Principal Financial Group Inc (NASDAQ:PFG) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Jan 29, 2020 • 10:00 am ET
Good morning and welcome to the Principal Financial Group Fourth Quarter 2019 Financial Results Conference Call. There will be a question-and-answer period after the speakers have completed their prepared remarks. [Operator Instructions] We would ask that you be respectful of others and limit your questions to one and a follow-up, so that we can get to everyone in the queue. I would now like to turn the conference call over to John Egan, Vice President of Investor Relations.
Thank you and good morning. Welcome to Principal Financial Group's fourth quarter and full-year 2019 conference call. As always, materials related to today's call are available on our website at principal.com/investor. Following the reading of the safe harbor provision, CEO, Dan Houston and CFO, Deanna Strable, will deliver some prepared remarks. Then we will open up the call for questions. Others available for the Q&A session include Renee Schaaf, Retirement and Income Solutions; Tim Dunbar, Global Asset Management; Luis Valdes, Principal International; and Amy Friedrich, U.S. Insurance Solutions.
Some of the comments made during this conference call may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. The Company does not revise or update them to reflect new information, subsequent events or changes in strategy. Risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied are discussed in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed by the Company with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Additionally, some of the comments made during this conference call may refer to non-GAAP measures. Reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP financial measures may be found in our earnings release, financial supplement and slide presentation.
Daniel J. Houston
Thanks, John and welcome to everyone on the call. This morning, I'll share performance highlights for the fourth quarter and full year and accomplishments that position us for continued growth. Deanna will follow with details on our financial results and capital deployment.
2019 marked Principal's 140th anniversary and a year in which we closed one of the largest acquisitions in our Company's history. We are proud to serve more than 33 million individuals, including China, and nearly 200,000 businesses in more than 80 markets around the world. And I'd like to thank both our customers and our employees for being a part of Principal's journey.
2019 was another good year for Principal. We delivered non-GAAP operating earnings of $1.6 billion, a 2% decrease compared to a strong 2018 that benefited from a large PGI performance fee. This result reflects ongoing fee pressure, continued investments in the business, and the impact from the Institutional Retirement & Trust or IRT acquisition. Throughout 2019, we continued to demonstrate strong business fundamentals, balanced investments in our businesses with expense discipline and be good stewards of shareholder capital, deploying nearly $2.1 billion, including $1.2 billion for the IRT acquisition. This acquisition doubles the size of our U.S. retirement business and positions us as a Top 3 retirement