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.”
Voya Investment Management completes acquisition of the investment advisory business of Tygh Capital Management
Voya Investment Management (Voya IM), the asset management business of Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), has completed its previously announced acquisition of the investment advisory business and certain other assets of small-cap growth specialist Tygh Capital Management (TCM).
Voya Investment Management (Voya IM), the asset management business of Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today that it has hired Laura Kane, CFA, CPA as head of ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) Research. Kane reports to Jim Dorment, CFA, co-head of Fundamental Research & head of Value Equity.
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.”
Voya’s Hurtsellers: Pandemic Made Establishing Relationships “Harder and Harder,” Accelerated Digitization
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.”
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.”
MarketWatch reports that airlines are starting to use frequent flyer programs as “collateral for bondholders.” Airlines are making the pledges against their programs because they can generate cash by selling frequent flyer miles to credit card issuers, who, in turn “offer them as part of their reward programs to their customers.” The article says that “the revenues earned from selling the miles” to credit card issuers “are much higher than the cost of any flight travel redeemed by passengers.” Voya Investment Management Fixed Income Portfolio Manager Cliff Andrus said, “The customer doesn’t realize the margins are quite high.” According to the article, “Even with reduced demand for air travel, the mileage programs still hold their value.” Andrus said, “You’re going out to spend money on your credit card, whether or not you’re flying.” According to some analysts, using frequent flier programs as collateral “represents a desperate move by airlines that are looking for any assets that they can pledge.”
Pensions & Investments reports Voya spokesperson Kristopher Kagel confirmed that Voya Investment Management Managing Director and Head of Product Management and Development Bill Golden assumed Stephen Dougherty’s responsibilities as a managing director and head of structured assets and alternatives. Pensions & Investments mentions that “Dougherty was named global head of product at Aegon Asset Management.”
Bloomberg TV What’d You Miss? featured an interview with Voya Investment Management CEO Christine Hurtsellers, who discussed her thoughts on stock market performance and macroeconomic trends. According to Hurtsellers, the U.S. “still has a long way to go before” the economy returns to its pre-pandemic level, especially as the unemployment rate remains above 10%. However, Hurtsellers said that the “underlying fundamentals and momentum” of the economy “are actually quite good,” with “retail spending rebounding,” and more activity on the restaurant-reservation platform OpenTable. When asked about the relative strength of the stock market, and if the Fed’s liquidity actions are obscuring some risks to investors, Hurtsellers answered, “I would say, for the most part, no,” adding that “when you peel back the covers and look deeper into the market ... we are still seeing a tale of two cities, meaning that” some sectors, such as commercial real estate “have really lagged.”
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.”