Principal to Buy ABN AMRO US DC Recordkeeping Operation

December 17, 2004 ( - The Principal Financial Group has agreed to buy the Chicago-based ABN AMRO Trust Services Company with its defined contribution recordkeeping and investment services business.

According to statements from both companies, the pension and retirement subsidiary of the Netherlands-based ABN AMRO serves approximately 300 401(k) plans with more than 121,000 participants, representing $3.6 billion in full-service assets. (See more information from the PLANSPONSOR  2004 Recordkeeping Survey )

ABN AMRO’s Web statement said the firm opted to unload the business after a review in which it concluded that the US DC operation wasn’t a “strong strategic fit” with the future of its overall asset management business.

“The acquisition of ABN AMRO Trust Services Company furthers our corporate strategy of accelerating the growth and profitability of our US asset accumulation businesses,” said Larry   Zimpleman, president, The Principal Retirement & Investor Services, in  a statement .

Zimpleman said plan sponsors who are now ABN AMRO clients shouldn’t encounter any problems in dealing with their Chicago service representatives because of the deal. According to the statements, the deal is expected to close by the end of the month. Financial details were not disclosed.

According to the PLANSPONSOR  2004 Recordkeeping Survey , Principal services 30,751 plans. Friday’s announcement marks only the latest in a series of recordkeeping providers who have sold off part or all of their business  in an increasingly complex and difficult business (See Ducks in a Row ).