Voya Investment Management Review - MagnifyMoney
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Voya Investment Management Review

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Voya Investment Management is a New York-based registered investment advisor that manages investments for institutions and individual clients. With just over 230 investment advisors, Voya Investment Management covers a wide range of investment strategies, including equity, fixed income, real estate and hard currency. Individual investors can access Voya’s investment strategies through an intermediary, such as a financial advisor or through a workplace retirement plan.

The bottom line: Voya Investment Management is an investment advisor that primarily caters to institutional advisors, offering a wide range of investment strategies.

  • Though it serves individual investors, its primary business is institutional
  • Minimum investment requirements vary by investment type
  • No financial planning services offered

All information included in this profile is accurate as of January 25, 2022. For more information, please consult Voya Investment Management’s website.

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Overview of Voya Investment Management

Voya Investment Management got its start in 1972 when it was known as Aetna Capital Management. For many years, the firm was a subsidiary of Amsterdam-based ING Holdings. But when ING began divesting its U.S. retirement, investment and insurance business in 2013, the firm rebranded to Voya, an abstract name meant to evoke the image of a “voyage.”

Today, Voya Investment Management Co. LLC is a registered investment advisor and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Voya Holdings, which is in turn a wholly-owned subsidiary of Voya Financial Inc. (VOYA), a publicly traded company.

Voya Investment Management’s pros

  • Extensive investment selection: Voya’s investment lineup is exhaustive. In addition to typical asset classes, such as equities and fixed income, Voya also has offerings in alternative investments like real estate, global real estate, hard currency and Russian companies. Sophisticated investors who want exposure to these niche areas will be able to complete their portfolios, though they might be assuming additional risk.
  • High customization: In separately managed accounts, Voya will tailor investments to the individual needs of its clients, such as excluding certain industries and securities if clients have an objection or emphasizing environmental, social and governance factors for those who prioritize that in their investments.
  • Low fees: While the gross expense ratio of Voya’s mutual funds seem high, the firm has contractually agreed to waive certain fees. As a result, many of Voya’s mutual fund fees are classified as either “below average” or “low” by Morningstar, the fund research company.
  • Award-winning: Over the years, the firm has landed on several lists as a best place to work. For example, in 2021, the firm made it to Pension & Investment Magazine’s “Best Places to Work in Money Management” for the seventh consecutive year. It has also been recognized for its sustainability and ethical practices, being named among Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies in 2020 for the fourth consecutive year and as the World’s Most Ethical Company by Ethisphere in 2021, marking its eight consecutive year winning that award.

Voya Investment Management’s cons

  • Few offerings for individual investors: Voya’s services are limited to investment management and don’t include financial planning. Further, its focus on institutional investors means that individuals who want to invest in Voya funds will first need to find a financial advisor to help them invest.
  • Potential conflicts of interest: Some Voya employees are also registered representatives of Voya Investment Distributors and can receive a commission for the sale of investments managed by Voya. This creates an inherent conflict of interest since these representatives receive financial remuneration for their recommendations.
  • Disciplinary disclosures: While not uncommon for a firm of its size, the firm reports disciplinary disclosures in the past 10 years. See more on this below.

What types of clients does Voya Investment Management serve?

Voya Investment Management largely caters to institutional clients in its role as an advisor and sub-advisor. The firm manages the investments of other investment companies. In addition, Voya provides investment management directly to state and municipal governments, insurance companies, corporations, pensions, charitable organizations and banks and thrift institutions. Only about 2% of the amount of assets Voya manages is on behalf of individual investors, though it does currently serve over 2,200 individuals.

Investors in R share classes, available through qualified retirement accounts, have no investment minimum. When it comes to mutual funds for individual investors, Voya typically has a $1,000 minimum.

Services offered by Voya Investment Management

For individual investors, Voya has a lineup of over 40 mutual funds covering such diverse asset classes as equities, infrastructure, real estate, hard currency and bonds. In addition, the company maintains a roster of target-date funds whose end dates range from 2025 to 2065 in five-year increments.

Alongside traditional mutual funds, many of these strategies also come in 40 variable portfolios that are available exclusively within variable annuity contracts and retirement programs.

Voya also provides portfolio management services to investment companies, small businesses, pooled investment vehicles and large businesses, as well as the selection of other advisors including private mutual fund managers. It also offers publications and newsletters.

For individual investors, Voya provides the following services:

  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of portfolio managers
  • Wrap programs
  • Publications of newsletters

How Voya Investment Management invests your money

The firm runs a number of index funds and strategies. For actively-managed strategies, Voya seeks to uncover value before the rest of the market. Voya uses the insights of its analysts for fundamental research into these hidden opportunities.

In addition, Voya has a number of equal-weighted funds. Unlike market-weighted portfolios, the strategy most index funds follow, equal-weighted funds allocate the same amount of assets to each name in the portfolio. The strategy is intended to minimize concentration in the market’s largest companies. Voya’s Corporate Leaders 100 and Global Perspective are two funds that employ this strategy.

In fixed income, Voya applies a macro view alongside bottom up security selection. In addition, Voya applies environmental, social and governance factors in its security selection when the managers believe it’s appropriate.

Fees Voya Investment Management charges for its services

Typically, Voya charges a percentage of AUM to manage clients’ money, though sometimes Voya has other billing arrangements in place. For individual investors in Voya’s mutual funds, fees range from around 0.50% for the target date funds to 2.00% for the Voya Russia Fund.

In addition, the A shares of the firm’s funds levy a 5.75% maximum upfront commission. However, investors can have the front-end load amount reduced with higher deposit amounts. The tables below outline the share classes and expenses for both Class A equity funds and fixed income funds.

Equity Funds Class A Shares Commissions
Total balance Fee
Up to $49,999 5.75%
$50,000-$99,999 4.50%
$100,000-$249,999 3.50%
$250,000-$499,999 2.50%
$500,000-999,999 2.00%
Over $1 million 0.25%-0.35% 12b-1 fees and 0.25% tail fee for 13 months
Fixed Income Funds Class A Shares Commissions
Total balance Fee
Up to $100,000 2.50%
$100,000-$499,999 2.00%
Over $500,000 N/A

Voya notes that all of its fees are subject to negotiation, and that clients may face additional charges due to charges imposed by custodians, brokers and other third parties, which they will owe in addition to Voya’s fees.

Additionally, while Voya Investment Management technically can charge performance-based fees, this arrangement is only offered to closed-end funds. Further, the firm will not actually receive these fees as it has voluntarily agreed to waive them.

Voya Investment Management disciplinary disclosures

Voya Investment Management does report a disciplinary disclosure. In 2013, two directors of ING Pomona Private Equity, a closed-end fund of funds and a Voya affiliate, organized in Luxembourg, ran afoul of Luxembourg securities regulation when they failed to file the annual financial statement in a timely manner with the Luxembourg Commission de Surveillance du Sector Financier. The fund received a fine of 2,000 euros. The directors argued that they are not engaged in day-to-day fund activities such as filing annual statements. What’s more, since the fund is a fund-of-funds, it must first receive financial statements from the underlying portfolios in order to file its own annual statement. Besides the monetary fine, there were no other actions taken.

For reference, all registered investment advisors are required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to report such information in their Form ADV paperwork. This includes any civil, criminal or regulatory issues within the past decade. To view Voya’s Form ADV and to learn more about the firm, visit its Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) page.

Voya Investment Management onboarding process

To access one of the Voya funds or strategies you’ll need to go through an intermediary, whether that’s a financial advisor or a retirement plan at work. You can get a prospectus for a Voya Investment Management fund by calling 800-992-0180. Alternatively, you can fill out a contact form on its website, and Voya will then either call or email you.

Where Voya Investment Management is located

Voya Investment Management has four offices in total, which are in the following locations:

  • New York
  • Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Windsor, Conn.
  • Atlanta

Although the firm has only a handful of physical locations, it is registered to serve investors in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.

Is Voya Investment Management right for you?

Voya has a wide range of investment options that can be the backbone of most people’s investment portfolios. It’s suite of below average and low-fee funds (after sales charges) speak favorably of the line.

However, because Voya’s primary business is institutional, individual investors can only access Voya’s investment strategies through an intermediary such as a financial advisor or in a workplace retirement plan. Advisors who sell Voya funds collect an upfront commission, giving them a financial incentive to do so. Investors need to weigh whether the added cost, plus the potential conflict of interest, are worth it.

When searching for a financial advisor, it’s important to do your research and compare your options to ensure you find an advisor who is right for you.

The “Find a Financial Advisor” links contained in this article will direct you to webpages devoted to MagnifyMoney Advisor (“MMA”). After completing a brief questionnaire, you will be matched with certain financial advisers who participate in MMA’s referral program, which may or may not include the investment advisers discussed.