ING to rebrand as VOYA in the next two years

ING announced yesterday that it will rebrand to Voya
in the next 20-24 months. As part of its bailout package in 2008, ING
was required to divest its North American holdings by the end of 2013.
While ING Direct was sold to Capital One, the company was granted an extension last November to divest the retirement and investment management group.

The announcement should help ING, since some advisors and plan
sponsors may have been reluctant to do business with them because of the
uncertainty. This may be especially true in the larger market, where
ING has a strong presence as a result of its CitiStreet acquisition.

The announcement of the new name takes ING one step closer to an IPO
as opposed to a potential sale to a competitor, which most experts
always thought was unlikely. The expected proceeds of $600 million from
the IPO is less than the rumored price
that ING paid for CitiStreet, but the company will exit the IPO process
as a top-three provider as measured by DC assets, plans and
participants — with a strong presence in the small and mega markets and
well positioned to descend on the mid-market. It also runs one of the
largest MEPs (in cooperation with the American Bar Association), and
works with a number of 403(b) and 457 plans.

Mutually owned providers like MassMutual may argue that their
structure is better for the DC market, which requires patience and
investments, but publicly traded companies have access to relatively
cheap capital.

The ING announcement and pending IPO is another major move by a
Hartford-based insurance company, following the sale of The Hartford’s
retirement division to MassMutual last year.