Ignites reports Jane Conway recently joined Voya Investment Management as its new Head of Distribution Enablement and Intelligence. In her new role, Conway “is responsible for leveraging Voya’s data capabilities to help the firm’s sales, marketing and client service teams be more efficient and effective.” In a statement, Voya Head of Distribution Charlie Shaffer said that Voya is looking to take a more data-driven approach to its distribution capabilities to engage clients “at the right time in the channel they want to engage with us.” Conway is expected to help further those efforts, with Shaffer saying, “Jane brings a tremendous amount of expertise and we look forward to working with her to advance our various initiatives in this space.”
Voya Investment Management Head of Real Estate Finance Gregory Michaud recently appeared on ABS in Mind, a Debtwire podcast presenting “the latest issues affecting asset-backed securities markets and the loans they finance.” In the interview, Michaud “details how insurers are taking advantage of dislocations created by COVID-19 and discusses where they’ve become more selective.” Voya’s new strategies “include backing away from lending on retail properties, steering clear of hospitality and sticking with office buildings,” though Michaud notes that it has become more selective in its building choice. Additionally, Voya “continues to fund multifamily loans – in part because of signs the sector will perform well despite rising unemployment, and also because it enjoys deep support from the government sponsored enterprises.” In the near term, Voya is busy helping CMBS borrowers who have found themselves in trouble, specifically those left in limbo as markets seized in March. “We’ve been doing a lot of stranded loans” Michaud said.
Voya Chief Investment Officer for Fixed Income Matt Toms was on Bloomberg TV discussing debt markets and what factors are likely to have an impact in the future. Looking forward, Toms said, “in our view, it’s unlikely that [the Federal Reserve] needs to specifically use yield curve control ... the market is saying the Fed is near zero for an extended period, beyond 2-3 years all the way out to that 5 year bond. It’s only at the very back end with that 30 year where you see the real steepening, so bond markets are saying we could stay at a low level for a very long time.”
Voya Investment Management Head of Securitized Dave Goodson was quoted by GlobalCapital as it looks at how the pandemic and subsequent economic shock have impacted the asset-backed securities market. Many asset issuers have adopted forbearance as “an integral part of ... relief plans to buy some time for their clients to recover.” However, Goodson believes that it remains unclear what direction the economic recovery will take and “the key question is how forbearance translates into real, observed delinquencies” in the market. Looking at specific sectors such as aviation that have been particularly hard hit, Goodson believes that “there will be a return to normal at some point when a vaccine arrives, but the road to that point will be difficult.”
Voya Investment Management CIO Paul Zemsky spoke with CNBC about current market conditions as stocks pull back on concerns of another wave of the coronavirus. Zemsky does not believe the day’s retreat marks the start of a full-fledge downturn in the market, saying, “I really don’t think we’re heading for a 50% retracement, but the market is up 45% from the bottom here in the S&P. That’s a really big move. It’s perfectly natural to have a retracement. A 10% retracement from here will take us back to 2,900. And that was where we were in mid-May, so less than a month ago where 2,900 we would have been really happy to get here, so it’s perfectly normal to have a retracement after a rally like this.”
Voya Investment Management Chief Investment Officer for Multi-Asset Strategies Paul Zemsky was on MoneyLife With Chuck Jaffe discussing stock and bond markets. Zemsky believes that with the market near record highs despite earnings that are below expectations, it’s not surprising that many observers think that stocks are overvalued now. He doesn’t see things that way, however, noting that stocks are a good opportunity – especially small caps and international stocks which have been the laggards in the recent rally – while lightening up on bonds, except for corporates where he sees some improved return potential ahead.
Traders Magazine reports, “The retail investor, John Q. Public, has made his presence felt in the equity market structure.” Citadel Securities Head of Execution Services Joe Mecane “said that the new COVID-19 environment ... helped spur retail trading and coupled with institutional order flow, tested market resiliency.” Senior Quantitative Trader and Head of Market Structure at Voya Investment Management Enrico Cacciatore “confirmed Mecane’s assessment that the boost in trading activity was coming from Mom and Pop investors taking advantage of zero-commission fees charged by the major e-brokerages.” Cacciatore said, “Retail, from my vantage point, has been the driver in volume here. You could see the exponential growth on the TRF to prove this. During the crisis, institutions were positioning themselves using passive strategies and repositioning based on returns. Despite this, the activity levels were still more retail-oriented.”
Voya Investment Management, Orion Energy, GCM Grosvenor Close Strategic Capital Partnership With Bakersfield Renewable Fuels
The ABF Journal reports, “Orion Energy Partners, GCM Grosvenor and Voya Investment Management closed a $365 million strategic capital partnership with Bakersfield Renewable Fuels, a Global Clean Energy Holdings subsidiary. As part of the partnership, GCM Grosvenor will provide $85 million in debt financing to Bakersfield Renewable Fuels.” Tom Emmons, co-head of direct infrastructure/private credit at Voya Investment Management, said, “Voya is thrilled to work with GCE, Orion and GCM Grosvenor on this groundbreaking transaction, which is a perfect fit with Voya’s recent expansion into the renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure space, adding to Voya’s three decades of diversified infrastructure lending.”
Voya Investment Management Head of Securitized Products Dave Goodson recently spoke with the Debtwire podcast about investment opportunities in the securitized products sector, including CMBS, RMBS and consumer ABS. Dave provided a detailed assessment of many product categories during the nearly 30 minute discussion. According to Goodson, “there’s so much going on in the market now. Things are so uncertain and evolving so rapidly that you can’t take your eye off of any of the balls in the air right now.” Continuing, Goodson said, “probably where we see the most hour-to-hour developments that impact our risk-taking would be in the CMBS market. That space became extremely dislocated in March and into early April. Things have started unthawing and we’ve come back a bit ... but we’re still monitoring every remittance report that comes in for information and for potential clues to the longer-term outlook.”
Voya Investment Management’s Managing Director and Head of Real Estate Finance Greg Michaud recently spoke with Connect Media about “ways institutional lenders are approaching the COVID-19 crisis, and what borrowers need to know about financing their real estate projects in this dynamic environment.” Voya “manages a $12 billion commercial mortgage balance sheet” with investments “split between fixed rate, low leverage, core loans and floating rate, light transitional, core+ loans,” according to Michaud, though the company is planning to reassess its allocation in light of the changing environment brought on by the pandemic. Michaud notes that Voya “is also being a little more particular about the markets in which it invests” and the company “will continue to track the rent collection numbers and focus investment capital on the geographic areas that outperform other markets.”