Traders Magazine reports, “The retail investor, John Q. Public, has made his presence felt in the equity market structure.” Citadel Securities Head of Execution Services Joe Mecane “said that the new COVID-19 environment ... helped spur retail trading and coupled with institutional order flow, tested market resiliency.” Senior Quantitative Trader and Head of Market Structure at Voya Investment Management Enrico Cacciatore “confirmed Mecane’s assessment that the boost in trading activity was coming from Mom and Pop investors taking advantage of zero-commission fees charged by the major e-brokerages.” Cacciatore said, “Retail, from my vantage point, has been the driver in volume here. You could see the exponential growth on the TRF to prove this. During the crisis, institutions were positioning themselves using passive strategies and repositioning based on returns. Despite this, the activity levels were still more retail-oriented.”
Voya Investment Management Head of Securitized Products Dave Goodson recently spoke with the Debtwire podcast about investment opportunities in the securitized products sector, including CMBS, RMBS and consumer ABS. Dave provided a detailed assessment of many product categories during the nearly 30 minute discussion. According to Goodson, “there’s so much going on in the market now. Things are so uncertain and evolving so rapidly that you can’t take your eye off of any of the balls in the air right now.” Continuing, Goodson said, “probably where we see the most hour-to-hour developments that impact our risk-taking would be in the CMBS market. That space became extremely dislocated in March and into early April. Things have started unthawing and we’ve come back a bit ... but we’re still monitoring every remittance report that comes in for information and for potential clues to the longer-term outlook.”
Voya Investment Management’s Managing Director and Head of Real Estate Finance Greg Michaud recently spoke with Connect Media about “ways institutional lenders are approaching the COVID-19 crisis, and what borrowers need to know about financing their real estate projects in this dynamic environment.” Voya “manages a $12 billion commercial mortgage balance sheet” with investments “split between fixed rate, low leverage, core loans and floating rate, light transitional, core+ loans,” according to Michaud, though the company is planning to reassess its allocation in light of the changing environment brought on by the pandemic. Michaud notes that Voya “is also being a little more particular about the markets in which it invests” and the company “will continue to track the rent collection numbers and focus investment capital on the geographic areas that outperform other markets.”
Voya Investment Management CEO Christine Hurtsellers was on Bloomberg discussing recent job losses, which have so far put 36 million Americans out of work in just the last 8 weeks. Hurtsellers believes an optimistic view is that job losses could be short-lived, saying, “our Federal Reserve and our Treasury Department acted so quickly using what they learned in 2008 and provided 3-4 times the stimulus as other central banks which is limiting the structural damage that we could potentially see.” While those moves have limited the downside impact, looking at the upside, Hurtsellers said that the government has thus far “only deployed about 50% of what they’re intending to do,” meaning that other areas of the economy should begin receiving support in the near term. Her interview begins near the 4:30 mark.
Voya Investment Management Chief Investment Officer for Fixed Income Matt Toms spoke with Bloomberg about the Federal Reserve’s efforts to stem losses and help support the U.S. financial system as the coronavirus-induced lockdown impacts the global economy. Toms said of the Fed intervention, “The tools are in place, now you need to run the machine. You need time for the system to heal, and it is healing.”
Voya Investment Management Chief Investment Officer for Multi-Asset Strategies and Solutions Paul Zemsky was on Bloomberg TV discussing recent market volatility and where markets may be headed as the pandemic continues to impact the economy. Zemsky said of last week’s rebound, “I chalk it up to an oversold market ... plus progress on the fiscal package.” Looking at the risk of corporate defaults, Zemsky believes that the fiscal stimulus plus the previous high-level of economic health means that most large companies should be able to withstand the shock. “When you look at investment grade companies, they have a tremendous amount of reserves and the ability to weather storms. That’s how you get an investment grade rating ... high-yield companies have been hit harder, but investment grade companies should be able to weather the storm and with the fiscal help, smaller companies should as well.”
In continuing coverage, ABL Advisor reports Voya Investment Management last week “announced that Randy Cameron and Dave Wood have joined the firm as senior vice presidents to co-head the firm’s Regional and Community Bank Advisory Program. Based in Salt Lake City, both report to Charlie Shaffer, head of Distribution, Voya Investment Management.” In their newly created roles, Cameron and Wood “will work with regional and community banks to advise them on implementing customized portfolios of diversifying credits, including senior secured, commercial and industrial loans.”
In continuing coverage, the ABF Journal reports Randy Cameron and Dave Wood have “joined Voya Investment Management as senior vice presidents to co-head the firm’s regional and community bank advisory program.” In this new role, Cameron and Wood “will work with regional and community banks to advise them on implementing customized portfolios of diversifying credits, including senior secured, commercial and industrial loans.” Voya Investment Management Head of Distribution Charlie Shaffer said of the program, “While community and small regional banks have historically excelled at small business underwriting and relationship management, Voya’s regional and community bank advisory program recognizes that the syndicated loan market demands a broader industry knowledge and timely action. Clients benefit from Voya’s unique market leadership, experience, relationships, credit risk management, training and sourcing capabilities while effectively keeping independent research and decision-making within their walls, thus satisfying regulatory requirements.”
Bloomberg reports Voya Investment Management “has hired Randy Cameron and Dave Wood to lead the firm’s Regional and Community Bank Advisory Program.” The program “helps client banks acquire senior secured commercial and industrial loans in a customized portfolio.” The pair will be based in Salt Lake City and report to Head of Distribution Charlie Shaffer. Prior to joining Voya, Cameron and Wood “founded Financial Institution Growth LLC, a registered investment adviser that specializes in working directly with select commercial banks to introduce and approve loan programs.”
Investment & Pensions Europe looks at how markets and investors are responding to the coronavirus outbreak, specifically the search for safe havens as volatility increases. Voya Investment Management Fixed Income CIO Matt Toms is surprised the dollar has not experienced a spike in valuation as a safe haven, noting that “currency volatility has been subdued, benefiting interest rates as the currency relationship changes.” Toms hopes that the scope and disruption caused by the outbreak are limited to the short-term, with any recessionary effects limited to several quarters. “That should create a spring-loaded effect, so any abatement in the summer months or a bounce in medical advances could be quite strong,” says Toms.