Barron’s runs a feature about the “enormous strides” woman have made in the public and private sectors over the past year, “particularly in the world of finance.” The article focuses on “the highly accomplished, path-breaking women named to Barron’s second annual list of the 100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance.” These individuals are “but a fraction of the army of women whose contributions are strengthening the financial-services industry and the U.S. financial system, as both prepare for the challenges ahead.” Voya Investment Management CEO Christine Hurtsellers is listed among the honorees.
Bloomberg TV reports Voya Investment Management CEO Christine Hurtsellers said that neither she, nor Voya, are worried about increasing yields and concerns over inflation, however, those issues “have some of our clients a little bit concerned.” According to Hurtsellers, “when you think about the rhetoric that’s been going on today ... the Fed told us that they were going to allow inflation to run hot and that we have structural damage in this economy.” Hurtsellers continued, “Even with a very aggressive” fiscal stimulus package, “this isn’t kerosene on a flame. I would say that the inflation fears and rate rises are episodic. So again, we’re getting to the point where there’s some pretty attractive entry-levels in the market for fixed-income investors,” including commercial real estate. Unexpected COVID variants that “slow down the recovery and ruin” economic optimism constitute a bigger economic risk than inflation, Hurtsellers added.
Pomona’s Granoff: Secondary Investments In PIF “Return Capital Back To Investors In A Timelier Fashion.”
Under the headline, “Complex structures help democratise PE,” Private Equity International reports that “a rising number of U.S. private equity [PE] firms are turning to ‘40 Act funds’ in a bid to access the vast ... universe of retail investors.” So-called “40 Act funds” offer “exposure to the private markets without the 10- to 12-year lock-up and huge minimum commitment sizes.” Examples of such funds include Voya Investment Management’s Pomona Investment Fund [PIF], which the firm launched in 2015 and held “$244 million in assets under management as of 30 September.” Voya’s PIF “mostly comprises secondary interests in seasoned private equity funds.” According to the magazine, “As of 30 September, 83.5% of its portfolio was allocated to secondaries.” Pomona Capital Chief Executive Michael Granoff said that “such investments are typically purchased at an ‘attractive entry point’ that may mitigate the J-curve and return capital back to investors in a timelier fashion.”
Ignites reports that Voya Investment Management hired Gabriel Altbach to serve as its chief marketing officer and managing director, effective Tuesday. Altbach joins Voya from “White Marble Marketing, a marketing consulting firm” and “before that, he was head of global strategy and marketing at Pioneer Investments.” An announcement said that “in the new role, Altbach will oversee marketing for Voya Investment Management worldwide across institutional and intermediary channels.” Altbach reports to Voya Senior Managing Director and Head of Product Marketing Strategy Dina Santoro. In the announcement, Santoro said, “Gabe’s insights and creativity will be invaluable as we grow our platform, delivering hard to manufacture differentiating solutions such as private credit, commercial real estate and securitized products to our clients.” Pensions & Investments also reports.
CNN reports on its website, “Tesla’s $1.5 billion investment in bitcoin has helped legitimize the cryptocurrency as an investment, leading analysts and traders to ask which blue chip company will be the next to take the plunge, buying bitcoin for its corporate balance sheet.” Voya Financial Investment Management CEO Christine Hurtsellers, during an earnings call, said, “We watch cryptocurrencies.” Hurtsellers “added that factors driving the big price swings can ‘still tend to be somewhat opaque at times.’” According to CNN, “that’s the reason why Voya won’t invest for now.”
Refinitiv reported, “The U.S. leveraged loan market is back at full steam after a tumultuous year, with demand outweighing supply and investors eager to put their cash to work.” According to Refinitiv, “Several issuers have since taken this opportunity to re-launch transactions that were pulled last year, including retailer PetSmart, business information provider ION Analytics and marketing solutions provider Thryv.” Voya Investment Management Group Head and Chief Investment Officer of Senior Loans Jeff Bakalar said, “‘The market is wide open and more receptive than it was four to five months ago,’ ... pointing to the technical recovery that has taken place in the loan market over the last few weeks.” He also said that “issuers that were caught up with the coronavirus-driven market sentiment and could not capture a good deal, especially in the second half of 2020, are likely to return to the market.”
Bloomberg reported, “Collateralized loan obligation managers are expected to extend a run of frenzied sales this month” as “no less than seven new-issue CLOs are currently marketing” as well as “two refinancings and at least four so-called resets.” January’s new-issue volume of “nearly $9 billion” was “the highest for the month” as far back as “2013 when $8 billion was issued.” Bloomberg added, “Voya Investment Management sees good relative-value opportunity in CMBS conduits,” said Dave Goodson, head of securitized credit at Voya. According to Goodson, “Commercial real estate CLOs also represent a good opportunity and have a place in Voya’s portfolio,” but he also said that “Voya is bearish on CMBS deals with call options” though they “are a small but meaningful part of the CMBS universe.” Goodson said, “We are the most bullish right now on CMBS.”
In a piece for TheStreet’s “Retirement Daily,” Voya Financial Senior Portfolio Manager and Asset Allocation Head Barbara Reinhard writes, “We see the U.S. economy shifting into a ‘K-shaped’ recovery defined by uneven pressures that will create winners and losers with broad strokes across asset classes, sectors, and investment styles.” According to Reinhard, the Federal Open Market Committee’s adjusted longer-run inflation target, which now seeks “to achieve inflation that averages 2% over time,” along with “the Fed’s adjusted stance on ... unemployment could have longer-term implications for the ‘growth versus value’ debate in equities.” Reinhard contends that “history has shown that we need both real rates to be off their lows and inflation to be expected to pick up for value to deliver outperformance” and that “equity investors can add some value exposure to their portfolio for diversification, in case the Fed is successful and the long-standing leadership of growth stocks comes to an end.” In addition, Reinhard says “there are still opportunities to prepare portfolios today for the low-yield world ahead,” despite the dramatic stock market recovery that started in April.
Appearing on Bloomberg Markets: The Close, Matt Toms of Voya Investment Management said, “We see risk premium on. You’ve seen a rally in corporate bonds and high-yield bonds, and EM debt of all flavors...where you’re not seeing the really big unhinging as in the yield curve, where you’re going to struggle to get above 1% in the near term.” On Brexit, Toms said Voya has long believed that a no-deal Brexit would be “mutually-assured destruction,” that it was always “going to get done,” and that it looks like “we are finally there.” On bonds and the dollar drop, Toms said there is more spread compression to come, and spreads likely will be “uncomfortably low” over the next 18 months. Toms said emerging markets have high potential for growth, and “EM’s growth rate will attract capital” as a “softer U.S. dollar will push capital.”
Pensions & Investments recently released its ranking of the Best Places to Work 2020. Voya Investment Management was ranked #3 and continues a five-year run in the ranking. The company offers “a 401(k) match of up to 6% and a 4% defined benefit plan,” while employees “are encouraged to volunteer and are paid up to 40 hours a year for volunteer time away. The company’s foundation matches donations to non-profits up to $5,000 annually.” When asked about the environment, Voya Investment Management employees said, “Leadership has been amazing during the COVID-19 pandemic, from making sure people can work remotely and being supportive of flexible schedules to encouraging healthy activities.” Another employee said, “The culture is great and the people are collegial. The organization’s values were on display during the Black Lives Matter protests and it created a sense of community.”