Principal Financial Group taps Brazil CEO as part of local growth strategy

SAO PAULO, July 25 (Reuters) - Investment management company Principal Financial Group Inc (PFG.O) announced on Monday it has tapped Robert van Dijk as its chief executive officer in Brazil as it looks to strengthen its footprint in Latin America's largest economy.

U.S.-based Principal has operated since 1999 in Brazil, where it owns asset manager Claritas Investimentos and a stake in pension plan provider Brasilprev, a joint venture with state-run lender Banco do Brasil SA (BBAS3.SA).

Earlier this year, it hired former Brasilprev executive Nelson Katz as its chief operating officer in the country.

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Principal's chief executive, Dan Houston, said in a statement that the newly created Brazil CEO role would help the company meet rising client demand for global investment products while accelerating its plans to become a leader in asset management in Brazil.

"Van Dijk will be fundamental in the development and execution of a long-term growth strategy in the country," said the company, which also has operations in Mexico and Chile.

Van Dijk, who will report to Latin America head Roberto Walker and Principal Global Investors CEO Pat Halter, previously worked at private lenders Banco Bradesco SA (BBDC4.SA) and Banco Votorantim, and had been working at wealth management firm Hieron Family Office, where he was a founding partner.

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Reporting by Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Leslie Adler

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