A Corporate Responsibility Fireside Chat

Angela: good afternoon, rod. Rod: hello angela. Angela: i'm excited to talk to you today about our operating philosophy and the 2015 corporate responsibility annual report, but first I want to talk a bit about some of the milestones we've achieved as a business during 2015 and then to also talk about how corporate responsibility has been pivotal in terms of helping us reach our strategic goals.

Rod: we've achieved several financial, operational and cultural milestones in 2015. In a short time we've become an independent company with a diverse board. We have a stronger financial profile, leading market positions and we've introduced our continuous improvement program that's strongly influencing our culture.

Angela: how would you describe the way we're operating? Rod: we're operating in an ethically, economically, socially and environmentally responsible way. Angela: well, I want to talk a bit about each of our new pillars and how they align with the business objectives.

So let's start with serving our clients. Rod: angela, customer support and service is paramount to our success. A core responsibility is to behave ethically, protect customer information and to be transparent.

Angela: for the third consecutive year voya was named to the world's most ethical companies list. Rod: indeed. Angela: what does that mean to you? Rod: I think it's a key part of our culture, a key part of who we say we are to our key stakeholders and it's one of my proudest moments on behalf of voya, being recognized by a third party in that way.

Angela: so, rod, our second pillar is investing in communities. One of the really unique attributes voya has is that we offer 40 hours of paid volunteer time each year for full-time employees.

That definitely stands out amongst not only just our peers but across all companies. So 44,000 hours. Tell us why national day of service is an important day for voya.

Rod: as you mentioned we offer 40 hours a year of volunteering. It is one of the benefits and a piece of our culture that I think is viewed as among the most valuable that we offer and it's not hard to encourage people to do this.

In fact, many of our employees volunteer many, many, many more hours than just the 40 hours that we enable them to do on our payroll if you will.

Naturally it feels good for employees and we had one hundred percent participation this year from our senior management ranks in our leadership council, which is something i'm very proud of. But it gives our employees at multiple levels real leadership opportunities.

Angela: so in addition to volunteering, our employees are extremely generous at voya. Employees at other companies donate an average of $88 dollars a year and at voya it's $413.

What do you think accounts for that difference? Rod: it is a piece of the culture that precedes your and my arrival that I think is something that we've been able to unlock and unleash in a way that it's authentic.

People are giving both of their time and money and it isn't just the most senior people, men and women, it's at all levels in the organization.

Angela: so, rod, our third pillar of cr is protecting the environment. Tell us a little bit about environmental sustainability at voya. Rod: newsweek's green ranking. We were 78th, we're now 33rd, we're the second-highest financial services company in our category.

This is a really important outcome and i think reflects the sustained focus on these issues that matter to voya employees. We're different kind of financial services company.

Angela: i'd like to get your perspective on empowering our people, specifically around the areas of diversity and inclusion, and then to talk a little bit about how our culture has also transformed over the last few years.

Rod: let's start with our board. Forty-four percent of our board are female and diverse and that's not been an accident, that's really been a board by design. And in fact it's my objective over time that the board would be at parity.

Angela: so one of the ways we've transformed our culture is through something called continuous improvement. Tell us a little bit about that and why it's important for voya's future success. Rod: it's really built on a fundamental thesis or philosophy that there's always a better way to do something and it's all of our jobs to solve it.

Angela: so, rod it's clear that the four cr pillars that we've discussed along with our values are important to achieving our business objectives and solid performance. Rod: angela, I fully agree.

It's not just important what we do but how we go about it and corporate responsibility helps us make that connection. Angela: so, rod this year the nominating and governance committee specifically has been engaged in the corporate responsibility report and i had the opportunity to present to them.

Why is it important that we engage this committee and cr? Rod: on this committee, we have four individuals with broad diversity of both experience and thought that assist us and offer valuable perspectives on environment, social and governance matters that are quite useful in our day-to-day dialogue.

Angela: so any closing thoughts, rod? Rod: angela, as we focus on helping americans become better prepared for retirement, people are at the heart of our business in everything that we do at voya each and every day.

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