Daniel Buehrle

Daniel Buehrle
Regional managing director, Principal Financial Group
10200 Innovation Drive, Suite 800, Wauwatosa
Industry: Employee benefits and asset management
Employees: 125 (in Wisconsin)

What was the smartest thing Principal Financial Group did in the past year?  
“In the state of Wisconsin, we have intentionally built out an ethnically diverse leadership team to better support the growing advisor base in Milwaukee and to better mirror the demographics of the city. As a business center, we believe we can learn from everyone’s background and experiences to deliver our advisors and our clients with a more meaningful approach to our businesses.”  
What’s new at your firm?  
“Our firm has taken the last year to redefine our approach to working with and hiring new advisors. As an industry, we have failed to deliver on our commitments to the new advisor and new advisor candidates. We believe the leadership of our organization is here to serve the advisors, so in turn they can be best suited to help their clients. We also spend a significant amount of time helping our senior advisors locate and develop the successors for their businesses.”     
Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
“This year has been foundational for our leadership team, as we prepare to launch into 2016. We have spent substantial time, energy and money fine tuning our training and upgrading our leadership team to handle at least 30 new advisors in 2016 (with at least 15 being female).”
What kind of growth has Principal Financial Group experienced in Wisconsin during your time with the firm? What has fueled that growth?  
“Our organization has seen moderate growth, but substantial change over the past three years. We have redefined minimum standards for our advisors based on feedback we received from the group, and through that process lost 25 percent of our advisor base. Even with that loss of headcount, the remaining advisors increased the bottom line for the business center. They did an outstanding job of embracing the ‘new normal’ and have now made it foundational to Wisconsin.”
How were you selected to receive GAMA International’s Master Firm award? What does the award mean to you?  
“The selection from GAMA International recognizes excellence in traditional and contemporary field management throughout the financial services industry. GAMA created the Master Firm Award to recognize those agencies that have met or exceeded $7.8 million in commissions. The 2015 award was based on the 125 highest commission credit figures received by GAMA for the 2014 qualification. Applicants must be GAMA International members in good standing, and GAMA accepts only applications from a main or central office representing an entire agency. Winning this award belongs to our incredible group of advisors and my management team. Our people are a family who drive growth through strategy, superior financial planning and plain old hard work!”   
What will be your firm’s main challenges in the next year?  
“The challenge for us and the rest of the industry will be to make sure we have enough new diverse talent to pick up the reins of the senior advisors who will be headed into retirement. This needs to be done in a way to make sure the clients of the advisors are receiving the service they deserve.”
How are you and your firm involved in the community outside the workplace? How and why do you make time to give back?  
“I spend time and energy in a few places: Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin – Leaders Who Care board member, Variety Children’s Charity, and most recently the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board.  

“The Workforce Investment Board is most exciting to me because the entire mission is to get people back to work. I’ve been appointed by the mayor as the committee chair for Financial Sector Job Growth for the City of Milwaukee.”
Do you have a business mantra?  
“Clients, Community, Charity. I would love for people to think of Principal Financial Group as the Retirement Plan Leader and Global Asset Manager we are, but I would like even more for people to look at us an organization and leadership team invested in growing the city and doing what is right for our clients and advisors we work for.”
What advice would you give to the next wave of financial services professionals?  
“Be authentic and intentional! The population needs you to have hard conversations, and be the voice of reason in and environment where things are constantly changing. There has NEVER been a better time to be an advisor. It is our time!”  
What do you like to do in your free time?  
“Camp with my wife and kids, hunt, fish, work out, and smoke cigars while cutting the grass.”

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