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Principal Financial Wants to Raise Management Fees

The Principal Financial Group of Des Moines, Iowa wants to compete with the biggest mutual fund companies in the industry and is willing to raise management fees in several of its mutual funds to achieve its goal, according to a proxy statement filed with the SEC.

The boards of directors of Principal's Blue Chip, Capital Value, Growth, International and Mid-Cap funds have asked shareholders to approve an increase in management fees on Nov. 2. The company says its management fees are lower than the industry average and not high enough to sustain the best employees or technology, according to the SEC filing.

According to the proxy, management fees would rise between 22 percent and 48 percent for each of the funds. One of the reasons for the increase is competition from the largest financial services companies, which are pouring "substantial sums" of money into their money management divisions, the proxy statement said.