Principal® Progressing With Integration of Wells Fargo’s Institutional Retirement & Trust

On track for 2021 completion

DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Principal Financial Group® today announced marked progress in the integration of the Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement & Trust (IRT) business, which it acquired in July 2019 and is on track for completion in 2021. Principal® has advanced key decisions on people, processes, and technology, despite challenges posed by COVID-19 and related market disruption. The combined organization is already delivering new and enhanced capabilities to Principal and Wells Fargo IRT customers including a digital plan onboarding experience, the patent-pending Principal® Complete Pension Solution1, the Principal® Milestones financial wellness program, and more.

“Despite COVID-19, our integration team has continued to make important progress in bringing these two businesses together over the past year,” said Renee Schaaf, president, Retirement and Income Solutions at Principal. “We have stayed dedicated to the integration without losing focus on supporting current customer and financial professional needs, particularly as they’re navigating rapidly evolving market conditions impacting retirement plans, investments, and businesses as a result of the pandemic.”

One Strategy, One Team

In the past year, Principal has announced combined leadership teams, organizational design, service models, and technology platforms. The unified retirement leadership team includes a balance of executives from Wells Fargo IRT and Principal. The company has also announced and affirmed its commitment to retaining locations in Charlotte, N.C.; Minneapolis/Roseville, MN.; Waco, TX; Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Manila, Philippines.

Just last month, Principal secured an office space in downtown Minneapolis that will welcome employees in 2021. Additionally, many Wells Fargo IRT employees have received job offers to transition employment to Principal effective in 2021. Principal, now a top-three recordkeeper as a result of the acquisition,2 has also appointed a new sales leadership team, innovated its advisor and consultant service model, and expanded its sales force as a part of the company’s industry-leading customer care experience.3

“Since we announced the acquisition, we’ve been intentional about extracting the best from both businesses to deliver unmatched capabilities,” said Schaaf. “We’re helping meet the needs of all customer segments with comprehensive retirement, trust and custody, executive benefits, and discretionary asset management offerings.”

A Better Retirement Begins With A Better Experience

Building on its reputation as a number one service provider for advisors and plan participants,4 Principal has accelerated innovation in its retirement record-keeping technology platform. As a part of these efforts, the company continues to expand the Principal Total Retirement SuiteSM with next-generation retirement plan management capabilities, financial wellness tools, and resources that help people to save enough and have enough in retirement.

We’re helping meet the needs of all customer segments with comprehensive retirement, trust and custody, executive benefits, and discretionary asset management offerings...

Principal will start welcoming participants in October through Principal® Real Start, a simplified and highly personalized onboarding experience. The process aims to be seamless for plan sponsors and participants as Principal manages all transition logistics. The Principal® Real Start onboarding platform promotes retirement savings best practices and provides access to new tools, resources, and guidance that will help plan sponsors and participants take informed actions to help improve plan outcomes. More than one-third of current Principal® Real Start participants are saving 10% or more and one-in-three are auto-escalating their contributions up to 10 percent.5

Wells Fargo IRT clients—from small to large—are realizing the value the integration with Principal can hold for their participants. Integrated health care organization, Carilion, is one example of a long-standing Wells Fargo IRT client who has transitioned to Principal for their employees’ retirement plan needs.

“Carilion was searching for a way to enhance the retirement savings opportunities of our 13,000+ employees,” said Heather Davenport, vice president, human resource operations. “We chose Principal because we believe their digital capabilities, leadership, and strategy can only improve upon the successful participant outcomes we’ve already experienced with Wells Fargo IRT. We look forward to seeing where this relationship takes us.”

For more information about the Wells Fargo IRT integration progress, please visit Better Retirement Website here.




Principal Financial Group closed the acquisition of certain assets of the Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust business (IRT) on July 1, 2019. The transition, transfer, and conversion of IRT business operations, employees, and clients will occur over the following 12-24 months. During the transition period, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., a bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company, will continue to operate and service the IRT business for the benefit of Principal®, including providing recordkeeping, trustee, and/or custody services. Wells Fargo has not reviewed the content of the attached material and makes no judgment of its accuracy.
About Principal®
Principal helps people and companies around the world build, protect and advance their financial well-being through retirement, insurance and asset management solutions that fit their lives. Our employees are passionate about helping clients of all income and portfolio sizes achieve their goals – offering innovative ideas, investment expertise and real-life solutions to make financial progress possible. To find out more, visit us at principal.com.
Principal, Principal and symbol design and Principal Financial Group are trademarks and service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.
Insurance products issued by Principal National Life Insurance Co (except in NY) and Principal Life Insurance Co. Plan administrative services offered by Principal Life. Principal Funds, Inc. is distributed by Principal Funds Distributor, Inc. Securities offered through Principal Securities, Inc., 800-247-1737, member SIPC and/or independent broker-dealers. Principal National, Principal Life, Principal Funds Distributor, Inc. and Principal Securities are members of the Principal Financial Group®, Des Moines, IA 50392.
1 Principal. (7 October 2019). Principal Introduces Patent-Pending System to Help Defined Benefit Plan Sponsors with Escalating Risks. https://www.principal.com/about-us/news-room/news-releases/principal%C2%AE-introduces-patent-pending-system-help-defined-benefit-plan-sponsors-escalating-risks.
2 PLANSPONSOR Recordkeeping Survey, July 2019. Principal and Wells Fargo IRT combined Plansponsor.com data as of July 2019. Future market share is subject to change and won’t be updated until next release of applicable data.
3 PLANSPONSOR Magazine. (July 2019). 2019 Recordkeeping Survey – Principal and Wells Fargo IRT Combined Data as of July 2019.
4 Escalent. (October 2019). Cogent Syndicated-Retirement Plan Advisor Trends.
5 Principal. (January 2020). Principal Data – 01/01/2020 – 03/31/2020.