b'Insurance Corporate Finance Debt Capital Markets North America and Bermuda The debt capital markets for North American insurers was active in 2020, with numerous insurance companies across sectors issuing debt securities, often in multiple tranches, to take advantage of persistently low interest rates. The purpose of most of these transactions was to raise funds to refinance existing debt (including borrowings under credit facilities). The uncertainty in the economy overall created by the pandemic did not dampen market activity levels, although it did require issuers to address in disclosure the known or likely impact of COVID-19 and government lockdown orders on their business.In addition, several issuances were related to raising funds for general corporate purposes or previously announced M&A activity. For example, in November 2020, The Allstate Corporation raised an aggregate of $1.2 billion of senior notes to fund its acquisition of National General Holding Corp. While most issuances consisted of senior debt issued by holding companies, surplus note issuances by mutual insurance companies significantly increased over prior year levels. Surplus notes are debt instruments that are subordinated to policyholder obligations and other current and future liabilities and require regulatory approvals to be paid principal and interest. The capital raised are treated as surplus for statutory accounting purposes. In April 2020, Nationwide Mutual issued $1.35 billion of surplus notes due April 2050 in an under-writer 144A offering. Other significant surplus note transactions included issuances in April 2020 by Massachusetts Mutual ($700 million) and New York Life ($1.25 billion). New York Life used a portion of the proceeds as partial payment for the acquisition of group life and disability insurance business of Cigna Corporation announced in December 2019. UK and EuropeThe global COVID-pandemic in 2020, and the resultant adverse change in the global economic environment, created the backdrop for a year in which debt capital markets issuers, including insurance companies, were burdened with higher credit spreads as a result of negative investor risk sentiment. This drove momentum in insurance capital mar-kets towards the strategic issue by insurance companies of Solvency II qualifying Tier 2 capital in a bid to manage capital ratios and generally strengthen capital ratios. The continued period of low market yields for insurers senior debt securities meant that only a handful of insurance company issuers were able to successfully issue and offer senior debt. For example, in June 2020, Baloise Group successfully placed two senior bond issues MAYER BROWN 41'