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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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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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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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