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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”