Principal Financial Group Names President and COO

The Principal Financial Group's board of directors has elected Daniel J. Houston to the role of president and chief operating officer, effective immediately.

Houston previously led the company’s life, health and specialty benefits businesses in addition to his role leading the U.S. Asset Accumulation segment. As president and chief operating officer, Houston will oversee all global businesses including Principal Global Investors, Principal International, Retirement and Investor Services, and U.S. Insurance Solutions.

In addition, Houston was elected to the board of directors. Larry Zimpleman continues as chairman and chief executive officer, the firm says, overseeing growth strategy, capital management and deployment, and corporate functions.

Zimpleman says Houston played “an integral role” in shaping the firm’s strategy after the most recent financial crisis. “He brings excellent operational expertise and global awareness along with deep talent leadership skills,” Zimpleman adds. “In Dan’s 30-year career at The Principal, he has been on the ground in the field, managed numerous businesses, and helped lead the transformation of The Principal to a global investment management leader.”

Houston joined the company in 1984 as a sales representative in the Dallas group and pension office. From there, he held a number of management positions in the company. He was named executive vice president in 2006, president of retirement and investor services in 2008, and president of retirement, insurance and financial services in 2009.

Houston received a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University. He is active on a number of boards, including the Employee Benefits Research Institute and America’s Health Insurance Plans, among others.

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