Principal Global Investors

www.principalglobal.com
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Principal Global Investors Reviews

Updated February 24, 2015
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3.4
22 Reviews
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Jim McCaughan
13 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Fixed Income Co-op

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Fixed Income Co-op in Des Moines, IA
    Current Employee - Fixed Income Co-op in Des Moines, IA

    I have been working at Principal Global Investors

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great buy side experience with numerous opportunities to learn, and individuals whom will take the time to help you along the way. The co-op program is fairly comprehensive in terms of learning the basics of fixed income analysis, and individuals whom seek to dive deeper into debt markets will enjoy the resources available at their finger tips.

    Cons

    None, had a great experience at PGI

    Advice to Management

    Keep expanding this program as it is one of the better fixed income specific internships out there

  2. PGI still practices segregation toward contractors

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Des Moines, IA
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Des Moines, IA

    I have been working at Principal Global Investors as a contractor (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Nice view of downtown from 801 Grand building
    Nice walks in sky walks on lunches
    Mostly nice people

    Cons

    Shocking Practice of segregation toward contractors in terms of: 1) Contractors given obsolete, antiquated and often broken equipment; 2) exclusion from team events; 3) treating consultants as lesser people; 4) lack of respect and appreciation for the work well done; 5) at times actively sabotaging work of outsiders "Contractors" (as perceived threat to long term employees who worked at PGI for over 20 years)

    Mediocre PMs and analysts. Most people who have real talent leave for better pastures. Lot of Iowa based people who, if they keep their head down, don't take many chances and don't blow themselves up, have a long, decently compensated career. Met many people who worked there for 20-30 years but doing mediocre jobs by comparison to the outside world. PGI IT self created many corrupt practices of commonly lowered expectations.

    Non existent perception of quality - internal projects have 100s of defects ignored by FTEs for the sake of spinning wheels and projecting sense of well being. I witnessed teams lying and/or pretending to ignore massive array of big IT problems or walking away from issues with eyes closed. As being part of one of PGI AGILE teams, witnessed 100s of user stories closed while definition of done was not fulfilled -- for the only reason of not being penalized by PGI management

    The genuine lack of appreciation for their employees is overwhelmingly known throughout PGI.
    You watch management tell you that there is no money in the budget -- hear "DO MORE WITH LESS" almost every other day.

    Advice to Management

    Replace IT management of ELOB and MLOB of PGI.
    Spend money to fast change culture of ignorance and neglect.
    Stop saying ridicules - "DO MORE WITH LESS" -- it makes no logical sense to keep justifying endless failures by repeating this like looped mantra

  3. PGI is a great starting place. You will learn a lot.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Intern in Des Moines, IA
    Former Intern - Intern in Des Moines, IA

    I worked at Principal Global Investors as an intern (less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I worked as an intern in PGI for less than a year. I found the place was very open and people were very willing to share with you their experiences and provide advise.

    Cons

    Organization is big and there are many departments you need to coordinate with. Additionally, the location is probably a hurdle for people making decision to move there.

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  5. Great Learning experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Intern - Asset Management Intern in Des Moines, IA
    Current Intern - Asset Management Intern in Des Moines, IA

    I have been working at Principal Global Investors as an intern (less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    If you are eager to learn, Principal makes it very easy to do so. My department was very open to teaching me and bringing me up to speed.

    Cons

    Moving up in a company like Principal can be a long process. With an organization that large it is hard to imagine skipping rungs on the ladder.

  6. Helpful (3)

    High turnover, constantly changing strategy & organization, mostly average PMs & Analysts

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Equity Analyst in Des Moines, IA
    Former Employee - Equity Analyst in Des Moines, IA

    I worked at Principal Global Investors full-time (more than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Decent place to start out of college. Because of large AUM, immediately get access to top sell-side analysts, most investment conferences and above average management access - this all leads to opportunity to develop solid contacts in investment industry for when you choose to leave PGI.
    Great place to work if you are from Iowa, you actually like Iowa and want to spend your whole life in Iowa.
    Mid Cap Blend manager is excellent. Great track record.

    Cons

    Iowa is a very dull place.
    Constantly reshuffling teams (separate Value & Growth teams across all mkt caps, then sorted by Large, Mid, Small across all investment styles, then turned into a quant shop where analysts are basically window dressing.)
    With some exceptions, ineffective at attracting money outside captive Principal pension client. Probably because of combination of middling investment performance and poor marketing skills (both from marketing staff and investment staff).
    Mediocre PMs and analysts (again, with some exceptions, of course). Most people who have real talent leave for better pastures. Lot of Iowa based people who, if they keep their head down, don't take many chances and don't blow themselves up, can have a long, decently compensated career.

    Advice to Management

    Try to focus on developing your investment staff so they will want to stay. Similarly, and not sure how this can be done but, make attempts to turn PGI into a talent magnet where it can become a "first choice" place to work.

  7. Collaborative group with generally flexible environment and nice benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Investment Analyst in Des Moines, IA
    Current Employee - Investment Analyst in Des Moines, IA

    I have been working at Principal Global Investors full-time (more than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Being a leading company in the area you are exposed to more to the Wall Street contacts. People are good to work with and it is a collaborative environment. Benefits can add up with employer match of 401(k) and discounted stock purchase program. Leaders are supportive of education and company pays for a limited portion on an annual basis.

    Cons

    Promotions are limited in certain areas, and diversity is more important than performance.

    No defined benefit pension plan.

  8. Great values. Great ethics. Okay pay.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Commercial Real Estate Asset Management Analyst in Des Moines, IA
    Current Employee - Commercial Real Estate Asset Management Analyst in Des Moines, IA

    I have been working at Principal Global Investors full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people. A company that cares. Flexibility.

    Cons

    Pay is so so. Water fountain sometimes is broken :(

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing.

  9. Helpful (1)

    If you want to go nowhere, come here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Des Moines, IA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Des Moines, IA

    I have been working at Principal Global Investors full-time (more than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible hours, able to work remotely and the time off is PTO rather than sick time and vacation time so you use it as you see fit

    Cons

    Poor training so you feel adrift when taking on a new position, and then when you struggle due to the fact that there's no formalized training, you take a hit for it in the way of compensation. The genuine lack of appreciation for their employees is overwhelmingly known throughout the company. You watch management tell you that there is no money in the budget for raises, and then go out and buy themselves an expensive toy or go on a lavish vacation. It's more who you know and how well you cuddle up to management that gets you places here. Skills and experience tend to not get you far.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to your resources and the rapidly dwindling staff. At one point Principal WAS a great place to work, but we are out of the recession now. Start investing in your employees, not your skywalks and buildings.

  10. PFG is a good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Principal Global Investors

    Approves of CEO
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good people, lots of room to work independently, company involved in the community and gives time to employees to volunteer. In my department hours were flexible as long as you got your work done and attended floor meetings.

    Cons

    Little formal training for the position. It was a learn on the job atmosphere with a very steep learning curve. A little more standardized training would have helped put people on the same skill level. When layoffs started there was never really a clear reason given for why certain people were let go, you just had to make your own assumptions.

    Advice to Management

    Develop a formalized or standardized training program for entry-level position so employees can feel more competent in their positions. Be more realistic about timelines for new systems because nobody believes the dates as stated, the projects are constantly behind.

  11. Great to work here when you don't want to work hard, and want to collect a paycheck every two weeks.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY

    I have been working at Principal Global Investors

    Disapproves of CEO
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great work-life balance, sometime a little more life than work especially with management. Very casual enviorment with less of the attitude and politics of other Wall St. firms

    Cons

    Poor compensation and bonususes are almost non-existant. Review are pointless and when it comes to bonus time senior managerment always seem to find money for themselves but expect you to understand that these are difficult times. Clear cronyism on all levels. Senior management is not the brightest by any stretch of the imagination, and junior expressing any ambition to contribute beyond their role is immediatley squashed.

    Advice to Management

    Training program, create a meritocracy not an aristocracy.

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