ING Expands Stable Value Business and Strategy
Growth fueled by strong sales, increased capacity and investment expertise
ING’s U.S. Retirement Services division, a leading provider of retirement products and services, has reported significant growth in its stable value business throughout 2010, and is continuing to expand its capacity to provide new wrap coverage to meet increased market demands.
The surge has been fueled by a sharpened focus on ING’s synthetic and separate account contracts, and by leveraging the fixed income strength and expertise of its asset management operations, ING Investment Management.
Stable value investment options have always been popular with defined contribution plan participants, and they remain an important priority at ING. New clients and additional investments from existing customers reflect the continued appeal of stable value as a conservative, low risk option that can help secure and diversify an individual’s retirement portfolio within their plan.
Throughout the first three quarters of 2010, ING posted extremely strong stable value sales at $3.6 billion. This represented a three-fold increase over the same period in 2009. While the company writes business for employers of all sizes, several key relationships in ING’s institutional plan recordkeeping market contributed significantly to these new sales.
To support its strategy, ING’s stable value team has been adding to staff this year as it grows the business through plan sponsors, consultants and intermediaries. New positions have been created in product management, sales and operations.
“We believe that stable value offers the security and conservative approach many investors are looking for to help meet their goals as they work towards a positive retirement outcome,” said Rick Mason, President of Corporate Markets for ING U.S. Retirement Services. “ING has been providing stable value solutions to plan sponsors and their employees for over three decades, building up leadership and expertise in this space. While many wrap providers have reduced their appetite or left the business in the past two years, we’ve strategically positioned ourselves to grow in response to market demand.”
Stable value investment options, which are available exclusively to defined contribution savings plans, are designed to preserve capital and provide steady returns for participants. Their significance became evident in the wake of the 2008 economic downturn, when many equity and bond fund balances were impacted by the volatile market conditions. Stable value was one of the only asset classes to avoid losses and even deliver positive returns for participants throughout this period.
As a way to provide customers with choice, ING offers a broad menu of stable value products and services, delivering solutions to all types of employers—corporate, government, healthcare and education.
Additionally, ING is uniquely positioned to work both with external stable value investment managers as well as its own ING Investment Management business. This latter partnership has enabled ING to develop many key stable value relationships during the past year.
“Growth in our stable value business reflects the deep experience and unparalleled fixed income skills we bring to the marketplace,” said Christine Hurtsellers, Chief Investment Officer and Head of Fixed Income for ING Investment Management. “We offer several different best-in-class strategies that help clarify the trade-offs between risk and return and provide clients with a solid framework for their decision-making.”
ING’s U.S. Retirement Services is part of ING’s global insurance operations. The business holds top rankings in the defined contribution industry will approximately $277 billion in combined assets under administration and management. It is one of the few providers with the ability to serve all sizes and segments of the defined contribution market, including corporate, government, healthcare, K-12 and higher education employers.
ING Investment Management, a subsidiary of ING Group, is a leading global asset manager committed to investing responsibly and delivering client-oriented investment solutions and advisory services across asset classes, geographies and styles. The business serves a variety of institutional clients, including public, corporate and union retirement plans, endowments and foundations, and insurance companies, as well as individual investors through distribution partners such as banks, broker/dealers and independent financial advisers.
ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services to over 85 million private, corporate and institutional clients in over 40 countries. With a diverse workforce of more than 107,000 people, ING is dedicated to setting the standard in helping our clients manage their financial future.
In the U.S., the ING (NYSE: ING) family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which includes life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits and financial planning. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves approximately 30 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit ing.us.