Principal Announces Key Platform Decisions in Wells Fargo Integration

Principal and Wells Fargo leadership have revealed their technology plans for serving the nonqualified and employee stock ownership plan sides of the combined business.

Principal Financial Group has revealed key technology details in its ongoing integration of the Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement & Trust (IRT) business. Technically, the firm has announced its choice of technology platforms for its Trust and Custody business, its nonqualified plans business, and its employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) business segments.

Principal’s acquisition of Wells Fargo was first announced early in 2019 and more recently made final. Through the acquisition, Principal doubled the size of its U.S. retirement business and brought on board new institutional trust and custody offerings for the non-retirement market while also expanding its discretionary asset management footprint.

Moving forward, the firm’s leadership has selected the current SEI platform to serve trust and custody clients. The Principal platform, on the other hand, will be used to serve ESOP and nonqualified plans. Last month, Principal announced its retirement recordkeeping platform would also serve 401(k) plans and defined benefit customers.

Renee Shaaf, president of retirement and income solutions at Principal, says the collective tech infrastructure will be flexible, robust and efficient. It is also meant to provide “a solid foundation to build enhancements in the future.”

“We’re committed to delivering a results-driven, customer-first experience,” Schaaf says. “These digital and service model investments support our efforts to bring the best from both organizations to provide unparalleled value to participants, clients, advisers and consultants.”

Offering more detail about what these developments mean, Shaff explains that Principal will retain the SEI trust accounting platform Wells Fargo IRT uses today to support the combined organization. She says using the existing trust accounting platform provides a familiar, reliable, high-quality interface for clients and employees, and builds additional capabilities for Principal.

According to the firms, clients will benefit from single login access to account information across the trust accounting and additional reporting platforms, including access to performance measurement for domestic and multi-currency investment portfolios.