(Bloomberg) — When you're late to the party, you need something special to attract attention.

That's what Principal Financial Group's Paul Kim is deciding as he builds the insurer's ETF business. Hired last year from Pimco, Kim knows he's operating in a highly competitive environment. So to differentiate his firm, he's betting on more-specialized strategies and steering clear of wagers made by deep-pocketed competitors such as BlackRock and Vanguard Group.

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