US asset manager Principal Global Investors has opened an office in Zurich.
The investment firm continues to extend its footprint in Europe and now tallies offices in four European locations (London, Amsterdam, Munich and Zurich).
The Zurich office is headed by Martin Bloch (pictured) who has been appointed country head and will drive Principal’s development in the Swiss market. In this role, he is responsible for building relationships with financial intermediaries and institutional investors.
Bloch, who has almost three decades of experience in the asset management industry, joins Principal from Robecco N.V. / RobecoSAM, where he served as country manager, head of Sales in Switzerland.
There he developed and executed distribution strategies for products covering multiple asset classes in Switzerland, as well as Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein.
Prior to this, Bloch was managing director and founder of CPP Constant Portfolio Protection for eight years. He also held roles with Merrill Lynch International and Banca Della Svizzera Italiana in Switzerland.
Nick Lyster, global head of Wealth Advisory Services at Principal, said: “It is exciting to be starting the year with a new office in Switzerland and announcing Martin’s appointment. He has extensive knowledge of the Swiss market and I am confident that his experience will be hugely beneficial to our efforts to expand our wealth advisory services in Switzerland and Europe.”
“We have seen a significant increase in demand for our funds and our sub-advisory services from wealth managers in the region requiring the adaptability that our multi-boutique model provides.
“The new office comes at a time when regional players are looking to increase their advisory services capabilities partnering with global managers who are able to offer a distinct set of products that can provide returns for their clients.”
Tim Stumpff, European CEO of Principal Global Investors, said: “Switzerland is one of the preeminent financial centres in Europe and is a key territory for us in the continued growth of our European business. Martin’s record speaks for itself and I look forward to working with him.”
Bloch said: “I believe there is a big opportunity for an established multi-boutique player with active specialist managers in the Swiss market. With volatile market conditions the search for alpha-generating managers with innovative strategies is creating opportunities for specialist fund providers.
“As market conditions persist, ‘client-oriented thinking’ is sure to remain a key driver to success. Principal has a broad distribution footprint that provides access to the markets and companies in which we invest and close proximity to our clients. I look forward to helping to build Principal’s European asset management business footprint.”
As of 31 December 2016, Principal Global Investors had $411.1bn (€383.6bn) in assets under management, of which $17.6bn (€16.4bn) were managed on behalf of European investors.