Principal Global Investors

Firm Profile: Asset Management Firm

Products: Advantage, Analytics, Asset Flows, Omni

Principal Global Investors is the institutional asset-management arm of the Principal Financial Group. Comprising a network of specialized investment boutiques and teams, Principal Global Investors currently manages portfolios on behalf of a broad range of investors around the world including public and private pension funds, foundations, endowments and sovereign wealth funds. The firm uses a multitude of eVestment solutions to give them a 360-degree view for competitive analysis.

“To make decisions to move forward, you have to have data to back that up,” said Eric Foll, Director of Strategic Marketing for Principal Global Investors. “You need to see the trends and see where the money is moving. eVestment helps us make better product development decisions.”

Telling a Better Story

A demand for deeper level of analysis led Principal Global Investors to eVestment. “Once we started using eVestment to run reports and do universe and peer comparisons, it created an appetite. It went from being a ‘nice-to-have’ to a ‘need-to-have’ level of information before going into meetings,” Foll said. “Now we have an opportunity to tell our story, to better position ourselves and to highlight what is different about us.”

Principal Global Investors found that “eVestment was far more robust, not only in the data it collected, but the intelligence you could draw from it. With some of the others, the extent to which you could run analysis stopped at performance and risk statistics. If you wanted to dig any deeper, there was really no comparison at all.”

Streamlining Data Entry

Principal Global Investors decided to use eVestment’s Omni Source solution to handle database updates which helped free up the team’s time for other valuable tasks. “Our team’s strength is in knowing the products, not manual data entry,” Foll said. “The more manual the process is, the longer the turnaround time, and the more room for error. Omni assisted us in streamlining that process.”

Added Perspective

Foll said that one of the things Principal Global Investors was most impressed with was being able to see themselves as others see them. “It’s a reality check,” he said. “With both Advantage and Asset Flows, you have a certain amount of perspective added. Particularly with Advantage, being able to pinpoint what investors are actually looking at has helped us. I can see not just who we think our competitors are, but who the market perceives our competition to be.”

“The ability to see ourselves as consultants see us is beyond what I thought could be offered. Especially as databases increasingly become a bigger part of the search process for institutional mandates, it’s almost a miracle to be able to have that perspective. It’s like being in a job interview and being able to read the mind of the person interviewing you.”

Brainstorming Ideas

“The interaction with the customer service side of eVestment has always been great,” Foll said. “The tools are very intuitive and it was easy for me to figure out things on my own, but I knew that if I ever had a question, I could call or email. I have never waited more than 30 minutes to get a question answered.” Foll also said he likes to bounce ideas off the client service team. “I’ll call and say, ‘here is the goal I am trying to achieve, how do I get there?’ We can brainstorm and find the best portrayal for the story I’m trying to tell.”

Valuable Solution

“The amount of data that eVestment collects and the amount of data you can draw upon, is what makes them incredibly valuable,” said Foll. “With this last round of enhancements and updates, eVestment has jumped ahead of even what we were thinking was possible.”

Eric Foll

“The ability to see ourselves as consultants see us is beyond what I thought could be offered. It’s almost a miracle to be able to have that perspective. It’s like being in a job interview and being able to read the mind of the person interviewing you.”

Eric Foll
Director of Strategic Marketing

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