After nearly 40 years of seeing the ING name in the U.S. financial services industry, the remaining retirement, insurance and broker/dealer divisions of the company’s U.S. operations re-branded to the Voya name on Monday.
Amsterdam-based ING Group, which purchased a number of U.S.-based companies starting in 1975, has slowly been divesting its global assets, including its U.S. financial services arm ING U.S. Inc., which went public last year. While the holding company ING U.S. re-branded in May, the insurance company, retirement business and broker-dealer, ING Financial Partners, did not formally change their brands until Sept. 1. The name change from ING to Voya was mandated as part of ING Group’s deconsolidation program, says Ann Glover, chief marketing officer for Voya.
“The story of the name is it’s your voyage or journey to and through retirement,” Glover says. The firm looked at and tested a number of options before going with Voya Financial.
When ING Group took its U.S. holdings public in May 2013, the Amsterdam-based parent reduced its stake in the company to 43 percent. That stake will continue to decrease as part of ING Group’s global deconsolidation plan.
To help facilitate the complete rebranding, which included everything from changing signage in all of the company’s offices to new employee business cards, Voya allocated $50 million to cover the cost. During the company’s quarterly earnings call, Voya announced it would allocate an additional $100 million to re-brand the company through an advertising campaign.
“So you’re going to be seeing a lot of Voya out there,” Glover says. “This new bucket of money is all about the advertising messages we’re bringing to all of our different stakeholders.”
On the advisor front, Tom Halloran, president of Voya Financial Advisors, says the long planning phase and segmented re-branding has helped provide a seamless transition for the approximately 2,400 advisors with the broker/dealer. “The advisors that are here are amazingly excited about the exposure,” he says. “I get no complaints; everyone seems pretty happy.”
Halloran added that Voya Financial Advisors is having a record year in terms of recruiting. “People like the fact that as we go into this, there’s going to be a lot of attention, a lot of publicity and exposure, and they’re looking to share that enthusiasm with their clients.”
“The brand launch is about way more than a name change, it’s really an opportunity for all of our affiliated advisors to connect with their clients and remind them about the value of advice and guidance and how it can advance their retirement.”
With the mechanics of the initial operational phase rebranding largely completed, it’s onward and upward for Voya. Glover says the company’s biggest task next is to introduce Voya to consumers and begin to make the connection between ING and Voya to the public.
“Our vision is to earn the right to call ourselves America’s company,” Glover says. “We have a great mix of businesses and we feel we’re positioned better than anyone to stake that claim.”