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Rating:Three Things to Know About ING U.S. Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Three Things to Know About ING U.S.

Reported by Casey Quinlan

ING U.S. Investment Management [profile] reported earnings of $177 million or $0.71 per share compared with $0.56 per share in the second quarter of 2012, MarketWatch writes. Its net loss attributable to common shareholders was was $82 million or $0.33 per share, a decrease from $634 million or $2.74 per share year over year. Its after tax-loss was $220 million.

MFWire noticed three things of note from Seeking Alpha's earnings call.

POINT 1: ING U.S.'s return to equity investing has benefitted them well.

POINT 2: ING US plans more "one-time" fund launches.

POINT 3: The appeal of mutual fund custodial products is that they attract investors looking for flexibility.

POINT 1: ING U.S.'s return to equity investing has benefitted them well.
Jimmy Bhullar: Hi, good morning. So, I just had first to follow up on Mark's question and maybe a little bit more directly. Like a lot of your competitors have had success with buyout options on VAs, have you considered those and what are the potential -- what are the plusses and negatives on you doing something similar to what some of the other companies have done? And then, also, I had a question on just your investment management business. You've had very strong third party net flows and you mentioned the strong performance, so wondering if you could just discuss on what are some of the factors that are driving that, and what your expectations are, not specific numbers but in general going forward for those?

Rod Martin Chairman and CEO of ING U.S.: So, Jimmy, its Rod. Let me take first part of it and then Alain will jump in a second. The first part and I'll come back to really the point I was making earlier. We arenít going to be speculating about every single idea that's being pursued. There are many that are happening in the marketplace; you just cited two very good examples. We have a large book business, its $40 billion plus.

Alain Karaoglan: So, we had a very strong quarter in terms of net flows. The areas were throughout our franchise. So, senior bank loan had what had very strong product sales in this second quarter. Our return to equity investing and we have very strong equity performance, as I mentioned, has also like to strong sales and interest in growth strategies. We also had closing of private equity fund launch. These things tend to be lumpy. It came in the -- it will happen over time. It happened to come in the third quarter, so we're very pleased with the net cash flows. It's both the performance, the improving sales productivity; it's the initiatives that we put in place that are coming to fruition.
POINT 2: ING US plans more "one-time" fund launches.
Tom Gallagher of Credit Suisse: Okay. And then -- and sorry, if I could just squeeze you one last one for Alain. So, just following your commentary about the very strong flows within asset management, are you able to I guess separate it between what you would deem to be more of one-time fund launches, because I know you mentioned a private equity fund launch, you also mentioned the commercial bank loans? Can we separate out kind of recurring flows on fund that you already had versus may be new fund launches, whether that close end funds or the like that might be more one-time in nature? Is there a way to separate that out?

Karaoglan: Yeah. Thanks Tom. And we can work more detail offline with Darin on the detail. But conceptually, I would change a little bit your terminology in terms of one-time. These can be lumpy. And the lumpiness comes in quarters, but of course because we have strong capabilities we expect overtime to do more of theses. But in the second quarter, you can count a about a billion dollars of what I would call the lumpy net flows that came in and the two sort of broad categories are the CLOs and the private equity fund. I hope that gives you enough detail and information and we can follow-up offline if you want the exact numbers.
POINT 3: The appeal of mutual fund custodial products is that they attract investors looking for flexibility.
Eric Berg of RBC Capital Markets: Okay. Final question, I am intrigued. I will not understand better than I do this custodial product. Really briefly, for the purposes of allowing us to press ahead year, can you help me explain, can you help me understand very succinctly, why you are able to earn target rates of return on that product but not on a conventional fixed annuity product? What is different about it?

Eric, it's Alain, thank you. I will try to do my best at succinctly. But the mutual fund custodial product attracts investors who are looking for the flexibility of investing in multiple fund families without the hassle of transaction cost. And so, it is a product where we offer a 100 plus mutual funds in one platform, including ING Investment Management, as well as third party funds. So, there is no fee switching between the third party mutual funds, and unlike a fixed annuity product there is no guarantee on any of the fund, so there is not much in terms of capital commitment that is required. And what it does is it allows investors to switch from one family of fund to another within the platform without incurring significant cost in doing so. And so, the product is really targeted to small size IRA roll-overs and we have expanded our target market to include startup IRAs by lowering the startup contribution in it.
See the transcript of ING U.S.'s earnings call and the earnings release for more on how ING U.S. is doing.  

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