Principal Financial Group is to acquire RobustWealth, a financial technology company that provides a suite of white label solutions for investment advisors, including a digital advice platform, goal-based investment tools and efficient client onboarding processes.
With the acquisition, RobustWealth gains access to insights from Principal’s work with more than 16 million customers across the globe, while Principal will be able to better serve its clients with leading digital advisory capabilities.
“We have to acknowledge peoples’ needs and wants: there is an unprecedented need for financial advice. And, in today’s fast-paced, always on, digital world, people have a strong desire for personalisation, convenience and 24/7 access to their money,” says Tim Dunbar, executive vice president and chief investment officer. “The role of the financial advisor – a real person across the table – remains critical. But, we must combine the best of people with the best of technology to meet clients when, where and how they want to be met. Adding RobustWealth’s digital capabilities to Principal’s deep industry knowledge, asset management experience and technology creates a powerful force to help clients in their quest to save more, invest more and protect more for their financial futures.”
Principal has worked with RobustWealth since August 2017. By joining forces, clients will have access to one of the most diverse product sets in the market – investments (ETF, Mutual Funds), annuity and protection products. The new Principal platform will seamlessly integrate an array of advisor practice features into one suite, including: automated rebalancing, billing/remittance, document vaults, electronic account opening, institutional quality goals-and-risk based investment portfolios, and the open architecture use of investment options.
“From employee culture to investment philosophy and a client-focused approach, Principal and RobustWealth have a lot in common,” says Mike Kerins, founder and chief executive officer of RobustWealth. “Together we will continue to evolve a digital advice platform that is sophisticated, but simple. Ultimately, these interactions combine our financial expertise with personalised digital advice that helps consumers meet their financial goals.”
RobustWealth will remain under the management of Kerins as part of Principal. While RobustWealth is now part of Principal, the firm will continue to focus on providing innovative solutions, and delivering those solutions quickly and efficiently using agile product development methodologies.
“Principal is excited about the opportunity to leverage this platform for advisors and consumers,” says Dunbar. “We are investing in technology at the rate and pace necessary to keep up with customer preferences and buying behaviours.”
The RobustWealth platform will retain its open architecture philosophy and operate independently under a management committee within Principal. RobustWealth will continue to sell their platform to firms outside Principal as part of their growth strategy.