard International Assurance, we have the ability to guide our clients in making the right choices in partnership with their asset manager, and their trusted advisers. Unit-Linked life insurance solutions enable clients to choose and adapt customised portfolio management strategies, offering policyholders to broaden their available investment options to assets usually reserved for professional investors.

In Europe, our unit-linked life insurance solutions are based on a life assurance contract issued by our Luxembourg entity. Luxembourg’s insurance policyholder protection regime, which is popularly known as the Triangle of Security, provides one of the strongest asset protection regimes in the world. It requires:

  • All assets underlying life insurance policies to be deposited by an independent custodian bank approved by the state insurance regulator, the Commissariat aux Assurances.

  • Ring-fencing of assets from both insurance company and the custodian bank.

Different roles exist at insurance contract level:




A Unit-Linked life insurance solution is a contract between an insurance company and an individual or legal entity (“policyholder”). The Policyholder is the party subscribing to the contract.


Life Assured

The Life Assured is the person whose death will trigger the payment of the benefits to the Beneficiary/Beneficiaries (whole of life policies). The policy value is linked to the underlying funds held by the life assurance company (“assets”). Payments made to nominated beneficiaries or the estate of the policyholder (“death proceeds”) are equal to the value of assets plus a death benefit.



The Beneficiary is the party benefitting from the pay-out of the policy’s assets’ value and the potential death cover linked to the contract.