News

Voya’s Toms: Markets Reacting To” Calm, Measured Reaction” From Fed On Inflation

January 21, 2022

Appearing on Bloomberg TV Voya Fixed Income CIO Matt Toms spoke on the market’s reactions to Federal Reserve Chairman Powell’s comments on how the Fed is planning to fight inflation. Toms said the market is currently reacting to a “calm, measured” reaction from the Fed as Chairman Powell announced the doubling of tapering and expected rate hikes. Toms said the market is still expecting inflation to be “moderating” over the next few years. Toms believes that while it is hard to predict an exact timeline, he believes the Fed’s current timeline of ending tapering in March and beginning rate hikes is a good estimate. Minus a sharp rise in inflation that would deserve a more harsh reaction, Toms believes the current plan from the Fed is good for the equity market. Toms also believes that increasingly higher prices will push consumer spending down, which will get rid of some of the “inflationary push.”

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Voya’s Hurtsellers Speaks On Pandemic’s Impact On Data, Analytics.

January 21, 2022

Ignites reports Voya Investment Management CEO Christine Hurtsellers said the pandemic had “quite a bit” of an impact on data and analytics. Hurtsellers said that while it took Voya “a number of years ... to actually make sure we have really quick mobile tools using multiple sources of data,” the company currently has “a lot of bifurcated data that you actually need to bring together into one thoughtful resource for our sales team.” Hurtsellers says the ability to do so has increased productivity and allows Voya’s employees to “spend a lot more time actually engaging with clients as opposed to getting ready for meetings.”

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Voya Appoints Kane As ESG Research Head.

January 21, 2022

Pensions & Investments reports Voya Investment Management has appointed Laura Kane as head of ESG research, a newly established position. P&I says, “In this position, Ms. Kane is responsible for leading Voya’s ‘ESG investment research process across all of the firm’s investment platforms (equity, fixed income, multiasset strategies)’ as well as ‘overseeing and building out a team of ESG-focused analysts’ in order to advance Voya analysts’ and portfolio managers’ ‘understanding and consideration of ESG factors into their investment processes.’” Voya’s co-head of Fundamental Research and Kane’s superior said, “Our objective is to systematically research and compare environmental, social and governance factors for all the companies in which we invest and consider how these factors may affect a company’s long-term potential performance by addressing emerging risks and opportunities. Laura brings a wealth of expertise in this regard. That expertise, combined with the work we have done already, means we are well positioned to integrate ESG into our investment process across all of our asset classes.”

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Voya Releases Results Of Plan Sponsor, DC Advisor Survey.

January 21, 2022

PlanAdviser reports Voya Investment Management released the findings of its third annual plan sponsor and defined contribution specialist advisor survey. The survey “found sponsors and DC specialists continue to share views on many aspects of retirement plan support and service, but where differences exist, they indicate that DC specialists feel their services add greater value than plan sponsors recognize — pointing to an opportunity for DC specialists to better demonstrate their value.” Voya IM’s head of Intermediary Distribution Jake Tuzza said on the survey, “Sponsors told us they are looking to specialists for a broad spectrum of advice and want higher levels of expertise, which again underscores the need for specialists to make sponsors aware of all that they can do.” The survey found “upticks in sponsor recognition that DC specialists help keep plan costs reasonable (93%) and that DC specialist compensation is proportional to the support provided (85%). Also encouraging, Voya says sponsors are more likely to say they understand the DC specialist’s compensation and fee disclosures (73%).” Tuzza added, “Given the results of this survey, there are things specialists can do that demonstrate their value. For example, articulate your value by drawing up an inventory of the services you provide to each sponsor and assess yourself on how closely your services focus on their priorities. We also recommend embracing ESG (environmental, social and governance) in the investment selection process. We expect to see increased demand for ESG strategies — especially as younger employees come to represent a greater percentage of plan participants.”

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Voya Investment Management CEO Discusses Tech Trends Impacting Mutual Fund Distribution.

January 21, 2022

Ignites provides the transcript for an interview with Voya Investment Management CEO Christine Hurtsellers. When asked about the “tech trends that have most impacted mutual fund distribution,” Hurtsellers said, “It really goes to customized portfolios, customized advice and model portfolios. So one of the things that we’ve done is developed a partnership with a large wealth manager where we provide model portfolios for less-high-net-worth individuals. So think about people that have fewer assets.”

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High Yield Bond Sales Reach Record Levels As Investors Seek Higher Returns.

December 1, 2021

The Wall Street Journal reports that investors seeking higher yields have pushed fixed-income sales to record highs, especially for riskier debt offering higher payouts. The uptick in inflation has pushed price increases above average junk bond yields, an inversion of the way investors traditionally think of the bond market. Voya Investment Management Chief Investment Officer Matt Toms believes that investors are looking more at each individual issuer rather than categories, saying, “It is now about which companies can manage supply and pricing pressures and less so whether they can survive through the pandemic.”

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Voya’s Hurtsellers: Pandemic Made Establishing Relationships “Harder and Harder,” Accelerated Digitization

November 17, 2021

Ignites spoke with Voya Investment Management CEO Christine Hurtsellers on the impact of the pandemic on Voya’s distribution and sales teams. Hurtsellers said that, as the pandemic has carried on, it has made establishing relationships with clients “harder and harder.” At the same time, Hurtsellers said the new challenges “massively accelerated our digitization.”

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Voya Names Costa Co-CIO For Equities, Creates New Research Leadership Positions

November 12, 2021

Voya Investment Management has named Vincent Costa Co-Chief Investment Officer for Equities effective Jan. 1, according to a statement. Costa “will work closely with Michael Pytosh, who has been CIO of equities since 2017 and head of equities since 2010, the release noted.” Voya spokesman Kristopher Kagel “confirmed by email that Mr. Costa will also retain his current positions as head of the quantitative equity team and portfolio manager in Voya’s large-cap value strategy group.” Voya “also named James Dorment and Kristy Finnegan as co-heads of fundamental research in the equities platform, both newly created positions. Both Mr. Dorment and Ms. Finnegan will keep their portfolio management responsibilities on the value and growth strategies teams, respectively, the release added.”  

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Voya’s Hurtsellers Named Among Most Powerful Women In ESG

October 6, 2021

American Banker reported that, for its Most Powerful Women program, it has “chosen some specific types of roles that have taken on outsize importance in recent times and, within each category, highlighted a few extraordinary female leaders who stand out.” In the Most Powerful Women in ESG category, Voya Investment Management CEO Christine Hurtsellers is listed among the women who “are on the forefront and effecting change at their companies and beyond in their distinct roles.” American Banker says ESG principles “are quickly becoming part of the mainstream and being applied by businesses across every aspect of their operations.”

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Voya’s Conway Highlights Need For Data Analytics Blueprint To Drive Faster Growth

October 6, 2021

FundFire reports a recent Cerulli Associates survey found that distribution teams “are increasingly turning to data analytics to drive faster growth but are running into challenges in pulling the right data together and convincing wholesalers to actually use the tools they put in place.” The survey showed 95% of distribution executives cited “insufficient technology infrastructure” as “very challenging” or “somewhat challenging” to efforts in data analytics. Moreover, 70% of distribution executives “considered sourcing data to be either very or somewhat challenging.” Voya Investment Management Head of Distribution Enablement and Intelligence Jane Conway said many asset management firms make large investments in core platforms “and spend a lot of money on data without a blueprint or a way to integrate that data into an infrastructure that supports the distribution ecosystem.”

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