Principal Financial Group, Inc. history, profile and corporate video

 The Principal Financial Group, Inc. offers businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, which includes retirement, investment services and insurance through its diverse family of financial services companies. It operates through five segments: Retirement & Investor Services, Principal Global Investors, Principal International, U.S. Insurance Solutions and Corporate. The Retirement & Investor Services segment consists of asset accumulation operations that provide retirement savings and related investment products and services. It also offers annuities, mutual funds and bank products and services to the employees, customers and other individuals. The Principal Global Investors segment consists of asset management operations, which offers an extensive range of equity, fixed income and real estate investments as well as specialized overlay and advisory services to institutional investors. The Principal International segment offers retirement products and services, annuities, mutual funds, institutional asset management and life insurance accumulation products through operations in Brazil, Chile, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore and Thailand. The U.S. Insurance Solutions segment provides individual life insurance as well as specialty benefits in the U.S. Its life insurance products include universal and variable universal life insurance and traditional life insurance. The Corporate segment manages the assets representing capital that has not been allocated to any other segment. The company was founded by Edward A. Temple in 1879 and is headquartered in Des Moines, IA.

“Principal Financial Group History

Founding and early history

  • 1879 – Bankers Life Association was founded on July 1, 1879 by Edward Temple, a banker from Chariton, Iowa, and five other colleagues. At first, Bankers Life Association provided life insurance (in the form of memberships) to men between the ages of 22 and 55. They had to be in good health and not be employed in any occupation that was considered high-risk. Insurance benefits would also not be awarded if unintentional death was caused by harmful consumption of alcoholic beverages, or the irresponsible use of drugs.
  • 1882 – The number of memberships required the hiring of the association’s first employee, John Tibbs, who acted as a General Agent.
  • 1889 – Bankers Life Association had $29 million of life insurance memberships in effect. This required the association to relocate their operations to the Equitable Building inDes Moines, Iowa. Costs were kept at frugal standards. Temple’s salary increased to $6,000 in 1890, which was considerably lower than salaries offered by similar businesses.
  • 1909 – After the death of Edward Temple, the Board of Directors voted to reorganize the business into a mutual life insurance company. George Kuhns became president of the company. He employed the use of direct-mail advertising to reach new markets. This brought in $3 million in new sales within the first year.
  • 1925 – The company acquired a small, 500-watt radio station, WHO, with a broadcast range of 150 miles (240 km). George Kuhns saw this tool as a way to increase sales. Bankers Life ran WHO until 1930.
  • 1930 – Prior to the Great Depression, the company was closing in on the $1 billion landmark. The 50th anniversary, which was scheduled to take place on June 1929, was postponed until January 6, 1930. President Gerard Nollen gave a $10 gold piece to every person in attendance, as a token of his optimism about the future of the economy.
  • 1939 – Continued growth required the company to relocate its operations to a larger facility. A building was constructed on 711 High Street to house the offices. It was the first building in Des Moines to be fully air-conditioned.
  • 1941 – The company issued its first group health insurance contract. Within the next five years, group health insurance accounted for a third of the business.
  • 1962 – The company ended its policy of terminating new mothers, instead offering them part-time work. They could now work from 9AM to 3PM between the months of September to June, while their kids were at school.

Name Change and Expansion

  • 1985 – The Bankers Life Company became Principal Financial Group (PFG).
  • 1990s – The company expanded to markets outside of the United States,including BrazilChinaChileHong KongIndia, and Mexico.
  • October 23, 2001 – The company filed their initial public offering and became a publicly traded corporation.
  • February 28, 2008 – Nippon Life Insurance announced that it would increase its stake in Principal from 4.3% (11.29 million shares) to 7%, making it the largest single stakeholder. The move was said to reduce the likelihood of a hostile takeover.”

*Information from Forbes.com and Wikipedia.org

**Video published on YouTube by “PrincipalFinancial