Principal buys retirement business from Wells Fargo

DES MOINES — Des Moines-based Principal Financial Group is buying the institutional retirement and trust business of Wells Fargo and Company in a deal valued at one-point-two billion dollars.

Principal’s President and CEO Dan Houston says the transaction makes financial sense for his company. “We’re doubling the footprint of our U-S retirement business, increasing our retirement assets to more than 500-billion dollars, and participants to approximately seven-point-five (7.5) million,” according to Houston.

Houston says retirement management is at the heart of his company’s business and is the core of its future. “When evaluating any acquisition, we keep three things in mind, does it fit our strategy, does it fit our culture, and does it make sense financially. This one struck all three.”

More than two-thirds of Wells Fargo’s current corporate retirement assets are held by mid-sized employers. The deal is expected to close during the third quarter of fiscal year 2019.