Principal® expands operations in Brazil, appoints CEO
Industry veteran Robert van Dijk to lead firm’s growth strategy in Brazil
Principal Financial Group® today appointed Robert van Dijk as CEO of its business operations in Brazil. In this newly created role, van Dijk will be responsible for helping Principal® develop and execute its strategy and growth plans in the market by strengthening its local position as a global pension and asset management leader.
Van Dijk has more than 40 years of experience in the financial and capital markets industry, most notably 12 years with Banco Bradesco and nine years with Banco Votorantim. He joins Principal from Hieron Family Equity and Investment, which he was a founding partner in 2019.
“As the Brazilian market has grown, demand from our customers for global investment products has grown with it. We are excited to appoint a leader who will help us better serve those needs while also strengthening our company,” said Dan Houston, president and chief executive officer for Principal Financial Group. “Robert brings tremendous experience to Principal with deep roots in Brazil. Adding him will accelerate our plans to evolve and grow our business in Brazil to become a market leader in asset management just as we already are in private pension solutions on behalf of 2.5 million Brazilian customers.”
In his role as CEO in Brazil, van Dijk will be instrumental in developing and executing the long-term growth strategy in the country. He will lead and support the business entities operating in market, which include Claritas, Brasilprev, and Ciclic (a fully digital insurance brokerage platform Principal jointly owns), to increase awareness for the firm’s full range of pension solutions and asset management capabilities.
Van Dijk has been actively involved in more than 10 industry associations during his career, including serving as president of the Brazilian Association of Financial and Capital Market Entities and a board director for the São Paulo Stock Exchange. He will report to Roberto Walker, president of Principal Latin America, and Pat Halter, CEO of Principal Global Investors®, the asset management business for Principal.
Principal has operated in Brazil since 1999 when it formed a joint venture with Banco do Brasil – Brasilprev – and currently serves as the No. 1 provider in open private pensions (PGBL and VGBL plans) in the market. In 2012, Principal expanded its focus in Brazil to include asset management by purchasing majority ownership of Claritas Investimentos, which is now wholly owned by Principal.
Van Dijk is the second executive leader Principal has added in Brazil this year. Nelson Katz joined from Brasilprev in March 2022 to become chief operating officer in the country.
About Principal Financial Group®
Principal Financial Group® (Nasdaq: PFG) is a global financial company with 18,500 employees1 passionate about improving the wealth and well-being of people and businesses. In business for more than 140 years, we’re helping more than 54 million customers1 plan, protect, invest, and retire, while working to support the communities where we do business, and build a diverse, inclusive workforce. Principal® is proud to be recognized as one of America’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies2, a member of the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, and a Top 10 “Best Places to Work in Money Management3.” Learn more about Principal and our commitment to building a better future at principal.com.
© 2022 Principal Financial Services, Inc.
Principal®, Principal Financial Group®, and Principal and the logomark design are registered trademarks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a Principal Financial Group company, in the United States and are trademarks and services marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., in various countries around the world.
1 As of April 30, 2022
2 Barron’s, 2022
3 Pensions & Investments, 2021