Principal Financial Group ® Announces New Head of U.S. Retirement Business

February 03, 2022

Renee Schaaf to retire after more than 41 years


Principal Financial Group ® today announced Chris Littlefield, executive vice president, general counsel is named president of Retirement and Income Solutions (RIS) effective April 1. This follows the decision of Renee Schaaf, current president of RIS, to retire after more than 41 years with the company.

Prior to Principal ®, Littlefield served as president and CEO of two life insurance and annuity companies – Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Holdings (2014-2018) and Aviva USA Corporation (2009-2013). When he joined Principal in 2020 as general counsel, he was responsible for leading the legal, government relations, and compliance departments. He also served as corporate secretary to the Board of Directors.

“When we asked Chris to join Principal as general counsel, we were keenly aware of his depth of operational and leadership experience, in addition to his legal expertise, and considered this in our succession planning,” said Dan Houston, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Principal. “Chris has a proven track record of leading large, complex financial organizations and teams. I’m confident he’s the right leader to grow our retirement business, create value across our lines of business, and champion digital transformation for the benefit of our plan sponsors and participants.”

In Littlefield’s new role, he will be responsible for leading the retirement business at Principal, serving the retirement savings and income needs of over 40,000 employers and 10 million individual customers. Together with his leadership team, he will focus on continuing to advance the company’s industry leading position in a full spectrum of retirement plan types, along with trust and custody and income solutions.

Mark Lagomarcino, who previously served as senior vice president and deputy general counsel, will step into the general counsel role as part of Littlefield’s transition. He will also serve as corporate secretary to the Board.

Schaaf departs Principal after serving in key leadership roles across the organization. Most recently, she led Principal through the transformation of its retirement business with the acquisition and integration of the Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust. This doubled the size of the company’s U.S. retirement footprint, making Principal a top three retirement leader. Prior to RIS, Renee led strategy and business development as chief operating officer for Principal International as well as several other roles across the company’s retirement and previous health insurance division.

“Renee led our retirement business through a period of significant growth, advancing the business to industry-leading market positions,” said Houston. “She helped us build on the success of our retirement business during a time of unprecedented transformation, while helping to support our employees and customers through the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. We wish her all the best in retirement.”

About Chris Littlefield

Chris Littlefield has been executive vice president and general counsel of Principal Financial Group® since January 2020.

Prior to that date, Littlefield was president and CEO of Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Holdings from 2014 to 2018, and previously served as president and CEO of Aviva USA Corporation from 2009 to 2013. Previous positions at Aviva (formerly AmerUs Group Co.) include chief operating officer and executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary.

Littlefield earned his B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, and his law degree from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. He serves on several boards including, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Grand View University and Chair of the Board of Trustees of ChildServe. He currently resides in Des Moines with his family.

About Mark Lagomarcino

Mark Lagomarcino served as senior vice president and deputy general counsel for Principal Financial Group® from 2016-2021. Prior to 2016, Lagomarcino served as vice president and associate general counsel – litigation from 2006 to 2016 after joining the company in 2002. Previous positions include partner at Hanson, Bjork and Russell, and associate general counsel with Maytag Corporation.

Lagomarcino is admitted to practice in Iowa and is a member of the Association of Life Insurance Counsel. He has served on the ACLI Litigation Committee. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and his law degree from Drake University.

About Renee Schaaf

Renee Schaaf led the U.S. retirement business at Principal Financial Group®, one of the top three providers of retirement solutions in the nation, from 2019 to 2022. In the last 40 years, Schaaf has touched almost every aspect of the retirement business globally for Principal, including as chief operating officer for Principal International (2016-2019) where she led global business development, strategy and operations in Latin America and Asia. Throughout her career at Principal, she held numerous leadership roles covering business strategy, product development, technology, marketing, distribution, and customer experience.

Schaaf holds a degree from Iowa State University and an MBA from Drake University. She completed the Global Advanced Management Program from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management in 2016. She serves on several boards, including Principal Retirement Advisors Pvt Ltd, Principal Financial Group, S.A. de C.V., Grupo Financiero (Mexico), Principal Global Services (Philippines) LLC, and United Way of Central Iowa.

About Principal Financial Group®

Principal Financial Group® (Nasdaq: PFG) is a global financial company with 18,000 employees1 passionate about improving the wealth and well-being of people and businesses. In business for more than 140 years, we’re helping more than 49 million customers1 plan, insure, invest, and retire, while working to support the communities where we do business, improve our planet, and build a diverse, inclusive workforce. Principal® is proud to be recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies2, a member of the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, and a Top 10 “Best Places to Work in Money Management3.” Learn more about Principal and our commitment to sustainability, inclusion, and purpose at

1 As of September 30, 2021
2 Ethisphere Institute, 2021
3 Pensions & Investments, 2020

Principal, Principal and symbol design and Principal Financial Group are trademarks and service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.

Media Contact: Teresa Thoensen, 515-878-0800,
Investor Contact: John Egan, 515-235-9500,

Source: Principal Financial Group

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