While the firm’s sensitivity to market trend can help better serve clients, its sprawling efforts have also led to mixed results. Its Parent rating remains Average.
The firm relies on multiple investment boutiques and teams to drive investment results, some of which have established solid records. Aligned Investors and Edge Asset Management run strategies that Morningstar analysts regard highly, and the real estate team also enjoys high ratings. While benefiting from Principal’s sales and operational support, these small teams invest and develop new strategies independently. On the other hand, Principal’s core fixed income and equity teams are less inspiring, and many of the actively managed exchange-traded funds launched recently by these teams have already been liquidated.
Principal continues to take steps to keep up with the competition, though execution risk exists amid all these efforts. It reorganized its data science team after a leadership departure with the goal of it work more closely with the firm’s investment teams. Principal has also been proactive in adding personnel and operational resources in its drive to build up its multi-asset solution and its liability-driven investing capabilities, and the firm continues to leverage its global presence to enter emerging markets.