Director of Manager Alpha Research & Selection

Principal Financial Group
 Des Moines, IA


The Director of Manager Alpha Research & Selection (MARS) will lead Principal Global Asset Allocation’s (“PGAA”) efforts in identifying leading investment managers in an open architecture framework in order to deliver consistent alpha across $160 billion of global multi-asset mandates including target date, target risk, 529 plans, model portfolios, core-satellite, real assets and income strategies. This includes sourcing, screening and assisting the Portfolio Management teams in selecting best-in-class managers and strategies. While this role will lead the team, it is a player/coach role which will also maintain a coverage universe within the traditional public markets space. The team’s asset class coverage spans traditional equities and fixed income as well as public and private alternatives in the hedge fund, real asset, debt & equity and venture capital spaces.



  • Develop and lead a team of manager alpha research professionals across traditional public and private investments in establishing clear and repeatable best practices for sourcing, screening, selection, and continued evaluation of managers within a global open-architecture framework.
  • Responsible for setting strategic direction and guidance for the team including developing and articulating a clear investment philosophy and framework. This also includes establishing a structured process for sourcing, screening and selecting managers.
  • Develop fund reports for all underlying strategies covered incorporating robust quantitative and qualitative assessments.
  • Represent PGAA MARS to internal and external investment constituents (i.e., client meetings, industry conferences, etc.)
  • Develop and maintain relationships in the industry to understand ongoing trends and ideas.
  • Establish collaborative and constructive relationship with PGI’s Investment Oversight team

Investment Coverage:

  • Serve as asset class expert for specified traditional long-only asset class. In doing so, pro-actively generate investment ideas and strategies for recommendation to the Portfolio Management team. This includes conveying a deep understanding of PGAA strategies’ objectives and investment processes.
  • Create a reasonable “scorecard” process with a goal of measuring efficacy of recommendations.
  • Ensure the team retains an actionable bench list of promising managers.
  • Lead the team’s work in developing and integrating ESG and climate assessments within the research and selection process.
  • Lead the team in researching, developing and proposing new research techniques and/or strategies.
  • Contribute to thought leadership content.



  • Bachelor’s degree in business or related field, preferably with a major in finance or economics.
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in investment management/manager research.
  • Solid understanding of investment managers and general knowledge of current economic and financial market conditions. Proven ability to efficiently and effectively research, compile, and analyze information.
  • Must have advanced Excel ability and proficiency with PowerPoint.

Preferred qualifications and additional skills

  • MBA or CFA.
  • Proficiency with analytical tools including eVestment, FactSet, and Morningstar strongly preferred.
  • Must have excellent written, oral and interpersonal communication skills.
  • A high degree of professionalism required. Ability to build and maintain professional relationship with internal and external parties.
  • Have excellent organizational, project planning and execution skills.
  • Prior leadership experience is preferred.

Salary Range Information

Salary ranges below reflect targeted base salaries. Non-sales positions have the opportunity to participate in a bonus program. Sales positions are eligible for sales incentives, and in some instances a bonus plan, whereby total compensation may far exceed base salary depending on individual performance. Actual compensation for all roles will be based upon geographic location, work experience, education, licensure requirements and/or skill level and will be finalized at the time of offer.

Salary Range

$166000 - $258000 / year

Additional Information

Work Environments

This role offers the ability for in-officeand hybrid (blending both office and remote work in a typical workweek) work arrangements. You’ll work with your leader to determine which option may align best based on several factors.


We’re open to considering hybrid talent. Locations for hybrid talent are in Seattle, Des Moines, or New York. We are not open to remote locations at this time.

Work Authorization/Sponsorship

At this time, we're not considering candidates that need any type of immigration sponsorship (additional work authorization or permanent work authorization) now or in the future to work in the United States? This includes, but IS NOT LIMITED TO: F1-OPT, F1-CPT, H-1B, TN, L-1, J-1, etc. For additional information around work authorization needs please use the following links. and

Investment Code of Ethics

For Principal Global Investors positions, you’ll need to follow an Investment Code of Ethics related to personal and business conduct as well as personal trading activities for you and members of your household. These same requirements may also apply to other positions across the organization.

Experience Principal

While our expertise spans the globe, we're bound by one common purpose: to foster a world where financial security is accessible to all. And our success depends on the unique experiences, backgrounds, and talents of our employees – individually and all of us together. Explore our core values, benefits and why we’re an exceptional place to grow your career.

Principal is an Equal Opportunity Employer

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or veteran status.