The head of Voya Financial Inc.'s money management division said she's very comfortable at the helm of a firm that's trying to increase profit, amid headwinds of fee compression and lower-cost passive investing trends.
"I think it's kind of a pretty exciting time, being on the investor side, being in the seat I am and thinking about what we're going to do," said Christine Hurtsellers, CEO of Voya Investment Management LLC, New York, who spoke with Pensions & Investments in an interview Nov. 28.
Ms. Hurtsellers, who has been chief executive at Voya Investment Management since August 2016, said she's not fazed by the growth in assets under management among the world's largest money managers through passive investing and exchange-traded funds. Instead, she said, she's excited about the company's growth efforts using its insurance asset management expertise — its liability awareness, its ability to customize, and its ability to offer asset classes that are hard to replicate in public markets, such as commercial real estate, private credit and specialized securitized capabilities.
Some analysts might think the challenges facing active managers such as Voya are similar to those facing traditional big-box retailers, Ms. Hurtsellers said.
"I think there's some of that, and certainly risk to that in certain business models, and that's why you're seeing some of the consolidation and will continue to," Ms. Hurtsellers said. "But then again, there are still people who don't want the online Amazon experience. They want more customization, they want higher client service, they want access to portfolio managers. And those are the kind of things that we do. Quite frankly, the Invescos, the BlackRocks, the real giants of the market, that's not their swim lane."