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Wells Fargo to Sell Institutional Retirement & Trust Business to Principal Financial Group


CHARLOTTE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) announced today that Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. has entered into an agreement with Principal Financial Group® (Nasdaq: PFG) to sell its Institutional Retirement & Trust (IRT) business, which includes its retirement plan recordkeeping and administrative services (401(k) and pension plans), executive deferred compensation (non-qualified plans), institutional trust and custody and institutional asset advisory businesses. The transaction, which is expected to close early in the third quarter of 2019, subject to receipt of required regulatory approval, will create one of the largest retirement providers in the industry.

“The Institutional Retirement and Trust business is well-managed, award winning and highly respected in the market,” said Jon Weiss, head of Wells Fargo Wealth & Investment Management. “The scale derived from a combination of IRT and the Principal Financial Group will benefit clients, plan participants, and team members. At the same time this sale reflects Wells Fargo’s strategy to focus our resources on areas where we can grow and maximize opportunities within wealth, brokerage and asset management.”

IRT is a national leader in providing total retirement management, executive deferred compensation, investments, and trust and custody solutions tailored to meet the needs of institutional clients. As of Dec. 31, 2018, the division had $827 billion in assets under administration and served 3.9 million 401(k) participants and pensioners.

Principal Financial Group® serves more than 24 million customers with retirement, asset management and insurance solutions to help them build and protect their financial well-being. Founded 140 years ago, Principal is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, with 16,000 employees located around the world.

“A combination with the Principal team creates one of the largest retirement providers in the industry. The size, scale and breadth of capabilities delivered by a company dedicated to retirement savings and investing will be a great benefit to our clients and team members,” said Joe Ready, head of IRT. “As our leadership team has learned more about Principal, we see great commonalities between our two cultures, including our shared focus on service excellence and driving plan and participant outcomes. We look forward to the realization of our combined capabilities.”

Wells Fargo Securities, the investment banking arm of Wells Fargo, served as exclusive financial advisor to Wells Fargo in connection with the transaction. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as Wells Fargo’s legal advisor in connection with the transaction. Financial details related to the transaction, including the sale’s expected gain to Wells Fargo, will be disclosed when the transaction is completed. Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is anticipated to close in the third quarter.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,800 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, the internet ( and mobile banking, and has offices in 37 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 259,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2018 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

About Principal Financial Group

Principal helps people and companies around the world build, protect and advance their financial well-being through retirement, insurance and asset management solutions that fit their lives. Our employees are passionate about helping clients of all income and portfolio sizes achieve their goals – offering innovative ideas, investment expertise and real-life solutions to make financial progress possible. To find out more, visit us at

Principal, Principal and symbol design and Principal Financial Group are trademarks and service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.

Cautionary Statement about Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements about our future financial performance and business. Because forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and assumptions regarding the future, they are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. Do not unduly rely on forward-looking statements as actual results could differ materially from expectations. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made, and we do not undertake to update them to reflect changes or events that occur after that date. For information about factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations, refer to our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the “Forward-Looking Statements” discussion in Wells Fargo’s most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q as well as to Wells Fargo’s other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the discussion under “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, available on its website at

Amy Hyland Jones, 704-374-2553

Allison Chin-Leong, 212-214-6674


Investor Relations
John Campbell, 415-396-0523


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