Principal Global Investors is in the market for boutique asset management firms to expand its portfolio of assets, Reuters reported. Jim McCaughan, CEO of the $311 billion asset management arm of Principal Financial Group Inc., said his company hopes to finalize an acquisition, possibly in real estate, by the end of the year. Principal Global wants to acquire boutique fund management firms that invest in Europe and Asia to diversify its already strong presence in the United States, McCaughan told Reuters in an interview from Japan, where he is visiting clients. A new acquisition would follow last year's purchase of London-based Liongate Capital Management, a hedge fund of funds with assets of $1 billion. Principal Global's assets under management increased by 10 percent last year.