CSE498, Collaborative Design, Spring 2020
Computer Science and Engineering
Michigan State University

Founded in 1879, the Principal Financial Group is a financial services company headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. They are a member of the Fortune 500 and a global investment management leader, managing $735.3 billion in assets as of December 2019.

The company’s success as an asset manager is contingent on their ability to construct a variety of investment portfolios that are optimized to provide returns for their individual and institutional investors. Thus, investment analysts at Principal need an efficient way to generate and tweak portfolio constructions based on different constraints and quantitative signals.

Our Investment Portfolio Construction system is a web application that provides a user interface for investment analysts to communicate with Principal’s existing optimization engine and generate portfolio constructions.

The application allows users to specify a set of constraints and an objective around which to construct a desired portfolio. Once the user specifies all desired parameters, the application sends this information to Principal’s optimization engine, which uses the data to construct an optimized portfolio. Our application retrieves this portfolio construction and displays it to the user.

Additionally, the Investment Portfolio Construction system provides users with the ability to save constraint sets and portfolio results as scenarios within the application. The scenarios can either be saved so that only the saving user can access them, or the scenarios can be saved to be accessed by a user’s entire group within the company. This allows analysts to collaborate and iterate on portfolio constructions based on changing factors and signals.

Our application is built according to the serverless architecture model using Amazon Web Services (AWS). The technologies utilized include the Angular framework, AWS S3, AWS API Gateway, AWS Lambda, and AWS DynamoDB.