Principal Financial in Growth Mode

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Word comes of possible hiring at Principal Financial's institutional investment subsidiary, Columbus Circle Investors, in Stamford, CT.

While executives at CCI weren't available for comment, the leasing of a sizeable amount of new space seems to indicate the addition of staff at the location.

Meanwhile, Principal Financial's been in serious growth mode outside of the U.S. Last week, the company announced the purchase of a majority stake in London-based Origin Asset Management LLP for $66 million. But the biggest job opportunities are set to come at Principal Financial's subsidiary operations servicing emerging markets, given recent comments by executive management.

The acquisition strategy, as of late, has positioned the financial services provider as a growing asset manager in the region. In April, Principal Financial Group, S.A. de C.V., Grupo Financiero announced plans to acquire the Mexican private pension fund manager HSBC AFORE, S.A. de C.V. (HAFO) from Grupo Financiero HSBC, S.A. de C.V. In the same month, Principal Financial announced a definitive agreement to buy a majority stake in London-based Finisterre Capital and Finisterre Holdings Limited, an emerging markets investor.

The company recently outlined a plan for additional acquisitions. According to reports, the investment arm of Principal Financial Group is likely to continue the buying spree well into 2012, with company management announcing they have set aside $700 million for additional mergers. What those acquisitions might mean for jobs is unclear, but it seems that the interest in emerging market business and a commitment to growing the client base there would necessitate the addition of more staff. A strategic management move also seems to be indicative of Principal Financial's push towards emerging market business. In March, Luis Valdes, formerly president of Principal International Latin America, succeeded Norman R. Sorensen as president and CEO of Principal International.

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