It is certainly reassuring to have a money manager that has been in business since 1898, as is the case with Nuveen (NYSE:JNC). Through much of its history, the company has focused on municipal bond investment offerings. However, eight years ago, the company realized it needed to broaden its platform. After all, its core of affluent investors wanted more options to grow their wealth.

Thus, the company now offers asset classes such as value equity, taxable fixed income, growth equity, and alternative investments (such as hedge funds). To provide these new products, Nuveen has purchased a variety of firms, including Rittenhouse Financial Services in 1997, Symphony Asset Management in 2001, and NWQ Investment Management in 2002.

Yesterday, Nuveen announced its first-quarter results. Net income increased 14% to $43.2 million. During this time, total assets under management increased from $101 billion to $119 billion. Of this, $16 billion came from positive net flows and $2 billion from market appreciation; the company experienced relatively strong net inflows despite the interest rate environment and uncertain equity markets. The breakdown is 49% municipal funds, 38% equity funds, and 13% taxable income funds.

Nuveen's philosophy is to balance innovation and conservatism. For example, the firm has introduced innovative products such as a fund with an equity-index option strategy, which combines consistent current income with longer-term capital appreciation. Nuveen also introduced the industry's first fund that has primarily floating rate preferred securities -- this pays a competitive tax-qualified dividend.

Nuveen's focus also fits well with the demographics in the United States. As the population ages, there is likely to be more demand for reliable, income-type investment products. And given the company's long history and solid product offerings, the firm certainly has a good chance of achieving its long-term goal of 10%-12% growth in earnings.

Fool contributor Tom Taulli does not own shares mentioned in this article.