Principal Financial has reached an agreement to acquire WM Advisors, manager of the WM Group of Funds, for $740 million. The funds have $26 billion in assets and will bring Principal's total assets in its mutual funds to $49 billion, ranking it as the 43rd largest fund family in the nation.

"The acquisition of WM Advisors represents an exception strategic fit for The Principal," said J. Barry Grisell, chairman and CEO of Principal. "This transaction adds important scale to one of our key asset accumulation businesses. It further strengthens our global asset management capability, and it increases our presence with over 28,000 independent financial advisers."

In addition, he noted, acquisition brings Principal's wholesale distribution staff members to more than 100.

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