Principal Insurance looking quietly confident

Principal is happy to be ''behind the scenes'' at the moment but might be the one to watch in the Asian pensions market if you place your bets on the tortoise over the hare.

Principal Insurance is new to Asia having opened its Hong Kong office in 1994 with managing director Rex Auyeung as a one-man band. Its confidence lies in its US parent, which has over 60 years of experience in the US pensions business with a strong foothold over 401K plans. Principal made a global profit of $710 million in 2001, helping to back up talk of expansion and acquisition in Asia.

This month it picked up PensionsAsia's Achievement Award for funds management in the one-year Hong Kong total plan category. The company pulled off one of the largest IPOs of 2001 in its transition from mutual organization to a publicly traded company in the...

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