Daniel J. Houston, a 31-year-veteran of The Principal Financial Group and one of the company’s most seasoned executives in the retirement and pension business, has been elected president and CEO, the company has announced.
Houston, president and chief operating officer, succeeds Larry D. Zimpleman, chairman, president and CEO. Zimpleman will continue to serve as executive chairman of the board and will advise Houston in his new role, the company also said.
The announcement was effective Aug. 18.
“Careful and thoughtful succession planning is an integral part of our business success,” Zimpleman said in a news release. “Dan brings 31 years of experience and extensive knowledge of our global businesses and tremendous leadership skills. I could not be more confident about the future of The Principal.”
Houston joined the company in 1984 as a group representative in the Dallas group and pension office, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He was promoted to senior group and pension representative in 1986 and was named group pension consultant two years later, the company said in news release.
Elected an officer and named regional director of group and pension sales in 1990, he was promoted to senior vice president in 2000 and named chief operating officer in 2014, the company also said.
His annual salary is set at $775,000, and his “annual incentive award opportunity” for meeting growth targets was increased from 200 percent to 350 percent of his current base salary, according to company filings.
Along with his executive duties, Houston, a regular presence in the company’s conference calls, fills in Wall Street analysts with detail about the company’s expansion strategies.
The company, reputed for its careful and conservative approach to investing, doesn’t make executive changes frequently. Zimpleman, who joined the company in 1971, was named president and CEO in 2008, after 37 years of service. He added the title of chairman a year later.
Under Zimpleman, The Principal has evolved from a domestic employee benefits company to a global retirement, pension and asset manager operating in Latin America and Asia. The company has $530.3 billion in assets under management.
Principal International operates in 10 Latin American and Asian markets through subsidiaries and joint ventures. Principal Global Investors, the company’s asset management division, operates in 11 countries including the U.S.
International assets have increased tenfold since 2002, according to the company’s website.
Houston signaled the company would continue to look for growth abroad. “I am very proud to continue the great legacy Larry leaves behind,” Houston said.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Writer Cyril Tuohy has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at email@example.com.
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