Principal Financial Group announced further progress in the integration of the Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement & Trust (IRT) business, by naming technology platforms for its Trust and Custody (T&C), Nonqualified (NQ) and Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) business segments. After a comprehensive analysis, the current SEI platform was selected to serve trust and custody clients and the Principal® platform was selected to serve ESOP and NQ plans moving forward. Just last month, Principal announced its retirement recordkeeping platform would also serve 401(k) plans and defined benefit customers.
This collective tech infrastructure is not only flexible, robust and efficient, it also provides a solid foundation to build enhancements in the future.
“We’re committed to delivering a results-driven, customer-first experience,” said Renee Schaaf, President of Retirement and Income Solutions at Principal. “These digital and service model investments support our efforts to bring the best from both organizations to provide unparalleled value to participants, clients, advisors and consultants.”
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Tailored Trust and Custody Solutions
As a part of the commitment to — and investment in — the trust and custody business, Principal will retain the SEI trust accounting platform Wells Fargo IRT uses today to support the combined organization. Using the existing trust accounting platform provides a familiar, reliable, high-quality interface for clients and employees, and builds additional capabilities for Principal.
- Comprehensive platform with robust reporting. 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.
- Customized trust and custody services for more industries and entities. The combined organization safeguards more than $1 trillion in assets and builds on the Principal 75-year history of providing trust and custody services.1 Together, the organizations bring deep experience in key services such as trustee/custodial/paying agent, global and domestic custodial service, timely and accurate disbursements for benefit payment systems, global reporting, and customizable data delivery.
- Built around the needs of corporations, financial institutions, endowments/foundations, government and public funds, healthcare and insurance organizations, nonprofit organizations, and Taft Hartley plans.
- Accountable service. The trust and custody teams bring a depth of talent, passion, and expertise to provide clients and consultants high-quality, personal service.
- Bank and fiduciary expertise. For clients who require a bank as part of the trust and custody transaction, Principal Bank® provides nation wide fiduciary services. The strength of the Principal financial services organization allows for the delivery of technology, client service, diverse offering and infrastructure to support and grow this business moving forward.
Principal Total Retirement Suite: improving plan health and retirement readiness
The Principal retirement recordkeeping platform is being enhanced by Wells Fargo IRT capabilities, such as deep plan benchmarking and real-time performance monitoring, and feedback to promote plan health. With Principal as the service provider, plan sponsors and participants will be able to seamlessly access multiple retirement plan types — including ESOP, NQ, 401(k) and DB — from one login.
Employee Stock Ownership Plans
Being part of Principal—the #1 recordkeeper of ESOPs—provides customers and service teams access to industry-leading expertise and a holistic, integrated approach to retirement. This is why 40% of the nation’s largest ESOP organizations chose Principal.2,3
- Simpler ESOP administration. Our full spectrum of ESOP recordkeeping and administrative services can make life easier for companies and give employee owners a better experience.
- Hassle-free elections. Technology-driven employee owner services, such as Principal e-DistributionSM and Principal e-DiversificationSM, can help save time and ensure accuracy. Together these services can help make eligibility determination easier, provide simple elections and confirmations, automate check processing, perform tax withholding/1099R reporting, and deliver quick reports for the company and trustees.
- Tailored communication to enhance employee ownership culture. One common benefit of an ESOP is a better engaged and productive workforce. The Principal ESOP team specializes in working with clients on the complexity of ESOPs and delivering tailored, results-oriented communication to help maximize this benefit.
- Comprehensive fiduciary support. Extensive reporting and compliance services include helping plan sponsors with government filings, compliance testing ESOP cash management, and budgeting. The ESOP service team continuously monitors related legislation and regulations to help ensure clients can keep their plans in good standing.