Investment Product and Service Launches

Voya Financial offers NQDC portfolios for workplace clients; Investics announces enhancements to cloud ecosystem; PGIM launches new active aggregate bond ETF; and more.

Voya Financial Offers NQDC Distribution Portfolios for Workplace Clients

Voya Financial Inc. has launched new distribution portfolios for its nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plans. The investment models were developed with Voya Investment Management’s Multi-Asset Strategies and Solutions team and are specifically designed for individuals looking to closely align their NQDC distribution dates with the investments in their plan. 

Voya’s NQDC distribution portfolios provide four professionally managed asset allocation options, providing flexibility for individuals to elect scheduled distributions using one or more investment time horizons with distribution windows of three, five, eight or 10 years. 

“Providing the tools, resources and knowledge to support individuals throughout their nonqualified deferred compensation plan experience is critical in helping them achieve their financial goals,” says Kirk Penland, senior vice president, nonqualified markets at Voya Financial. “We know target-date funds [TDFs] are one of the most popular investment choices when it comes to one’s 401(k) plan, so we wanted to structure a solution with similar benefits of a TDF but tailored to the needs of NQDC participants. Rather than providing a distribution that is tied to a retirement date as you would see in a TDF, the distributions are aligned to dates that one has selected to receive their nonqualified plan savings. This offers several advantages for those looking to tie distributions to certain life stages beyond retirement, such as saving for a child’s education, a new house or any short-, medium- or long-term goals.”  

Through Voya’s new distribution portfolios, individuals have greater flexibility to coordinate their lump-sum distribution election and investments—ideally, reducing possible account volatility as one gets closer to each distribution. 

“Flexibility is incredibly important when it comes to the benefits that a deferred compensation plan can provide,” Penland adds. “It’s also becoming increasingly important to provide support not just for the tracking of contributions and distributions, but also in providing a platform that allows participants to manage and integrate their distributions with their broader savings plans and assets.” 

The models were developed by Voya Investment Management’s Multi-Asset Strategies and Solutions (MASS) team, which oversees $33 billion in assets under management (AUM) and consists of more than 25 investment professionals who design customized and packaged multi-asset-class solutions, including $19 billion in target-date strategies, as of December 31.

Investics Announces Enhancements to Cloud Ecosystem

Investics Data Services Co. Inc. has announced four major new components to the Investics Cloud Ecosystem (ICE).

Running on Amazon Web Services (AWS), ICE is a native cloud investment data and analytics platform which combines data collection and aggregation and uses case modeling with calculation engines and visualizations to meet common industry requirements, including performance measurement, risk analytics, investment compliance and regulatory reporting.

With data encryption at rest, the ICE integrates portfolio holdings and transactions from financial institutions, accounting/trading systems and data warehouses; environmental, social and governance ESG measures; risk statistics and characteristics; industry benchmarks; and security master and reference data optimized for immediate use in both cloud and non-cloud business intelligence (BI) and artificial intelligence (AI) tools, APIs and other software and systems.

The four new Investics ICE components are: data aggregation remediation transformation service (DARTS), a data delivery supermarket; Fusion, a fabric construct for modeling and stitching related data together within a data lake; in-memory performance risk engine service (IMPRES), for risk and return calculations; and Vision, a customizable, interactive embedded dashboard and graphical reporting.

In conjunction with this announcement and until April 2022, Investics will be waiving the one-time licensing fee for clients who subscribe to the hosted ICE platform through AWS Marketplace.

PGIM Launches New Active Aggregate Bond ETF

PGIM Investments is expanding its exchange-traded fund (ETF) lineup with the launch of the PGIM Active Aggregate Bond ETF (PAB).

PAB is an actively managed fixed income ETF seeking total return through a combination of current income and capital appreciation. PAB offers core fixed income exposure through a diversified portfolio of investment-grade bonds with an estimated total expense ratio of 0.19%.

“Given the current low-yield environment and potential for increased market volatility, there has been strong client demand for active fixed income solutions,” says Stuart Parker, president and CEO of PGIM Investments. “We are pleased to expand our lineup to include a low-cost active core bond ETF that offers alpha potential with effective risk management via PGIM Fixed Income, one of the largest and most experienced bond managers in the world.”

PGIM Investments’ suite of fixed income ETFs is managed by PGIM Fixed Income. The PGIM Active Aggregate Bond ETF, managed by senior members of PGIM Fixed Income’s multi-sector team Richard Piccirillo, Lindsay Rosner and Stewart Wong, includes investment restrictions on characteristics such as duration, quality and sectors in order to manage portfolio risks.

Agency Lending Team at State Street to Establish ESG Strategy

State Street Corp. has announced its intention to establish its Agency Lending Program’s first environmental, social and governance (ESG)-aware commingled cash collateral reinvestment strategy.

The Agency Lending team of State Street Global Markets has partnered with State Street Global Advisors, the asset management business of State Street Corporation, to provide securities lending clients with a commingled cash collateral reinvestment strategy that follows short-term investment guidelines, while considering R-Factor, a proprietary ESG scoring system as a component in making its investment decisions, to the extent consistent with applicable law.

The strategy is currently available only to retirement plan clients that participate in State Street’s Agency Lending Program and is not otherwise available to the public.

“The groundswell of ESG support among the institutional lender and beneficial owner community in recent years has given rise to a multiplicity of related products, but the product category for ESG-aware, commingled cash reinvestment funds remains untapped,” says Francesco Squillacioti, global head of client management – securities finance at State Street Global Markets. “This launch affords State Street’s institutional client base yet another opportunity to express their focus on ESG and reaffirm their attention to socially responsible yet prudent investing through a securities lending program.”