The Principal Financial Group® (The Principal®) is a global investment management firm. Based in Des Moines, The Principal offers businesses, individuals, and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services (including retirement, asset management, and insurance), through its diverse family of financial services companies. Its asset management arm, Principal Global Investors (PGI), manages assets for sophisticated investors around the world. The PGI network of specialized investment boutiques offers expertise in fixed income, equity, and real estate investments as well as currency management, asset allocation, stable value management, and other structured investment strategies.
In 2013, Vermilion began a project to automate factsheet production for PGI in Europe. After this Phase 1 project was implemented, both parties developed a new Target Operating Model. The automation of factsheets for the U.S. and Australia was planned as a Phase 2 project.
Vermilion was chosen due to:
- Its platform being able to satisfy global factsheet requirements:
- Multi-currency capability
- Managing workflow across regions
- Regional date, numbering, and disclosure formats
- Automating translation and multilingual capabilities
- Its position as an ideal hybrid between outsourcing and in-house
- The reduction in manual processing that stems from Vermilion Reporting Suite
- The capacity to re-use reporting data when required
- The power to meet additional reporting requirements from one platform, such as global client reporting
- Its proficiency in centralizing reporting while considering specific regional requirements
- The capability to utilize existing staff to satisfy a growing demand for reporting from global divisions
- Its reputation as an industry-leading partner in the development of highly customized and powerful reporting solutions
- Its track record in rapidly transitioning clients to a self-sufficient basis
Given the critical mass of resources in the U.S. on the PGI side, Vermilion opted to tackle the Phase 2 project through its U.S. operations team. An additional benefit of this approach was to develop VRS expertise among PGI’s reporting team in Des Moines. In August 2014, Vermilion was given the go-ahead on Phase 2 and began its analysis in earnest.
While Vermilion transitioned the relationship over to the U.S., its team participated in monthly steering committee calls to understand the issues and offer practical solutions.
Although the reporting team is U.S.-based, the hosting was originally provided in the EU. Vermilion moved the hosting over to North America in Q2 2015.
- Utilized the existing Phase 1 architecture to support the Phase 2 solution—no redesign required
- Complete self-sufficiency—Vermilion-hosted, Principal-managed
- Successful knowledge transfer and training completed, resulting in a “Center of Excellence” for on-going development and support being established within the Des Moines IT team
- On-time and on-budget delivery of project, with contributions from Vermilion and PGI resources
- Decrease in total business days needed to produce factsheets due to process improvements in workflow
“We chose Vermilion because they provided all the functionality we needed,” said Christopher Reddy, Executive Director of Marketing, Product, and Business Development at PGI. “Vermilion also had the ability to offer a full client reporting solution and we are now actively reviewing that service as well.”